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Create Your Own Phobias: Tripoerdogaphobia
Phobias are wonderful things to afflict your characters with. A phobia makes them seem more human. If it is an unusual phobia, it can really set them apart from the other characters. Depending on what phobia you choose to bless, or curse, you character with, he can end up in all kinds of strange and amusing situations because of it.
Every phobia has its starting point. I donít believe that anyone is born with a phobia. There has to be something that happens to cause it to develop. I donít exactly have what I would call a phobia, but I do have a fear. Is my fear unreasonable or without cause?
Before I got my elliptical machine, I would run my dog, Precious, almost every day. Precious is older and has a touch of arthritis, so she didnít always want to run for as long as I did. When she let me know that she was done running, I would always take her leash off. She would then walk back in the yard and lie down while I finished my run.
One day last July, Precious did something different. She didnít go lie down after I took her leash off. She decided that she was going to still run with me. I was alright with this. Any way I could get her to exercise was good. At least that is what I thought. I took off running pretty fast with her running along beside me, but then she turned right in front of me. That was not good.
There was no way I could come to a stop quickly enough to keep from running into her. My knees slammed into her side and she yelped. I went flying through the air, and I think I did that much pretty gracefully. Unfortunately my landing was not so graceful. The ballet I took as a young girl did not do me any good then. Maybe I should have trained to become a trapeze artist. That might have done some good. Anyway, I literally kissed the pavement when I landed. I broke my fall with my right arm, and then immediately rolled onto my back. And I prayed no one was looking out the window of my house. Turns out, no one was.
My arm didnít really hurt that bad right after the fall, but later I found that even though it was not broken, it still wouldnít work very well for me. I couldnít even lift the coffee pot with it. Eight months later, it is a lot better but still recovering.
Why did I tell you all of that? Iím afraid to run if there is any dog around that is not leashed. I donít want to fall again. There is no name for such a phobia, so my husband suggested one. He suggested I call it tripoerdogaphobia.
Do I still run? Yes, I do. I love to run. I just donít like falling very well. Is there anyone who does?
Is there something your character is afraid of? Maybe your character has a deep-rooted fear, but it isnít exactly what would be classified as a phobia. He may dread this thing or activity, but it doesnít make him feel nauseous or breathless. He does not sweat excessively or lose the ability to speak clearly. He does not become angry, lose control, or have a panic attack. But it clearly is something he is afraid of doing. Maybe this would be called a borderline phobia? Hmm. I guess that would make me a borderline tripoerdogaphobiac.
The thing that gives your character this fear doesnít have to be something that would be traumatic to everyone else. It just has to cause fear in your character. It has to disrupt his normal routine enough that he doesnít want it to happen again.
There is a name for just about every phobia out there. I just happened to pick one there wasnít a name for. If you want to give your character a phobia there isnít already a name for, donít let that stop you.
The word phobia is Greek, so any words you attach to it should be Greek. I obviously didnít do that. My husband doesnít know Greek, and he came up with the name just for the fun of it. It is a name that anyone can understand without having to grab a dictionary.
Whatever fear you decide that your character needs to be afflicted with, have fun creating a name for it if one doesnít already exist.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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