Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Mask of Fear: Why Good Writing Can't Do Without It

Fear. It's one of those things we must have in our book, whether the fear comes from our main character or the place in which our character resides.

Fear, like faith, rounds out the best of books and makes our story as real as life itself.

What of a life without pain?
What of a life without change?
What of a life without mistakes?

If fear or one of the related struggles mentioned here is not a reality when it comes to your book, you'll want to do some re-thinking.

If your fear is masked by sweetness, fine, but make darn sure that the fear comes out at some time and reveals itself. If your mask is a strong main character who isn't as strong as he thinks, or if she is constantly in debt or unfaithful to her husband, make sure that at some point the truth reveals itself.

The main character may be wearing a mask for a time, or the surroundings in which he/she lives may be a mystery to the neighbors, but at some point the mask of fear or pain or change or mistakes must come off.

A revealing of sorts must occur.

Like a masquerade party, where folks dress up and prance around, your main character may not at first appear in his/her true light. But that's what the best books are all about. Just as the most interesting characters in our neighborhood reveal themselves through time and place.
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