Hidden Phobia

            Everyone is afraid of something, right? It might be a fear of heights so crippling that you cannot climb even the first step of a ladder. Perhaps whenever you see a dog you cower. Maybe it’s a nighttime terror that stalks you in your dreams.

            How many people know of your phobia? If not many, then you’ve done a great job keeping it hidden. But what if you’re suddenly in a situation with others and whatever your terror is, suddenly is in your face? What do you do or say?

            Your task is to write a story in which your character has a phobia that he’s kept hidden for years. None of his friends from high school know, nor does anyone from work. Something happens that causes him to either have to overcome that phobia or confess its existence.

            Setting the scene will be critical. Stay away from backstory that reveals the cause for the phobia. Instead let it slowly come forward through dialogue and narrative. Readers will want to see your character squirm as he weighs his options.

            Build tension through the use of heightened senses. Allow us to see what he sees, feel what he feels, smell what he smells and so on.

Have fun with this one.

Terrifying Experience

Imagine a time when you were so frightened that your heart pounded and you trembled in fear. Sweat beaded your brow and poured down your face. Tears filled your eyes. You tried to cry out, but no sound emerged.

What happened as time passed? Did your fear intensify or did it slowly ease? What helped you recover? Did you employ a calming strategy or did someone come to your aid?

Your character might also experience a terrifying event. When you tell the story, remember to use clues to make the scene tension-filled. Your readers want to feel the fear, to walk with your character throughout the entire process, from beginning to end.

Your task is to write the story. Begin with an everyday scene. Your character is going through life as usual when something happens that is so frightening, so terrifying that her fight or flight mechanism is triggered. She can flee, but she cannot shed her hear until readers have traveled in her shoes.

Have fun with this one.

 

Remembering the First Day

Do you recall your first day of school? Were you nervous? Excited? A little of both? What did you think would happen? What were our worst fears?

Apply this to your first day at a new job. Try to remember how you felt as the day approached. What preparations did you make? Did you go through your wardrobe looking for the right outfit? Did you fill your backpack with pens, pencils, notebooks and a new calendar? What software did you put on your laptop?

When the day arrived and you entered the office, what happened? Were you greeted by your coworkers? Did the boss walk you around and introduce you? Who  explained the job duties?

Your task is to write a scene in which your character begins something new. It could be work or school, but she must exhibit a range of emotions as the day nears. One way to show this is through dialogue. Have her explain to a friend what she’s thinking about. Maybe the friend is in her class or works for the same company. Make it fun and interesting so that your readers will want to be engaged.

Have fun with this one.