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Tuesday 8 September 2020

Writing from Real Fears by DiAnn Mills

Today author DiAnn Mills takes over our blog to tell us about "Writing from Real Fears".

DiAnn's latest novel is Airborne (28 April 2020, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 385 pages), a Clean Romantic Suspense about the shocking outbreak of an unknown airborne virus, which eerily coincided with real current events but which was completed well before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

"You will feel like you're watching a movie, or reading the daily paper as you begin this heart in you throat book, and you will be guessing who could it be right to the end!"Maureen T, Goodreads reviewer 

"Impossible to put down. [...] This is a book of intrigue and suspense.  So well written, that I could barely turn the pages fast enough. Truly one of DiAnn Mill's best work yet." ~ Amazon verified purchase reviewer

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Writing from Real Fears

by DiAnn Mills

Writers are often instructed to write what they know.  This includes the heart-pounding, palm-sweating reality of experiencing real fears.  By creating stories from personal happenings, the writer transfers credible emotions to the reader.

Fear doesn’t have to make sense to the character; it’s present and dangerous.  The type can be physical, mental, spiritual, or a mix.  A phobia is a real horror, although it’s irrational.  No one wants to endure pain unless they suffer from a psychological disorder.

No one wants to face the downside of catering to an unwelcome emotion: paranoia, insomnia, deteriorating health, inability to function mentally, or destroyed personal and interpersonal relationships.  Readers long to see their beloved hero or heroine grow into better people.

Our characters respond to fear just like we do.  The emotion affects them according to their personality, the past, culture, education, upbringing, and a host of other events that make them unique.  Fear manifests itself in paralysis, shock, seeking safety, and/or fighting.  The character who survives and learns from facing down emotional paralysis is a role model.  Courage results from a character who analyzes a situation and chooses a reaction that is for the betterment of others.  He accepts the consequences for his behavior, and the actions coincide with his personality.  The choice to fight or flee is fueled by motive from past experiences.

What resonates in the character’s mind now as a result of the emotionally paralyzing moment?  That’s what the reader remembers.

Respecting the outcome of a specific fear doesn’t make a hero or heroine any less a person.  The character who respects healthy fears shows wisdom—running into a burning building, playing golf in an electrical storm, playing with a loaded gun, swimming in shark-infested water, and the list goes on.

Whether you are a writer, reader, or both, I challenge you to consider the following exercises about yourself.  The result will show you the value of processing real fears and incorporating those paralyzing terrors into the life of a character.
  1. What terrifies you?
  2. What is your reaction to that fear?
  3. Take a few minutes to write down the first time you encountered the fear.  Detail the incident to record who, what, where, when, and if you know … why.
  4.  Is your fear appropriate? 
  5. Do you want to overcome the emotional paralysis?  How will you accomplish it?
  6. Do you need help—professional, spiritual, or guidance from a friend or family member?
  7. Can overcoming the fear restore self-confidence?
Friends, fear is a powerful emotion in our lives.  The sensation is undeniable.  Whether you understand the reality of fear in your life or in a story, using it to show a memorable character is a wise and courageous choice.
Don't miss DiAnn Mills's latest release...

A killer virus is unleashed; it's up to her to stop it.

Available NOW!

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CMash said...

One of my greatest fear is if something happened to my sons/granddaughters. My mother was a very pessimistic person and I think that nervousness was instilled in me but I don't let it consume me.

DiAnn said...

Thanks for hosting me on your site! Fears ... they help us develop skills we wouldn't ordinarily have, but they aren't a fun journey!