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Exercise Wednesday: Scary and inevitable

October 2, 2013

A couple weeks ago, I had to do something I dreaded. It was something that’s always been difficult for me and something I absolutely needed to do for a number of reasons–not the least of which was my own self-worth. I knew I’d have to do this thing for several days before the time to do it came and as the day grew closer, my sense of dread and impending doom multiplied.

As I approached the thing I had to do, I felt utterly and completely alone–it was something I had to do myself. I couldn’t do it as a part of a group. It wasn’t appropriate, and even if I did, I’d regret it afterward.

The event itself was, as you’d expect, short, far less intense than I thought, and while it wasn’t successful, it really didn’t leave any lasting scars of any type after.

You know the feeling and the type of event I’m talking about. It’s as much a part of life as headaches, the cold, and taxes.

Today, your character needs to know the feeling, too. More to the point, your readers need to know the feeling.

Today, your character has to face down what he or she fears the most. They need to know it’s coming and face it (or not) alone. It’s something that stands between them and their future, and what they do will affect everything going forward.

But the event’s not the key here. It’s the feelings and actions leading up to the event. The approach. The long walk to the boss’s office to tell him you disagree with his decision and here’s why. The plunge off the platform at the zip-line adventure place where your kids saved allowance money bought you the ticket for your birthday. The sweaty palms and self doubt as your character listen and debates whether to stand up and say her name and that she’s an alcoholic.

Time limit: 30 minutes


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