re: Fear, and the Meaning of Courage

Just a little thought on fear, a follow-up after talking about failing your courage check (to use D&D terms):

Courage is, in my opinion, not about the absence of fear; courage is being afraid and doing it anyway. And I know I’m not the only one who holds this opinion because I’ve heard that moral in shows and other places.


If you can accurately peg your characters’ fears, and you want your characters to face their fears and/or the villain to try to use those fears against them, it’s totally noteworthy to remember that if you also decide the hero never conquers that fear as outlined in Failing Your Fears, you can still give your characters the attribute of great courage.

I honestly find the idea that you can do scary things, even if they’re still scary, and they’re scary the entire time, and you’re afraid the entire time while doing it, to be a little more uplifting a message than the one where you can conquer the scary. This is because I also find it to often be more realistic. Sometimes conquering a fear isn’t even possible until after you completed the horrible task and were afraid the entire time until it was totally over, anyway.

So when you’re trying to write about a courageous hero, think about your definition of courage a bit, first.

About Rii the Wordsmith

An aspiring author, artist, avid consumer of storytelling medium, gamer, psychologist (insomuch as one with her bachelor's is a psychologist), wife, mother, DM, Christian, a friend to many, and, most importantly, an evil overlord.
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