Archive for October 9th, 2010

Oct 09 2010

Does your story include serious violence? Check out this profile of life in a trauma ward

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

When a patient gets stabbed or shot, they’re usually sent to a trauma ward.  So I think this article in The Detroit News might be useful to you if you’re writing a story where a character gets violently injured.  (Ahem–such situations are not exactly uncommon in superhero stories).

“Feeling is believing,” [the head trauma surgeon] tells a glassy-eyed intern as he fishes around in a knife wound in the back of a man’s knee, trying to augur whether its damage to the vein or the artery.  Watching [the doctor] operate shatters the illusions of TV medicine….

For [one thing], when he operates it is not the stuff of daintiness accompanied by the subdued pings of the EKG machine. He is often elbows deep inside the victim’s cavity, tugging and rooting around as if he’s lost a set of keys. And then there is his bedside manner, which is not so much sympathetic clucking, but rather a combination of pugilism and cold-water truth that has an odd but soothing effect on the patient….

And in the pursuit of saving lives, [the doctor] has donated his life. At 46, he has consistently worked 100 hours per week for more than two decades, which would make him 70 years old in working years. He plays no golf, reads no novels, has few friends and spends more time at the hospital than with his wife and three children.

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