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June 2, 2011
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Character Creation – Dreams and Fears
Absolutely everybody has their dreams for the future and there isn't anybody alive who isn't afraid of something. Giving your character both dreams and fears will help to flesh out your character a little bit.

Dreams
You probably have dreams for your future, so why shouldn't your character? They don't have to be huge, but it has to be possible to work towards them. Their dream could be to get the job they've always wanted. It could be to recover from an illness that they've had for a long time, or it could be as simple as to just find where they belong.

Whatever the goal is, there has to be something getting in the way. For example, my dream is to become a professional author, but I'm not comfortable showing what I've written to other people. It's the same for your character, achieving a dream shouldn't be so easy.

Of course, no one has just one goal in life, but they will always have one major one. That would be the one you would write down if you were creating a character reference sheet. There will be small goals leading up to achieving that dream.

Heroes aren't the only ones who have dreams. Villains have them too. If you are creating an evil character they will still need to have a goal that they are working towards. Sometimes it's the same basic goal as the hero's, but for a different purpose in the end. The difference in these goals will most likely define whether your character is a hero or a villain.

Example: Both Shafiq and Quintessa are after the same thing. The difference between them is that Quintessa will use it to plunge the world into darkness after making herself all powerful and eternally young and beautiful. Shafiq, on the other hand, will use it to save his family from a generational curse and then he plans to destroy it so no evil can get their hands on it.

Note: For a happy ending, the goal of the hero should be reached and the villain loses. If the villain wins and achieves their goal, then it's a not-so-happy ending.

Fears
Fear is the ability to recognise danger and flee from it or face it. It is also known as the 'fight or flight' response, a basic instinct.

Everyone is scared of something. Most of the time there is a reason, but they could be irrational fears. Sometimes these fears will be so big that your character just freezes up or passes out.

A traumatic experience in your character's past would most likely cause them to have a fear of that particular thing. If they had an incident with fire and have burn scars to prove it, then they are likely to be afraid of fire. If they almost drowned as a child then it would be reasonable to develop a fear of water afterwards.

A phobia is a persistent fear of a situation or thing. Someone with a phobia will go to great lengths to avoid that fear which is often considered irrational. If the phobia cannot be avoided then the person will endure the situation or object with visible distress and it could interfere significantly with social or work related activities.

Encountering a phobia usually provokes an immediate anxiety response. It may take the form of a panic attack; the symptoms of a panic attack can include trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, hot and cold flushes, nausea, dizziness, sweating, light-headedness, and more. Fainting can also occur. A child will express their anxiety as crying, freezing, tantrums or clinging.

Your character is going to have fears, whether they are rational or completely irrational. They only need a few of them, and they should be used. If your character is afraid of spiders, have them scream every time they see one. Your character will probably notice whatever scares them more than someone who wasn't afraid of it.

Example: Faunus is afraid of blood, he faints when he sees large amounts of it; even small amounts make him nauseous. Shafiq is afraid of falling asleep because of the nightmares, he avoids it until he collapses and has to sleep. Flora is afraid of spiders and will scream and stomp on it until it is dead, and then she'll stomp on it some more.

Villains will have fears too; usually it is a fear of failure.

Your character doesn't need to conquer their fears. Having that fear can define them. Of course, it is possible to get over it, but getting over a fear is never easy.

Conclusion
Now your character should have their major goal and also some fears. They should be fairly fleshed out by now, but they need some friends and family. It's not possible to be completely alone in the world.
I decided to write some things about giving your character dreams and fears.

If you have some trouble with coming up with some fears for your character, there are some here: [link] It's a huge list, it won't be hard to find something.

I did have to do a bit of research, I hope it makes sense.

Shafiq, Flora, Quintessa and Faunus (c) me
:icontwicebornwolf:
TwiceBornWolf Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
This was very helpful, hence the reason I added it to my favorites a few months ago. XD;

I've always had trouble finding fears for my characters and actually making them afraid of something. But, another thing you could add in here or one of your tutorials is disorders. They can also help flesh your character out. x3
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:iconshade-arts:
Shade-Arts Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:) I'm glad it helped.

Yeah, fears are sometimes hard to figure out, but there is a list of phobias on the internet somewhere that I find useful.

And doing a tutorial on different disorders does sound like a good idea, I've got to get back into tutorial writing ^^; Thanks for the suggestion.
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:icontwicebornwolf:
TwiceBornWolf Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
No problem. We aspiring authors need to help each other out. :)

If you decide to do the disorders tutorial at some point, don't be afraid to ask me for help. X3 I know about quite a few of them. (I took Psychology mostly for help with this. XD)
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