OKAY MY DUDES I NEED SOME HELP! man idk why i wrote that in all caps...don't ask.


oKAY, my dudes sorry for interrupting exercising those wonderful fingers of your from running those required miles but I am grateful you decided to stop and help my unfortunate soul out!

So basically I have begun planning for a new novel I have and I was getting to know my characters a bit better but I hit a stump! Character A (no, I have not named her yet sighs…) is very scared of having her world thrown up in the air and butchered into pieces till she can’t recognize it. She needs the familiarity of her life or she will break down entirely due to the stability of her life is the one thing she feels as if she can rely on. Thus (hehe), I came to the conclusion she is scared of change and unfamiliarity.

BUT (sighs yep there always have to be a but right…) the thing with fear you have you are not afraid of the actual fear itself, you are afraid of the repercussion of it. You are not afraid of dark rooms; you are afraid of what is in the dark and the uncertainty in it. You are not afraid of heights; you are afraid of falling and getting hurt due to it. You are not afraid to try again; you are afraid of failing once more on the same thing.

These fears usually are triggered by something that has happened, not always but most of the times some sort of trauma. Ranging from being trapped in a dark room by your parents your entire childhood to just being accidentally trapped in a toilet cubical and some dipshit accidentally turning the lights out.

My issue is I know what her fear is, change and unfamiliarity, but I do not why she is afraid of the fear and what caused the fear. I know it sounds utterly stupid but I just thought maybe one of you’s could help me out if you got this far down to my rant.

Yeah, anyone?Please! :pensive::sleepy:

Oh, and feel free to add your troubles in initial character development and building I would be more than willing to help and I am sure other people would be too! :blush:


Well, this is familiar grounds. I’ll go grab my laptop brb

(I’ll answer in the evening when I get enough time on my laptop to compose a proper reply.)


Maybe when she was little, something big happened that sent her entire world upside down. She was too young to really process it but old enough for it to stick with her, leading to her fear.


Okay so maybe she grew up with no stability in her life or experienced a lot of negative/traumatic changes when she was too young to be able to properly understand them or control what was going on

(for example moving houses a lot, dealing with divorced parents, people repeatedly leaving her/dying)

These would have been things out of her control/understanding and caused her to fear substantial changes in her life due to them reminding her of how hopeless being in an unfamiliar environment made her feel.

Her fear of change would then be inspired by a need of control/clarity surrounding situations originating from an unstable/unpredictable/uncontrollable childhood

(Idk I hope this helps - theyre just my thoughts)


I agree about the instability or trauma thing.

I would also guess that if they have controlling parents/guardian, they would have trouble with needing control of some thing. (I know all about that.)

Sometimes it manifests itself in eating disorders or being manipulative and controlling as well. Or, needing the familiarity and knowing things are going their way. That they have something to hold on to and make their own.


You really don’t need a Tragic BackstoryTM?
I mean, I’m afraid of the future because I’m a perfectionist and like to be in control of things, and I cannot predict what is going to happen if I make big changes in my life. Maybe ‘afraid/fear’ is a big word here, but it definitely stresses me out. And I don’t think I have some Big Childhood Trauma that caused this ‘fear’. It’s just who I am as a person.
Make sure you’re not trying to over-explain your character and their personality. It’s enough for your reader to know that your character likes to be in control of the situation and think rationally ahead, and she doesn’t like the changes that happen in the story because she can’t plan them or predict their consequences. You don’t have to explain why she likes being in control.


Oh, my God, same. Like trying to find a job is scary as well as wanting to move out but not wanting to move out.


Hi, again. :slight_smile: SORRY THIS IS CRAZY LONG. I TRIED TO CUT IT.
Here’s just my experience with something similar. I hope it may help you figure this out.
TL;DR: my fears are rooted in pain, loss of control, fear of betrayal, loneliness, insecurity.
I know what you’re talking about when you speaking about having the world fractured into tiny, unrecognizable pieces. For me, that was never a fear - it wasn’t even a phenomenon I could start to comprehend in my head - it was a result of a lot of fear and pain.

