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Exercise Wednesday: Your worst fear

October 29, 2014

Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when they found the well of the souls and it was full of snakes? If I were Indiana Jones, I would have said, “Their headpeace of the staff of Ra only has markings on one side. They’ll never, ever find it. Throw the sand back in place and we’ll run some tree branches back and forth across and they’ll never know we were here.”

I hate snakes so much that I would risk worldwide Nazi domination to avoid repelling down into a big room full of them.

I have this phobia. I might fear being alone or not knowing the answer, but I would feel the most physical discomfort from being trapped in a room full of snakes. If you were in the doorway, I would run you over and not even think twice about it.

With Halloween upon us, today’s exercise is to place your character face-to-face with his biggest fear, with the thing that makes her blood run cold. Put him in a room with no way out. Force her closer and closer until it’s clear she can’t avoid her destiny.

How does it feel? What is she thinking as she slowly realizes she can’t avoid it? What does he do when he knows there’s no way out? Are the hands wet? Is the mouth dry? Who put them there and why? And can they retain sanity long enough to figure out how to get out?

This isn’t something supernatural. It’s a real fear from real things and it could, at least theoretically, really happen. And that makes it scariest of all.

Time limit: 30 seconds

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One Comment
  1. October 29, 2014 8:38 am

    Great exercise, but now that the conference is over isn’t it time to change the blog name to something else. 🙂

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