What scares you?

I have a reoccurring nightmare from when I was kid: that I am trapped in my house while a pack of evil, man eating dogs wait outside.

I suppose this is why I’ve read every one of Stephen King’s books except for Pet Cemetery. Buried animals that come back to life, rabid and blood thirsty, is not my idea of entertainment. On the other hand, many of my story ideas originate from a situation of fear. Waking up to find that the world is empty, being trapped in your basement as the tornado of all tornadoes comes to take you, laying in bed, helpless as a stranger breaks in through your window.

I don’t like to form an entire story around these singular situations. That is, I don’t want to write thrillers or horror novels. I like the story to focus on the why, the explanation behind fantastical events and how the characters deal with it. I don’t want to study how the monster is going to kill me, I wan to know why he is there and why he wants me dead.

I think fear, when used in a particular way, can be a very compelling way to keep the reader reading. After all, doesn’t everybody ask, why? Most people don’t like to focus on the violence, or the tragedy. They’ll look at it, they always do (you know, train wrecks and that sort of thing), but only for a minute. Then they always ask, why?

What scares you?

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Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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