1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Being afraid of a bunny.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Link the Writer, Jan 2, 2011.

    I thought of giving one of my characters (Oscar, let's call him) a fear that wasn't dogs, clowns, spiders, snakes or something like that. A fear so outlandish that when he reveals it to his girlfriend, she literally takes a step back in shock.

    Bunnies.

    While I have a somewhat decent explanation of how he got a fear of bunnies (he watched an R-rated movie about an axe killer in a bunny suit (that was made of actual bunny skin. The character was a sicko) when he (Oscar) was 9 thanks to a terrible babysitter.)

    But here's the thing, how would I show he's afraid of bunnies? What about bunnies would make them terrifying?

    Is this a good phobia for him to have or should I have him fear something else?
     
  2. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Leporiphobia sounds cool. Rabbit feet charms, rabbit fur lining a boot, what about synthetic rabbit fur?
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see anything wrong with using this as a phobia. You can pick any characteristic(s) of a bunny that you want - it doesn't have to be anything that makes sense as an object of fear to anyone else because his phobia is inherently irrational. Any feature of a rabbit could become exaggerated and warped in his mind to an object of terror.
     
  4. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    As my fiancee and I actually have a pet rabbit it is a bit odd for me to attempt to find something frightening about them. That said, they have long, sharp teeth that are stained from eating greens, claws that will be sharp even if you keep them trimmed, and their eyes tend to be a bit bulgy. They also eat their own feces--they have two types, one of which is soft and full of nutrients their bodies do not absorb the first time through--so I suppose that could be a bit off-putting.

    When it comes to showing his fear of rabbits, you could manifest it in all sorts of scenarios. Rabbits of various breeds live in the wild all over most temperate countries, so you could simply have one scurry past him in the woods or in a yard. Alternately it could be images and representations of rabbits such as fur, feet, or pictures of them on shirts or posters.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is afraid of bunnies. She even sings about it in the musical episode. ("... They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what's with all the carrots!? ...")

    That's not to say that this won't work in your story, but I thought you should know that there's a well-known use of the same thing.

    ChickenFreak
     
  6. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    I've heard about people who were deathly afraid of peaches. If a peach can be scary to someone, so can a bunny. I don't think there has to be anything particularly scary about something for it to become a phobia--it's called an "irrational fear" for a reason.

    And if Oscar saw a movie about a serial killer in a bunny suit, that makes a case for a phobia right there--if I'd been exposed to that when I was nine, I might be afraid of them too. I know my grandmother developed a bit of a phobia of birds after watching The Birds, and that was as an adult--as a kid it could be scarring.

    You should look it up; i'm sure there are documented cases of a phobia of bunnies. There's a technical term for a phobia characterized by a fear that a duck is always watching you. If they can give that a name, they can give fear of bunnies a name. It's out there somewhere.

    Just be careful about how you portray this fear. If you're going for comedy, or even comic relief, you could make this downright hilarious. But it could also be genuinely creepy, maybe even make the readers fear a little of his fear. Make sure that the way you portray this fear is the way you want it viewed by readers.
     
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  7. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    I say, why not. Like the others, it's not the bunny per se but the experience the person had regarding them.

    I currently have a cat names Florence. Sweetest cat but she is the namesake of someone who was very afraid of cats (...yes, I do have a twisted sense of humor...). The 'original' Florence found cats distance and creepy. I don't see it in any cat I've ever had or been around but many people don't like cats. I think the original Florence came from a city neighborhood where cats ran amuck as feral/tomcats. I that can seem pretty creepy when you're a kid.

    So, why not?
     
  8. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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  9. solosilver
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    solosilver New Member

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  10. ellebell16
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    ellebell16 Member

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    I knew a kid once who had a phobia of bananas. I'm not kidding. My teacher brought in a banana and put it on the kids desk and he jumped a mile in the air and ran out of the classroom. We're talking about a tall, high school basket ball player. So I don't think any phobia is unreasonable now.

    Just have bunnies in the background somewhere. Like maybe they pass a bunny on the road and he stiffens and quickens his pace?
     
  11. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    But here's the thing, how would I show he's afraid of bunnies? What about bunnies would make them terrifying?

    Have you not seen Monty Python's Man-Eating Bunny? :) I kid, of course.

    As an actual answer, have your character notice a bunny and let his imagination run wild. For instance, have him see a bunny munching on lettuce. He breaks out in a cold sweat as he pictures it gnawing on flesh or bones. He sees the bunny's red eyes staring at him, watching his every move. He sees it wiggle its nose and bare its teeth at him. Things like that. :)
     
  12. Pook
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    Pook Member

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    There unpredictability and jerky mannerisms, the way they look at people with suspicion and are ever-ready to run at a pace that is both impressive and baffling.

    :eek:
     
  13. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Watership Down--those were some baaad rabbits. Though when I saw the post title, I immediately thought of Anya from Buffy, then Monty Python, then thought, who cares, make it your own.
     
  14. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Hahah! Monty Python's man-eating rabbit. "Run away!"
    I've had a few pet rabbits over the years and they can be just a vicious as they are cute and fluffy. My pet rabbit, Barney, is a dwarf lop and used to be a show bunny, aka he's a pretty boy, lol. But there is nothing creepier then when he sits perfectly still and stares at you, it is really quite disturbing because you have no idea what's going through his little brain. That said they can also be quite cunning so maybe your character is suspicious of them, wary about what they're 'planning'. Bunny invasion!!
     

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