What Are You Afraid Of?

Hi everyone.
I’m afraid you’ve missed out on a long, slightly rambly post about Understanding Your Characters that I started writing this morning, because I ran out of steam and got bored with the whole thing. So I’ll boil it down to the very, very short version:

I was watching this video, and that got me thinking about how your characters’ greatest fears are one of the most important things you have to know and understand about them in order to write them well. Arenadd’s fear of heights, for example, came from a childhood trauma and was, more or less, what killed him in the end.

If you’ve clicked the link you may have noticed that it’s a video of fish jumping, which might not seem terribly relevant to the situation. Well, it probably wouldn’t have prompted the thought for anyone else but it did to me, because I’m scared of fish and that video gave me a serious case of the creeps.

Yup. Baring my soul here: fish give me the heebie-jeebies. I won’t run away screaming if I see one and in real life they don’t generally bother me at all, but I’ve had some seriously messed-up dreams involving terrifying fish monsters and I eventually realised that I’ve never actually had a dream about fish that weren’t terrifying or at least vaguely creepy. Hell, I could describe the last memorable “fish dream” I had, and it’d put you off smoked trout for life.

Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. I can’t fathom anyone being scared of my adorable pet rat, but it happens.

Neato text ornament here