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Sunday, October 20

Sunday Writing Tip: Show What Your Characters Are Afraid Of

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Each week, I’ll offer a tip you can take and apply to your WIP to help improve it. They’ll be easy to do and shouldn’t take long, so they’ll be tips you can do without taking up your Sunday. Though I do reserve the right to offer a good tip now and then that will take longer—but only because it would apply to the entire manuscript.

This week, think about what scares your characters, and where they worry in your scenes, and make sure readers can see that, too.


Fear is a great motivator, and often our characters are acting out of fear, or because they worry about terrible consequences.

It’s also a useful way to show the stakes in a scene, as characters typically worry about the things they might lose. And when characters worry, so do readers.

For more on adding fear (and this stakes and even tension) in your novel, try these articles:

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