This week: Out of your safety zoneEdited by: Arakun the Twisted Raccoon
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Quote for the week: "The safety of the people shall be the highest law."
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Where do you go to feel safe? For many of us, our homes are our safe place, while for others it might be work, school, or some place we spend our leisure time. Different people may see different places as safe. Some people may feel safest in a crowd, while others only feel safe alone or surrounded by a few close friends. Some places, such as police stations or hospitals, are generally seen as safer than others just because of their purpose. But what if no place was safe?
Sometimes you can create horror just by moving your characters as far out of their safety zones as they can get. Here are some examples:
A wealthy, privileged person suddenly becomes poor and homeless.
Someone who is afraid of heights must cross a flimsy bridge over a canyon.
A person from a friendly small town is thrust into a large, unfamiliar city.
A soldier is captured by the enemy.
An innocent person is sent to prison.
A child is separated from his or her family.
A person who fears snakes and spiders must enter an area that is filled with them.
A shy person cannot escape a crowd.
In other cases, the safe place itself may no longer be safe. For example:
The character's home is destroyed by a fire, flood, or tornado.
Monsters or killers have broken in to the home.
Police, clergy, teachers or other trusted individuals may actually be evil.
Someone with a contagious, deadly disease enters your town or your home.
Monsters can travel through walls, teleport, or find their way past magical protections.
Characters will react to being out of their safety zones in different ways, depending on their personalities. Some may cower in fear, go insane, commit suicide, or turn on each other. Others will find ways to adapt, develop new skills, and find strength they didn't know they had.
Something to try: Write a horror story in which a character is forced to leave his or her safety zone.
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