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Exercise Wednesday: Phobias

July 9, 2014

Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?

I hate snakes.

It’s not a “gee I’d rather not be around a snake because they’re…you know, snakes.” No, it’s a revulsion that includes physical effort to not flee when there’s a snake around. It’s an Indiana Jones-like fear. In fact, if I were Indy, I’d have jumped from the plane at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark and taken my chances with the Hovitos.

If you stuck a snake in my face and put your sweet grandma in the doorway of the only exit from the room, sweet grandma’s a doormat. It’s not something I’d think about. I wouldn’t even be aware of Grandma until after I ran over her and removed myself from the snake.

Snakes are relentless. You can’t stop them no matter what you do. The can go over and around anything. Hell, they can even fly, the bastards.

Today’s prompt is about phobias.

It’s not about the question what do you fear?. That’s small potatoes. I fear abandonment and having no one who loves me, but I’m not going to run over your grandmother about it.

Today your protagonist is presented with his or her phobia. For me, it’s snakes. For someone else it might be frogs, wasps, heights, or enclosed places. Whatever it is, it’s not really something they can man up and overcome. It’s truly an irrational phobia.

As you write, make the reader understand what your character feels during the encounter and what they feel immediately after. Make me feel their irrational fear as much as possible.

Time limit: 30 minutes


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