A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blog Chain - Fearing The Inside


I'm the here to finish up this particular blog chain, following the incredibly talented Sandra. The question posed by Kat is a timely one:

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

Let's start out with discussing how my characters deal with fear. I don't think I've ever written anything where the MC had an external fear (such as heights, spiders, etc). Maybe that's because these are easier fears to write about? The challenge is being able to adequately describe an internal fear (my opinion only, of course). In the NaNo book I will be starting (on Sunday, Woohoo), Trevor is a young man with lots of fears. He fears his overbearing and demeaning mother. He fears everyone finding out what he's really like physically (he constantly wears a disguise for a very good reason), and beneath it all he fears to let anyone find out who he is underneath as well. He fears dealing with people, because his social skills are lacking to the extreme. He will have to deal with these fears soon though, and it will be a mixture of external and internal forces that demand change. He may find there are things he fears that he wasn't aware of either, external things that he has never experienced before.

As for myself, I don't really have any external fears. I am uncomfortable with a few things maybe. For example, depending on the situation, I can be uncomfortable with a given height. But on the whole, I am not afraid of heights. I don't really like spiders, but I'm not afraid of them. As I sit here and try to catalogue anything external to fear, I really don't have any fears like that. I'm not afraid of someone with a gun pointing at me for example (of course, I say that but who knows how I'd be during the heat of the moment). I'd like to think I would try to remain calm, because the situation is out of my control. I would have no choice but to hope that I could make it out okay. I couldn't actively take steps to change things (other than maybe talking my way out of it).

My fears are all internal. I fear not doing a good job as a father. That's a big one for me - the idea that I would screw things up so bad that my kids would hate me. It has taken years for me to be somewhat close to my dad, so I've tried my best to make sure that doesn't happen with my own sons. I fear being inadequate. I fear not being capable of accomplishing what I want to. I fear not being a good enough husband, that I would ever cause my wife to question how much I love her. Lastly, I fear not being able to become a good writer (something I am constantly admonishing myself over). That's one of the bad things about surrounding yourself with exceptional people (at least for someone like me). You end up feeling like you pale in comparison to everyone else. That is my struggle, my personal fear that I strive to overcome on a daily basis.

Well, that's the end of this blog chain. If you haven't read some (or any) of the various entries, I'd advise you to start out with Kat's entry and follow the links so you can read them all. This has been a really fun topic to answer.

10 comments:

Mandy said...

Awesome post Eric! I can totally relate to your qualms about being surrounded by exceptional people. There are a lot of times where I feel like I'm the odd man out, standing on the fringe of the "cool kid's" circle.

The internal fears are the ones that twist our insides up into knots. To me, the internal fear is the most fun to write about, and the hardest to overcome.

Tere Kirkland said...

Hoo boy, yeah, it's the internal fears that really are more fun to write. And at the same time-- if you are drawing on your own fears for inspiration-- the most painful!

Good luck with NaNo, Eric! I'm terefaerie over there if you want another writing buddy.

B.J. Anderson said...

"That's one of the bad things about surrounding yourself with exceptional people (at least for someone like me). You end up feeling like you pale in comparison to everyone else."

Yep, I feel the same way. Great post and great ending to the chain.

Michelle H. said...

I agree with everyone here. Internal fears just leave so many different avenues to write about. Although having a character face external fears does seem like an interesting plot.

ElanaJ said...

Excellent point: internal fears are more difficult to convey than external ones. And NaNo? I'm NaNo-ing...are we buddies? What's your username?

Michelle McLean said...

I think all parents and spouses have those fears...at least the good ones ;-D Awesome post! I'm Nanoing too - I'm michellemclean over there :)

Sandra said...

It's not possible for us to be perfect parents or spouses, since we're not perfect people. We can't even be perfect writers either. We just have to accept that and do the best we can.

Good luck with NaNo!

christine said...

great post Eric. ANd I agree 1 million percent with Sandra - perfection is not attainable - but a journey towards that...sure...

Cole Gibsen said...

Great blog, Eric! And you've had some great comments. I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner because I don't think there's anything I can add. Great job, everyone!!!

Kat Harris said...

That's an awesome wrap! (Geez, I'm really late commenting.) :-S