on Writers Helping Writers:
Fear is an undeniable part of the human experience, for both real and fictional people. At its most basic, it warns our characters of potential danger and encourages them to take actions and make specific choices that will keep them safe. While unpleasant, it’s an important warning system meant to protect them from harm. But the system breaks down when a fear grows to the point of becoming overwhelming and crippling.
Debilitating fears play an important role in story and character arc, so we’ve decided to delve into this topic for our next thesaurus at Writers Helping Writers. Not just any fears, though—the virulent ones that stymie characters and derail them from their goals and dreams. To help you write your character’s greatest fear realistically, we’ll be exploring the following aspects for each entry: