Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blog Chain: Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

Back on the blog chain again and this time the topic comes from Kat who wants to know:

What are the primary fears that drive your characters? Do they battle aliens of gangsters or monsters? Or do they battle unreconciled issues in their lives? Which do you prefer writing about? What do you fear?

This is a really fantastic topic and my fellow blog chainers have given some spectacular answers. Hopefully I have something new to add. I'm going to start with my own personal fears. Clowns. Despise them. I think it stems from watching IT. If I even think of that movie, showering becomes a nightmare. I'm also not a big fan of fire or falling. But I'm less afraid of those things than I am afraid of their consequences. For instance, I'm not afraid of fire per se, I'm afraid of being burned. And I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling from a great height. But my biggest fear is being too afraid. And that's what personally drives me. My fear of being burned didn't stop me from trying to get through the academy to be a fireman. Or climbing up ladders or anything at all. I use my fear as a propellent for the rest of my life. When I'm most afraid, like when I sent out my manuscript for The Deathday Letter, is when I know my life is about to change.

As for my characters...well my writing is influenced in a huge way by Joss Whedon. Sure, he doesn't write novels (unless you count comic books) but he uses his characters' outer worlds to expose the conflict and fear of their inner. He's a bit of a genius at this. My concept with The Deathday Letter was to have this fictional object--the letter--expose my character's greatest fear: that he'd die without accomplishing anything.

I guess I don't have one specific thing, but I do like the outer world to be an amplified reflection of the inner. In a MG novel I'm writing for NaNo, my main character fears being invisible, fears that everyone hates him and no one wants him around. Then children from the future come and actually attempt to erase him from time. His biggest fear made larger than life. Tying back to that, one of my favorite Whedon episodes was about a girl in high school who became invisible because she thought no one noticed her. Great stuff.

Hope I was able to add something to the already awesome discussion. Why not check out the fantabulous Michelle who came before and then head on over to Cole's blog to see what awesomeness she's got in store for you! Happy Halloween.


  1. OooOOOoo. Yes, clowns are too creepy. And I like the statement about using the outer world to expose an inner fear. Great post! Good luck with NaNo.

  2. Clowns ca be totally freaky! Love your NaNo idea. Good luck!

  3. Your post immediately had me questioning whether I've exposed (or amplified) my characters' greatest fears. Great food for thought...

    p.s. love what King does in the first 20 pages of IT. Everybody floats, indeed.

  4. Great post! It's so funny--my 19 year old is terrified of clowns for the exact same reason! I love these blog posts because you really do learn so much about other people. My husband is a fire chief and there is a definite fear that come's with the job. And as for Joss Whedon... the man is a God!

  5. I never have understood the whole "clown thing", but to each their own. I really like your NaNo story idea though. If you need a beta reader once you finish it, feel free to call on me if you like. Great post.

  6. You NaNo idea sounds great. And, yes, IT scarred me, too. Like others have said, I definitely agree with using the outer world to expose the inner fear. Great post.

  7. I am so on the influenced by Joss Whedon bandwagon - he is a master of combining external and internal fears! Also, totally agree with clowns being creepy. They so are.

  8. I love the title to this post.

    That's one of my favorite Simpsons episodes.

  9. You know what...after 32 years of life, one simple line in your post finally explained some of my fears to me.

    "But I'm less afraid of those things than I am afraid of their consequences."

    LOL I seriously never thought of it that way, but you are totally right. I'm not afraid of heights. I love heights in and of themselves. Heck, the views are awesome. But I'm terrified of falling from those heights. I just really never thought of it that way before. :D

    Now...spiders and enclosed spaces are still irrational for me. Because I'm not afraid of being bitten by a spider. I just can't stand the thought of the dang things touching me LOL Same with small spaces...I know nothing will happen...I just prefer wide, open spaces ;-D

    Awesome post! And thanks for the epiphany :D


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