Fear is a common thread in horror novels. But what about romance or regular dramas? I believe there is more fear in those works than anything a horror novel can come up with. It is a different type of fear. In a horror novel, you understand that the scary thing (monster - human or not) is what you have to be afraid of.
In a romance novel, it may be something far more sinister. Marriage to someone you do not love. A relative withholding true love from you. Financial or other reasons.
This type of fear can actually play into our psyche a lot worse than any horror monster. Why? Because it enables people to understand what the character is going through. A lot of people don't fear monsters. I don't fear a monster. I am a grown up.
But I do fear a financial advisor who takes all of your money. Imagine coming home to find that your entire life is liquidated by a person who you have a phone relationship with.
What about coming through the door to find that your spouse has left, taken the kids, and has a vicious lawyer waiting (smoking a cigarette which brings down the home value) and tells you that he is going to destroy you permanently. This type of fear is something that I can understand.
You don't have to even go through it to understand that it is relatable. Why? Because you have heard of it happening. You can see someone being capable of performing those types of things.
Much like if you walked into work and were laid off without warning.
I was joking with a fellow co-worker because half of the staff was asked to come in forty-five minutes later than the top brass. I said, "well, they could always tell us it was a good run, that this is it."
He brushed it off.
Then I looked inside and saw the brass wasn't ready for us to enter, but he didn't. I said to the co-worker: "Wow, it even looks like the executive board is in there too." (which they weren't).
You should have seen the look on my co-workers face. It dropped, he was shaking his head. In that instant, he was considering all of his options. I told him I was joking and he said, "Listen, I got a family, don't do that."
It made me think of how different fear can be for certain people. Because you can see businesses doing that. Telling people at the last minute that their lifestyles have been changed, that they may not be in the same position or work in the same area. That how others perceive them as a result of their unemployment or change of employment alters their friendship, their value.
To me, that is a separate but interesting fear to consider.