Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And how would you describe the pain?

Woke up this morning and the muscles in my back had suddenly solidified like concrete. Every move I make tightens the vice grip around my spine, to the point where even breathing requires deep breathing.

But enough about me.

Describing pain is a key component to getting a reader absorbed into your story. Too much detail and you could gross them out entirely. Too little and they'll liable to think your hero's a wimp.

How do you describe the pain your characters going through? I don't mean emotional pain, I mean real, honest-to-goodness HOLY %*#@! THAT HURTS kind of pain.

This is also an area that's easy to fall back on cliche's for. "A knife in my side" for cramps. Your newly shot leg is "on fire". My head "was pounding like a bass drum". Like any good metaphore, the better ones are the surprises, appropriate but not like anything anyone's thought of before.

Like acid indigestion where it feels like you swallowed a nuclear reactor plant. Or how you'd like to run but it felt like ravenous dogs were using your ankle as a chew toy.

It's also a great way to make the situation lighter, or darker, depending on your writing.

Think about it - and while you're reading, pay attention to the words used to describe what the characters are feeling. It's pretty eye opening.

Just don't focus too hard, or you'll feel like your brain is a balloon that someone just stuck a pin in and popped.

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