F is for Fear

Most of Talia’s life in The Magic Wakes is motivated by fear. Perhaps this is why she struggles in the beginning of Search for Knowledge (now being drafted). For a short time her greatest fear is gone–the big “death is imminent” one. Don’t worry, a new fear comes along quick enough to drive a new story and push Talia’s character to grow and develop one step farther along her arc.

But I’m getting ahead of  myself. Let’s get back to TMW. There are three main fears pushing Talia along her quest.

Side note: I believe fear is tied closely to hope, which we will discuss on H day. When fear forces us to make a decision, we must have some degree of hope in the path we choose to follow.

1. Fear of Death
This is the most obvious since the reader is introduced to her nightmares in the first chapter. Talia’s dreamed of an invasion and her subsequent death since birth. Although she knows they are dreams, these nightmares feel so real that she must believe they are prophetic. On top of how real they feel, she knows she doesn’t make up the side effects of those visions. Cuts, bruises, burned skin. The creatures of her dreams are so fierce that she feels no one can save her or Sendek from their grasp.

This fear drives her choice of study and ultimately her career choice. How do you prepare for an invasion that no one knows about? Step one, find a way to inform those with the best chance of protecting you. Since these people are not likely to believe and prepared because of a dream, you must find scientific proof of extraterrestrial life. The best way to do that is to get really good at looking into space.

2. Fear of Acceptance
Notice I didn’t say fear of NOT being accepted. Talia feels emotionally safe alone. If people accepted her they would want to get close to her. And if she allowed that she would once more be capable of losing something. Talia thinks that by keeping her distance she is protecting others from sharing her fate as well as protecting her heart from being broken once more like when her family died one by one.

This fear drives Talia to only put effort in perceived “safe areas”–the trees and other wildlife. When interacting with people she is civil but distant, erecting walls and running away when necessary.

3. Fear of Being Alone
This is in direct conflict with her need to keep people at a distance. In an effort to protect herself and others, she denies herself the one thing she wants more than anything. More than surviving the Dragumon in fact. She wants to be loved.

This fear is very subtle, but if you look you can find the clues. Her self consciousness betrays her in ways she can’t control. For instance the way her body warms when Landry is near. The way she can’t help but drift towards him “as if he had his own gravity”. She’s afraid of him on so many levels. 😉

So what are you the most afraid of and how does it drive your choices?

By the way–I’m run/walking a half marathon today with my daughter and there is a lot of “Fear” running through my head. We are both woefully unprepared for today. However we are trying to tell ourselves we’re just going to have fun and get “started” with our healthier lifestyle goals.
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About charitybradford

Science fiction and fantasy writer and blogger. My first novel is now available--The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing, 2013)

Posted on April 6, 2013, in Blogging A to Z, World of Sendek. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. You can do it!!Those second two fears are a definite conflict.Greatest fear – losing my wife. If she were to die first, I'd not be far behind her.

  2. We survived the race! I think we may have been the last to finish, but finish we did. My poor daughter was in pain after the first mile. She broke her ankle 2 years ago and it was not happy with her today. However, she kept pushing on and although we walked most of the course (which was amazing by the way) she didn't give up. I'm so proud of her.

  3. Okay – I was going to argue with you"When fear forces us to make a decision, we must have some degree of hope"Then I realised that it was the leap of faith and that is hope or belief in one's self or…Whatever gets you past our fears. Not an easy step to take.

  4. Yes, of course, our fears would be in conflict with one another.What am I most afraid of? How much time do you have?

  5. You can do it! Good luck to you! My fear is two-fold and sort of a quandary… fear of success and fear of failure. Go figure. Good post!Mel at Writings, Musings and Other Such Nonsense

  6. LOL, both of those fears make sense though when you think about it. It's the fear of success that most people don't understand, but that doesn't mean it isn't real.

  7. With email? All the time in the world! 😉

  8. Wow I really need to hurry up & read this book!! Some big fears reared their head when I saw blood in my little girl's poo recently. Doctor's theory is that she's allergic to dairy so we had a chocolate-free Easter (the dairy comes through my breast milk).

  9. I'm working everyday on my fear, but it is of rejection. Not the best fear for a writer to have.

  10. Oh! Is she okay? That is scary. I hope you've found the culprit so you can remove that fear from your lives. I think fear for our kids is so hard to vanquish. There's always something to be afraid about with their growth and development especially with us imaginative thinkers!

  11. At least you know you aren't alone in this area. The trick is becoming confident in why you write and learning that you will never write something that everyone on the planet will like. Once you've got that in your head rejections start to mean something else. It's not, "Your writing is bad" but "not for me". Which is what they say, but we have to mentally believe them. :)Good luck!

  12. I think fear is something that most people find very relatable. Death doesn't really bother me, for me it's more along the lines of regret; looking back over my life and realizing I missed the mark.

  13. Wow, a half marathon! That's amazing–feel proud of that. Working fear into writing is so essential. I've been learning that's a great avenue to add conflict and stakes, because sometimes even the smaller, internal fears (like fear of success or letting someone down) have just as much impact on a story as larger more obvious fears. Tough to do at first though, but the really good storytellers do it well.

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