For me, fear of the future is a feeling based in no control over the (fast) passing of time, knowing adulthood reaches for me long before I’m ready. The fear of not managing what I need to do when I’m getting a job and everything that comes with taking care of myself. Things are tied to other issues I’ve always had, like underweight, bad at making friends, insecurity. The fear of being locked in a way of life I do not enjoy. On another side, I have a fear of loneliness, or rather, I currently have loneliness. But also the fear that I’ll wander this world all alone and every new year is a year closer to the day I do not have my family anymore. My family is the ones closest to me because I do not have a lot of friends. Then I’ll be all alone to fend for myself – something I see as myself standing in a black void with no friends that will check in on me. I could just self-destruct or starve to death or something and no one would know. In a sense, I’m erased, nonconsequential. I’ve feared several of these things since I was little, and the earliest reasons I don’t recall if there ever was some.

I remember sitting in the hall the first day of school in 2003, hearing the headmistress telling us all that we’d be going here for 10 years and we’d take an exam the last year. One of my clearest thoughts were, 10 years - that’s an incredibly long time, that’s longer than I’ve been alive. - I never saw myself going to school for more years that I’d been alive, and I never saw myself taking a vocal exam. Vocal because I was shy and I’ve been shy all my life. It returned with a few years intervals - 4th grade, 7th grade, 8-10th grade - and while it came and went, I’d done one thing to keep myself sane: I never let myself think further than 10th grade until I had to. I never knew what I wanted to become and I didn’t set myself a goal because that fear never made me see myself actually doing those things. My goal was to pass 10th grade, then I’d deal with the rest. I put all my energy into it and it left me irritated and behind.

Another fear I have is fear of betrayal, which also acts on loneliness because it makes it hard to let people in and to trust. This one I actually know some incidents for.
First, my twin sister and her friend used to go searching for my diary when I was little and read it out loud and laugh about it. Invalidating my feelings and making them laughingstock, which made me start hiding them away. Second, from experience knowing that my twin sister will pick the side of the oppressor rather than me (even in something so simple that she would laugh at me with someone who bullied me in 2nd grade for wearing light-pink Snoopy eye shadow to school. Even when I was a teen and make-up was so normalized, people had to push it on me to get me to use it because I feared people would make a negative comment about it. This went to clothes as well and that I never really made a statement because I was afraid someone would come and invalidate what I wanted.) I figured I needed to stand up for myself. Alone. And that I couldn’t trust even my closest, my twin sister, to do so. Third, I lost my best friend for reasons I still don’t know today. She just didn’t want to be with me anymore and started hanging out with the popular kids. It still hurts and makes me wonder what I did wrong - was I wrong with my shyness, did I look wrong, was it that I never cared about what was popular so I never changed for the approval? etc. Four, the basic rule in our family was always “it’s going to be fine, just do it” which pretty much it: “suck it up. your uneasy feelings aren’t important.” The thing that needed to be done was always more important than I. After a while, you just push it down and make “it’s going to be fine” a mantra. This one also developed when my twin sister clearly shouted and cried her uneasiness out in anger while I have to suck it up, be the eldest sister, and keep quiet because I’m not loud. I can’t even shout loud. My voice doesn’t carry over distance. So I couldn’t respond in the same manner, so I sealed them in and told myself I’d needed to try to calm her sorrows so things could be fine again. I wasn’t that important. I people pleased to keep a sense of friendship. Five, my parents being a bit controlling when it came to my online life, and getting the precautions for it when I was “caught”. The problem here was mostly that everyone in my class did the same without problems. I was always the one lagging behind, which made you an uninteresting, mediocre person to be around. Six, my dad looking over my essays always saying “you can’t deliver this one, it’s bad” when I’d spent hours working on it and thought I’d do well - which I did as well because I always delivered the same version and got a good grade. But what it left me with was that my dad wasn’t a reliable source and that he always came with negative responses = cannot be trusted. Also, he was very opinionated and always insisted that what he means is the right thing, even when you disagree. so when I trusted him on what he said, it often turned out to be wrong. and having a shy person like me, who do not like surprises in fragile situations, walk into something I’d been insisted was one thing but turned out to be another, that was never fine.

So now you can try and draw a red line that will show that all of these are intertwined and that they bounce on another and develop into other variations of themselves over time. While some events may have placed a doubt or fear in my head, everyday events and certainties keep them alive. It doesn’t need to be grand events. The only grand that it needs to be is the mark it leaves on you.


