40 Things your character can do when in Pain

Let me guess, you’re writing a fight scene and your character seems to be able to brush off every punch without so much as an “Ouch.”

Hey, don’t worry! We’ve all been there. Being a writer is hard. Especially when you characters are feeling something that you can’t relate to. I was struggling just like you so I made a list. Here are a few ways your character can respond to feeling physical pain.

Things your character can say in response to pain:

  • “Ouch”
  • “Ah…”
  • “Gah!”
  • “Ow!” (once or repeatedly)
  • Curse
  • Laughing (evilly, or out of fear)
  • Coughing
  • Whimpering
  • Screaming
  • Groaning
  • Struggling to speak

Things your Characters can physically do in response to pain:

  • Squeezing eyes shut
  • Crying
  • Trying to kick or hit people who are trying to help
  • Panicking. Going into fight or flight mode
  • Wincing
  • The sight of their own blood making them feel sick, and refusing to look at the wound
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Spitting blood after being hit in the face
  • Anxious. Heavy breathing. Not sure what to do
  • Filled with adrenaline and hardly aware they’ve been injured

Things your character’s body can do in response to pain:

  • Eyes watering after being hit in the nose
  • lurching forward as if they might vomit
  • Vomiting
  • Instant bruising
  • Pain spreading from injured area through the whole body
  • Unable to breath after taking a blow to the diaphragm
  • Feeling dizzy from loss of blood or loss of air
  • Pounding in head

After time your character might experience:

  • Swelling
  • Throbbing pain
  • Ugly bruises
  • Stinging pain
  • Body feeling tired or weak/Injury slowing character down
  • Injured area feeling tender to touch
  • Sore muscles
  • Numbness
  • Blood drying and becoming crusty around cut or wound
  • Clothes being soaked in blood and getting “glued” to the body

The cool thing about writers is that we’re all different. So if you have any go-to responses you would like to add to this list be my guest.

Thanks a bunch!

— Nerd


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