There’s no question that I’m not alone in having to face the fear of flying. I’ve recently returned from a trip out to northern California to visit my brother and pay a brief visit to my cousin who just moved there.
I was fortunate to have an extremely smooth flight (not always my case, but that’s another story altogether) coming back to Chicago and it was during that time I began to dig deep into the final chapters of my novel. The final chapters that will rock poor Carmella to the core and force her to finally facer her life head-on and make some life-changing decisions. While pondering all this I came to a conclusion:
You have to let go of who you are in order to discover who you can become.
Not a small task…
Especially not small for Carmella, who is suddenly faced with an identity crisis. What if everything you thought you were turned out to be false Everyone who was close to you wasn’t really who you thought they were, and in the end, they emotionally deserted you, leaving you completely and utterly alone. What would you do? Carmella will discover a family secret that will change how she sees everyone in her family and most importantly, how she sees herself.
If she chooses to allow herself to change into who she wants to be, it will mean starting over with no one in her corner, and she’ll have to find the strength and the guts to forge ahead – alone. This won’t be easy for Carmella, as one of her big fears in life is loneliness and isolation.
And aren’t we all a victim of our own fears in some way? How many times do we make a decision based on fear of rejection or isolation? And what about other fears, such as flying? Do we face it and get our sorry self on that airplane? Or run away from it, denying ourselves whatever lies ahead for us on the other end of that runway? How many times does a fear of something or someone render us paralyzed?
I’m glad I faced my fear of flying and in doing so felt as vulnerable as Carmella. Facing the fear wasn’t so great, but during the quiet moments where fear bubbled beneath me, I dug deep, hoping to find some questions, some answers and some insights into ever-perplexing notion of the human condition.
Tough stuff, facing your fears. Just as tough to make your characters face them. Remember what JA Konrath said: "Stop coddling your characters. I know you love them, but you must stop protecting them. Think of the worst thing that could happen, then make that happen. Then do something even worse."
Easy to say, hard to do. Aren't you excited to get those last three chapters done? I put mine off for so long, but once I dug in, it was great. Good luck.