Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Have you noticed this, too?

And by "this" I mean the Disappearing Wound Syndrome. There are times, as I'm reading a book, I'll notice a character running from Ze Bad Guy and I'll do a double take. Because, wait, didn't he/she just get in a knife fight two pages ago? I feel like the gash across his/her thigh would not be conducive to the current chase scene. And then the injury that two pages ago was so grievous is given a small "the cut throbbed" mention, or, more likely, no mention at all.

I'm not talking about action scenes in which a character hardly notices/doesn't notice an injury until later--that's called adrenaline and is within the realm of possibility. The Disappearing Wound Syndrome is more like when a wound has served its purpose and discarded. Unfortunately, this is not how wounds work. They hurt and bleed and scab and form scars.

I say, as a writer, be careful about the Disappearing Wound Syndrome. Our goal in telling stories is to transport a reader to a world as realistic as possible. And yes, even if it's a fantasy or scifi or paranormal it needs to be realistic and follow the rules you have constructed for your world. So if a world has a special property in which all of its inhabitants heal super duper quickly, make sure to say that. If not, follow up on the wounds.

What are your thoughts on the Disappearing Wound Syndrome?