forum Interesting permanent injuries to give a character?
Started by @Becfromthedead group
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@Becfromthedead group

I'm just kind of seeing what everyone comes up with. It's not necessarily something I'm going to have in my story this time, but I might, and I know a lot of other people do too.
When I say permanent injuries, I especially mean ones such as those from battle (Like took an arrow to the eye and went blind, lost a limb, has permanent numbness from some sort of nerve damage, etc), but accidents and other things can work too.
You can share your own characters, or just interesting ideas in general.

@Relsey

Tears, rips, and destroying clothing is one that Isn't really an injury but can be brutal if the object has sentimental value.

@Becfromthedead group

I realized I literally do have a character with injuries that have a permanent impact lmao
One of my characters was severely burned over much of his body during the siege and burning of a city, and while most of it heals up to where it's just scarring, a couple of the burns were so deep that they damaged nerves, and he has lost most feeling in those places.

Selcoeurl

Naomi got her face clawed by a horrifying sand creature (narrowly missing her right eye and leaving permanent scars). Later, she lost her left foot and most of her shin to a horrifying sea creature. Note that she already had raging PTSD by the end of her military career; and she lost the leg afterwards.

CJ spent his military career patching up mangled troops. While he doesn't have the kind of physical damage that Naomi does, he's probably got her matched in terms of trauma; the difference is that he internalizes it more.

Brandee got her left hand slammed in a door, breaking multiple bones, some of which did not heal properly.

Kieron is probably going to have some gnarly scars on his side as a result of playing the brave fool.

Talula has a prosthetic arm, a cybernetic eye, and probably some other pieces of space-opera tech implanted in her due to nasty injuries that she's sustained.

Deleted user

Interestingly, I give my characters a lot of irreversible injuries. Since I work mainly in science fiction and fantasy settings I can handwave magical or high tech prosthetics that do all the same things as a regular limb, maybe more, but it's also often more fun to see the lasting impression that injury leaves and how the character will function without their missing whatever. Also mobility aids in any setting need to be normalized and disabilities/disabled characters need to be treated with respect.

@Young-Dusty-the-Monarch-of-Dusteria group

As a writer of dystopian fiction, I get to come up with a lot of nasty lasting injuries XD I have a character with a missing arm, a guy with blindness in one eye from a knife slash, a dude with small scars all over his face and some missing fingers from a bad case of frostbite, a lady who's had a peg leg since age 12, a teen with a blind spot in one eye and tinnitus in his ear from an explosion, a kid who lost his hand and replaced it with a garden trowel, a guy who lost his voice somehow (haven't decided yet), a lady who was born with one arm much shorter and thinner than the other, and of course, an aging warlord with horrifying acid scars on his face and neck that could never be hidden or healed. He's actually proud of his appearance and uses it to frighten his enemies xD
What I like to do is think about all the dumb or surprisingly easy ways people can get hurt, then subtract modern medicine, and boom! Suddenly you've got people with scars and disabilities everywhere, some for the most mundane reasons.

@Dragoncita group

I have a few characters with lasting injuries

A deep sea dragon I have came closer to the surface, to only be met with a great boat. Men onboard tossed a net onto her, then instantly started to throw harpoons upon her. One of those weapons lodged deep into her thigh
It was removed, though now she constantly has a limp, as well as scars from the encounter


Lady Octavia (a dragon) who once upon a time had a beautiful singing voice, was viciously attacked. The attacker, a poison dragon, gave her deep wounds, also causing her to limp. The poison she breathed in wasn't enough to kill her, but it did damage her vocal cords, hence she can no longer speak or sing


Lord Xanthos, (fire dragon), was out helping take care of the corruption
He made a mistake in the fight, leading to half of his face now being exposed, showing white bone

@Oakiin

Oh, goodness, I love permanent injuries…especially ones that have more consequence than just scarring.

My grandfather was a farmer and caught his hand in a machine once - he was stuck out there in the field for hours, since he was all alone, and no one was expecting him for a long time. He couldn't turn the machine off, since he couldn't reach, so he was stuck there with his hand slowly being mangled almost all day. His brother(? Not 100% on that), finally came and found him and they got him out, but his fingers were always crooked after that.

Another one of my favorite tropes is arthritis and chronic pain caused by many old injuries that act up and show their face once the character starts to age. I got a character who's only like 38, but he's already got both the above, just from a life of physical stress.

@GoodThingGoing group

I've got a handful!

