I happened upon a writing tip that states “Write something scary every day”. At first, I felt it had more to do with horror writers, but I think it touches upon the fact we need to delve into the depths of our own fears to find story plots, characters, and simply overcome the things that hold us back the most.
I would say my fears are;
Ticks. I hate ‘em. They freak me out. The thought of a parasite embedding itself under my skin, potentially infecting me with any number of weird diseases, bothers me to the very core of my being. Just imagine the horror stories I could write just on that alone!
The bizarre. I find weird movies/tv/books are so much more disturbing than outright gore and death. It’s the not knowing whether things are real or not, whether the character is dead, in a dream, on some bad acid trip, or any number of other possibilities. The lack of sense also disturbs me.
Anything happening to my son. I think this is more than just a mother’s instinct as much as my personal psychosis. I remember worrying about things like cancer, or a dog biting him (as if some random dog would come into my yard and attack), or any illness he got, or any cut or bug bite could potentially turn into something deadly.
Oddly, I’m not scared of snakes or spiders, or the dark, or getting lost in the woods. Some things I probably should be scared of doesn’t bother me at all. I can understand why others are frightened, however, so I will explore a character’s phobias as much as their other fears they have to torture them a bit.
What are your own fears? Have you worked with them in your storytelling? Post in comments.