1. Flipdarkfuture
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    Flipdarkfuture Member

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    Words for describing a characters reaction to pain?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Flipdarkfuture, May 19, 2012.

    What I'm looking for here is a list of words that describe a reaction to getting hit, or shot, or injured in anyway.

    I keep going back to using words like yelled, or screamed, or cried out, and sometimes going for gritted.

    See what I mean?

    I just don't know any other ways to describe a reaction to pain.

    Can you help?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Do you have any novels around in which a major character is in pain? They are your best source.

    Hint: Individual words are not the answer. Look at entire scenes.
     
  3. Bluesman
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    Bluesman Member

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    You can describe in detail what's going on, like the feeling of blood running out of the wound and the weird numb feeling of pain hidden by massive amounts of adrenalin..., instead of literally writing down what the character does (screaming, yelling etc).
     
  4. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    Cogito is correct. The scene you create will more effectively deliver the message of pain than any single word. I wrote a short story about a girl being torched. I'll give you a few lines from it. Maybe it'll help you with your own scene:

    "...lies in a daze."
    "Panicked, adrenaline takes over as she attempts to break free."
    "...sending a chill down her spine"
    "A sickly feeling comes over her..."
    "'She grew exhausted from trying to wiggle herself loose from her zip tie bindings."
    "...as aggressively as she could in an attempt to break her bondage, then she freezes."
    "...sending a surge of electrons to every nerve in her brain."
    "Every muscle in her face tightened..."
    "...her face turns solid red, she can no longer hold in her desire to scream."
    "The scream was so intense that it raddled the entire warehouse like a chaotic pinball machine relaying more than one ball"

    I can go on and on. Pull your reader into the scene and make them feel your characters pain, anger, love, passion, etc.
     
  5. Flipdarkfuture
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    Flipdarkfuture Member

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    Well I'll give a example.

    What would I say if a character runs through a doorway only to get clotheslined by someone standing around the other side of it?

    Would something like this do?

    He dashed through the open door, focusing on the hooded man at the end of the room. A arm came into his vision, and slammed into the front of his neck. He made a choking noise, and tumbled forwards into the room. As his vision wobbled and his thoughts tried to collect themselves, he heard a menacing chuckle.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not really. Your POV is inconsistent. You're in the character's head for most of it. But this sentence:
    leaps to an outside observer. You don't FEEL it happening, you're jumping top a camera view for that one sentence.

    Lock into your POV, and don't let it skip away from you.
     
  7. indy5live
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    indy5live Active Member

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    Since we have a menacing chuckle at the end. Turn it into a short scene.

    "Get back here!" He barks at the hooded man as he takes off sprinting towards him. "You will pay fo..." his sentence is interrupted by a high velocity object jamming him in the neck, sending his body slamming onto the tile floor. All the air has escaped his lungs. Grasping for air, he tries to focus his vision and gather his thoughts, but a menacing laugh coming from behind the doorway only adds to his confusion.

    "Pay for what?" hisses the hidden assailant.
     
  8. Flipdarkfuture
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    Flipdarkfuture Member

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    Yes! That will do! Thanks man!
     
  9. BonanzaGirl1
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    BonanzaGirl1 Member

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    Your good and I'm liking the sound of this story, you've made me want to read more indy :)
     
  10. Caldenfor
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    Caldenfor Member

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    And if you get clothes-lined you most likely won't stagger forwards, you will fall on your backside.
     
  11. RaeRae
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    RaeRae Member

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    Great points regarding POV. My writing had that same thing going on with action words but, I had to learn about POV and have it beaten into me while taking Digital Film and Video classes at school. Whether it is on screen or written, you have to stay committed to the POV of the character/ object until you are ready to switch it. I still have trouble sometimes because me mind wonders but I do go back and do some editing.
     

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