Hahaha thank you for the effort bro! I know I might sound a bit drowsy and not mean what I say but honestly thank you for the effort you are putting into this! :smile: :blush:


Yeah…That was my idea but then again not everything is a fear due Traumatic Event™️.

I just felt it was necessary for to have a reason for it due to the level of fear she has for the instability in her life above average. It’s not who she is as person but in some sense is a part of who she is; as she is not completely modeled over this one fear, she’s not the fear personified or anything.


OMG THAT’S SO SMART! Wow I really like the idea of her continuously moving around…I feel that would also mean she might find it difficult to connect to people as she has a fear that she would have to leave them behind.

#effects her romantic relationships as well

It’s a subtle thing but effects kids a lot! Damn thanks so much! That really helped! :smile:


True as well (Man i can relate as well, haha…) controlling parents do lead to something of the sort sometimes. I guess mine manifested into the complete opposite and rather tethering to “familarity and security” I am plain right out reckless. Maybe it’s because I feel as I need to catch up on my life…

Okay enough about me but I guess if I do something of the sort I will have to talk to people who can relate to my character and work from there because I don’t wanna make assumptions, you know? :blush:

Thank you so much for this input! I appreciate it more than words can say and has me really thinking deeply about my characters! :thinking:


Haha oh I mentioned this before lol!

Yeah I know she doesn’t need a Tragic Backstory™️ but the thing with my character I feel as if it is needed. I tried avoiding it because yeah, the whole Tragic Backstory™️ is so overused and in some sense kind of made into a cliché but for my character the more I discovered who she was the more I realized this fear of hers was an above average amount of fear. As it has stopped her from getting thing that she loved and has always been a barrier she has had but never acknowledged.

Oh and another thing no, she is not the fear personified! Like her whole character does not circle around this one “fear” (eww god kids stop doing this!) but it’s a part of who she is…Idk how to explain it but yeah I hope you got where I was coming from?.. :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:


Hahaha! Omg and then later on you look back at your decision and go “god dammit if I did that…”

Or is that just me… :sweat:

Being a perfectionist hurts honestly…


Hahahaha don’t worry I write a lot as well if you haven’t guessed as well…

But damn I never thought of it in that way honestly. I am the oldest child in my family and I can relate to a lot of the things that you went through and honestly I don’t know what to say to comfort you. Nobody want pity and assurance is just a bunch of meaningless words strung together in hopes of uplifting someones mood so all I am going to say is I relate. I really do.

Meanwhile I don’t have a twin my siblings are all significantly younger than me as the second child in my family is 8 years younger (Ik there are bigger age gaps but still bigger than average I got to say). From 3 to 6 I can heavily relate and that could work in my favor.

I can already get an idea for my character now, you have opened a door I thought I would never open but now everything makes more sense honestly! I know that sounded cringey and very cliche but I can’t seem to phrase in any other way! Her dad definitely is on the controlling and “opinionated” side while she tends to be the quiet oldest sibling. Ugh I can feel the ideas sprouting like a fountain in my head!

And before I forget dAMn GUrl

This need to be a god damn quote! Like copyright, trademark it! :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:


oh okay wow thank you, honestly I’m just glad I could help!!

but yeah having her move around as a kid is fairly believable/simple and you’re right I think it would effect her relationships and everything (probably causes some attachment issues too due to her not wanting to lose people that are familiar to her)


No problem :slight_smile:


Mmmm an example unstable life is that feeling of living on the edge. The thought of being on the verge of either homelessness or no income and the consequences of that.

Things like parents being irresponsible with money and getting themselves into stupid amounts of debt is one thing. You get to just barely touch rock bottom while being pretty helpless at the same time.

Another would be the chaos from a family that has been split multiple times. Step siblings that become ex-step siblings and those other that you never see because the the parents never get along.

Realizing the lack of everything from love to discipline when comparing to the life of a stable friend can make this a lot more visible too as it would’ve shown her that her life wasn’t normal.


as someone experienced with this fear it can come about because the character has experienced many radical changes possibly during their early life or recently and the only way to deal with those changes is to cling to the familiar


It definitely manifests itself both ways. There’s the responsible one, the recluse, and the scapegoats.

Glad I could help!