Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Pain Scale

Last week I was regretfully interrupted by Blogger's troubles and lost that post. Should be a lesson to me, I suspect. Probably I should first type the blog entry in Word and cut and paste it into the blog. How many bloggers do that, I wonder? One of these days I'll work out how many linkages there are nowadays in the chain that is the online blog-reading experience.

Here goes, trying to retrieve what I said.

We've all read thrillers where the authors don't allow their protagonists either to feel or express the pain of their many and varied breakages. Or we read something so fantastical the characters don't have any nerves with which to feel.

Yet we can all relate to pain. Cut your finger off chopping veges and you feel pain. Slam a car door on your hand and you feel pain. Break a leg and you know how it goes.

Why this now, you ask? Am I planning to dish out murder and mayhem soon? That too. But I had just visited one of my elderly ladies and realised again the effects of gravity. In the next couple of days the plot of a short story presented itself, beginning middle and end. You can be sure I wrote down the details. Usually the end has to be worked at.

It's a story featuring pain. But that's all right. We all feel pain, so there should be some resonances set up here and there. I realised to do it justice, I'd need to find the pain scale for modern day humans I did a couple of years ago, as well as decide what the character can feel and express in his non human state.

Next post I'll get you started on constructing a pain scale. It's useful as a writing tool as well as a bit of self knowledge. If you've ever felt pain or expect to be in pain one day, it's an interesting exercise.

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