Technically, in the rules, I think I’m supposed to start over because I didn’t make 100 words yesterday, but 35 days is as long as I’ve ever done on this challenge – so I’m not starting over.
On the subject of stopping spam in WordPress comments, Google suggests going to the WordPress Codex, which is a useful tool that has everything one could possibly want to know about WordPress. It also suggested this person’s blog
stevengliebe.com. I haven’t read it yet, but now that it’s posted here I can come back and check it out.
Fear is a great motivator for some and a deterrent for others. For me, at least this morning, it is a deterrent. For a character, in moments of high danger, the standard reaction is fight, flight, or freeze. I’m of the freeze variety I think, but my characters could be of any. This is for moments of high danger; for example, Sarah opens the door without checking the peep hole, and finds a masked figure pointing a gun at her. Does she freeze? Run? Fight? If your character is Sarah Walker from Chuck, she’s a fighter. But she’d also never answer the door without checking the peep hole first.
Fear as a motivator/deterrent is more for the everyday types of fear. Sarah, the one who opens the door without checking to see who it is, is late for work. So she breaks the speed limit and runs a light. That’s fear as a motivator. She’s afraid of the consequences of being late. Or Sarah is afraid to check her email because she knows that over-due notice is going to be there. She has already seen it, she just hasn’t opened it yet to find out the bad news. And she assumes there’s bad news. Even if there is bad news, she assumes the worst. So she avoids it. She rebels. She kicks her feet and throws a tantrum like a four-year old child. “I don’t wanna.” That’s fear as a deterrent to living/progress/change. Characters are supposed to change over the course of the story. Having a character start to worry about one thing, something small, and then having them no longer worry about that small thing because you’ve thrown something much more important at them (more than being late to work or an over-due notice) to worry about can illustrate change.
So, Sarah has an over-due notice in her email. She avoids it, reading all of her innocuous email first. Then she reads it because she’s not a total coward. And it’s bad, but she rationalizes that she can deal with it later – for now she’s late to work. (other things happen)
The next day, the notice is still sitting in her email box, and she blows it off. Instead of dealing with it, she answers the door (without checking). A masked gunmen (gun-person?) rushes in, pointing a large gun in her face and demanding payment.
Fear shoots through her. Sarah tries to run, because that is an automatic reaction that doesn’t allow for thought. She is no longer concerned with her over-due notice, or her speeding ticket, or worried about getting to work on time.
According to Dwight Swain, the reaction part of the motivation and reaction unit starts with stimulus (a stranger with a gun), then feeling (fear), then action (run), then thought (OMG!), then speech (“what do you want? who are you?”).
When the reactions are out of order, then reader automatically knows something is off. This can be purposeful on the part of the author, or sloppy writing.
If Sarah answers the door and sees the gunman and says “What do you want? Who are you?” and then runs, and then feels fear; Sarah might have some brain damage, or the over-due notice was actually a brain eating computer-to-human virus (ala Fringe) and now her thinking is messed up.
And now I have to go to work… no speeding tickets please.