All humans have felt it at one time or another. Fear.
I'll freely admit that I'm terrified of most dogs, even little tiny ones. They have sharp teeth too, you know.
So in accordance with our discussion on Margaret Haddix's AMONG THE HIDDEN, I'm going to talk a little bit about how she used fear in the novel.
Poor Luke is struck with it all the time. He loses his freedom to go outside for fear that someone will see him. He can't sit at the kitchen table for fear that someone will hear him. And Luke isn't the only one living in fear. His parents--though it might be hard to see sometimes--live in constant fear that their third child will be found.
I think Haddix does an amazing job of infiltrating the plot with fear, which then captures readers. Parents can imagine what it would be like to protect Luke from getting caught. Teens and kids can put themselves in Luke's position, constantly living behind closed shutters and silence. The use of fear appeals to wide audience.
So then Luke conquers one of his fears when he sneaks out to meet Jen. My heart was pounding during that scene, because let's face it, haven't we all snuck out at some point in our lives? The fear of getting caught doing something we're not supposed to be doing is almost inbred in us.
Fear is what endears the reader to the plot, because it is a human emotion that we all understand.
Think of the dystopian novels you've read recently. Were they filled with fear? I bet they were. What about other types of novels? Is fear driving them too? What makes someone, like Luke, take a risk, leave the house and scamper out into the open to see if another Third is living next door? What makes YOU take that risk -- look fear in the face?