I am a fearful creature. It comes from living a life stuck in fight or flight mode. Well here lately, due to a wonderful writing coach (Hi Debbie!) I have been taking a closer look at my fears. She asked me “will this actually kill you? If not then you should be willing to try it. ” She has gently encouraged me to see what is not helpful, and then release it.
Phobias are knee jerk reactions. Primal, dark things that eat at us. And rarely things that we can easily face. I myself have two phobias. Claustrophobia and Acrophobia. The Claustrophobia I know can kill me, I have been in the position where I was sure it would. I often try to challenge my fear of heights. Do I have other fears? Well sure, but phobias are so much bigger than just a fear. We all have little fears. Anxiety is often manifestated in little fears. And well fear is the hearts response to certain events. Does that mean that we should hide? No! Facing the fears is part of how we grow.
So in that thought, designing a great character involves knowing more than just their motivations. You also have to know the why of them. What are they afraid of? What do they love, and why do they love it? And if you are looking for insight into your own character, ask yourself the same questions. Learning more about the why helps us to understand all of it.