I relate to that on a gut level. Fear causes us not to think clearly and to either be immobilized or react in ways that may fix a short-term problem but cause longer-term ones.It certainly is a good tool to use for characters. And, yes, I have had characters overcome it and get stronger.
I say to my kiddos all the time, "Fear and faith can not exist in the heart at the same time". I don't know if they get it...but hope they will someday.And, I hope my characters overcome fear and challenges. That's what makes the reading fun!
My characters always have fear, myself included when the story is about me. It's just a part of life, and how we deal with it can be interesting. But I never use fear to create one of those fight or flight situations. Rather I write it in as an extension of doubt, you know, in a slightly more pressing sense.
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