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Monday, August 6, 2012

Fear and emotion

In a thriller, or even in a romantic suspense, fear is an essential emotion. The protagonists are exposed to unusual scary situations. As a result, they are thrown out of their comfort zone into traumatic experiences. We can’t expect them to act naturally. Fear is one of the important emotions they feel, either because they are facing an enemy determined to attack them or because the enemy wants to hurt someone dear to them. Even the macho hero is exposed to fear as he tries to protect his beloved heroine, a child, or a defenseless person threatened by evil.

I’m often thrown out by characters so tough they can fly through horrible situations without blinking an eye.
In my new book, NEIGHBORS AND MORE..., a romantic suspense, soon to be available on Amazon, the heroine Alexa is trying hard to be strong in the face of adversity, crime, and a baffling situation that gets more complicated by the hour. Every time she copes with a problem, she deals with her emotions and promises herself she won’t let anything affects from now on, until a new crisis challenges her, until she’s pushed to the limit of endurance.
Of course, Dante is at her side, playing his hero part.

As writers, we strive to convey those feelings of suspense, fear, and expectation to the reader.  
As readers, we love to bite our nails, feel our pulses racing as we study the scene of the crime, analyze the details, and try to guess who’s done it.

Have you ever been exposed to fear? Real fear?
I did, when an intruder entered my house years ago, stole the stereo, my children’s piggybank, and my gold bracelets. When I heard from my then three-year old daughter that she saw a nice man with a big heavy suitcase in our fenced backyard and he patted her on the head, I almost collapsed. But this story is for another time.

10 comments:

  1. Mona, how frightening. We had a similar experience with a prowler at Christmas time. Neighbors had alerted us there was a peeping Tom in the neighborhood. One day my then 3-yr-old daughter ran in to tell me she'd seen one of Santa's elves peeping in her bedroom. I alerted one of the men who was home that day and he and another man caught the guy. They said he "fell" several times and banged himself up pretty well before the police arrived.

    Great post.

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  2. Hurry up and get that book out there! Readers are waiting. *g*

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  3. Caroline, it's horribly frightening when kids are home during a break-in. We had two others, one in our first apartment, very scary. And one in a new house we just bought, where teenagers, probably, entered before we moved in, drank and cooked eggs. They left so much trash. There was nothing to take from the empty house!

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  4. Hi Joan. You're right. I should hurry. I was supposed to upload it today, but I'm still biting my nails, and reading one last time.

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  5. Mona, you really know how to make folks worry about your characters! Now I know why. I have never had an intruder or mugger, that God!

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  6. Yikes, Mona, that had to be one scary experience! We had someone hiding on our patio once and the cops came and got him before we knew he was there, thank God.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  7. I've never known any real fear, the kind where you think you might die of fright. But when we first moved into this house, Jim was pulling grassburs from the yard. He stacked those on the sidewale between the house garage and the shop. We left everything open and went to town. When we got back, all the piles of weeds were pushed off the sidewalk, and inside the shop, the new hand push mower and the new small weedeater were gone. We had a new BIG weedeater they didn't take, we had a big riding mower they didn't take, and we had a bigger hand mower they didn't take. There was also a stereo system set up out there--Jim like music while he putters--and there was a small Sony Tv...they didn't take. Just the two smaller cheaper mower and weedeater.
    Very weird, but it was fourth of July and we had left to go to the golf course for a couples tournament and lunch afterward.
    Someone knew we had left the house. We had the sheriff question everyone around us--nothing. It still bother me to this day. We never knew who took those simple things and left the bigger more expensive things.
    Good job on your story...I'll FB and Twitter.

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  8. Hi Mary, I try to be in my characters' head from the moment I start the story to the moment it's published. And then I do a big effort to forget them, and get acquainted with new ones.

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  9. Morgan, you're lucky the cops got to your intruder before you even knew.

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  10. Celia, it's strange that they left the TV and stereo. Maybe they were kids who wanted the hand push mower and the new small weedeater to take care of people's yard and make money.

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