  • Louis wrecked his ankle when he was sixteen, and he still deals with the lingering impact of it ten years later since he wasn't able to have it treated property
  • Lavinia is permanently mute due to having her throat and tongue cut, and also had one hand cut off
  • Giana has a foot that hinders her movement. In this current draft, it's due to breaking it badly as a child, but it may end up being something like clubfoot instead
  • Oberon had a chunk torn out of his leg in a fight and now needs a staff to help him walk
  • Georgie dislocates his hip and while it does get relocated, it gives him trouble for years after
  • Percy has occasional breathing issues due to unsafe binding early into his transition
  • Cordelia suffered two injuries to the abdomen, and while the scars themselves don't really give her trouble, the method of healing triggers her magic, which she then deals with
  • Henry blew out his knee playing baseball and winds up having it operated on
  • Geneva's arm was badly broken in a car crash pre-story, and it still gives her trouble throughout the story

There may be more that I'm blanking on

@GoodThingGoing group

Oh! Samuel breaks his ankle pretty early into the story and deals with it throughout (he also slowly accumulates more injuries throughout so there's that).

@Seeba petsmost writer ever 👍

Now THIS is something I can get behind. I'm gonna throw mental injuries in here because those can be pretty permanent too 😶 (Also, I should put a trigger warning here, stuff like self-harm and abuse are heavy aspects of my stories.)

  • DetLev has a massive scar on his nose from a fight he had. It was a pretty nasty gash, so it was stitched and covered for a long few months
  • Felix is incredibly flexible, which is what makes his such a good Libero. He regularly attains bruises and sprains, but is most permanent injuries are the self harm scars on his arms and legs that often split open on particularly nasty receives (however, he doesn't really feel the pain from it anymore)
  • Heres a curious one, Feste. He was sexually abused through his boyfriend and sent to a permanent state of dreaming, running around an endless circus till he figures out it's not real. He's in some sort of trances between consciousness, and has different circus tents and "trials" he as to beat before excepting what happened to him as fact. The trails are based around what I like to call the "7 deadly gifts" (Innocents, Friendship etc.) He's not so deep yet so I don't have much to say on him, but I think he's a pretty cool character.
  • Filipp doesn't have any legs lol. His dad ran him over then abandoned him out of guilt. He started his own Para-sports club, though, and has some prosthetics, so he's coping well 🙂
  • Harrison is covered head to toe in scars. Some are self harm, some are from bullying incidents and fights. I mean covered in them. From his collarbone to his wrists and ankles. He's a med student now, so he has to make an effort to cover himself up.
  • Kichiroooooo! He has a disease I invented called McGreggors Syndrome. Basically, his bones grow super fast, so he's like, 8 feet tall, and only 19. He's gonna die in his early 30's though, so you lose some you win some I guess (except he lost both oop-).
  • Ahh Kuroko. Can you say Terminal Cancer? He's got a lot of scars (internal and external). He's got a surgery scar running down his abodmen, and restricting scaring in his esophagus from hydrochloric acid burns. Chemo has ruined the nerves in his hands, making it almost impossible to write or draw anymore. Also, significant hearing and vision loss from Chemotherapy.
  • Leonardo also has a disease I invented! Called Loukyas Syndrome, it's a degenerative Neuro-Muscular disease caused by faulty genetics passed down through parents. Its like slow- onset Parkinsons, characterised by trembling of the hands, tics and myoclonic seizures, and short, staggered breathes caused by the malfunction and jerking of the diaphragm. Lifespan doesn't usually extend above 10 years of age, however Leo is 16.
  • Luca developed a nasty case of Rheumatic Fever when he was 8. This inturn weakened the muscles in his legs, so he walks with crutches and braces. He also has poor dental hygiene, sporting teeth braces and a plate. The bacteria from his teeth is thought to have caused his illness.
  • Memphis was hit by a car when he was 6. He went untreated, so his leg bones (which were broke by the car) mended themselves in strange, uneven shapes, leaving him to have to learn to walk and run with deformed Tibia and Fibula. (he can also pop his knee cap's out of place, gross)
  • Nathan suffers from an unnamed autoimmune disease. His heart, lungs, and abodmen fill with fluid and make it difficult to breath. He's not allowed to play extreme sports in fear his illness will flare up again. He's also on the ASD.
  • Pan- lee has a fiction disease i haven't discovered yet. All I know so far is that it has similar symptoms to Vitiligo.
  • Phoenix has a learning disorder that lands him in the class of special education 4.
  • Ren suffers from BDD (Body Dsymorphic Disorder). It is caused by her past of child pageants and degrading by her parents
  • Shane was used by his Grandfather to run trial tests of medications he concocted. He also ran experiments of the extremities of the human body. (kinda like the move Plague Dogs but with a child.)
  • York was blinded in his left eye by a stick when he was 6. His brother never lived that one down.
  • Zackeri… Woo Zackeri is a doozy. He suffers from PTSD stemming from a terrorist attack. On a birthday with his friends, the cafe he was at was shot up. He hid in the bathroom, but all his friends died in the gun fire. He often blames himself for his friends deaths, he believes he cowarded-out during the attack, leaving his friends vulnerable and dead. He has reoccurring dreams of attack, often with his friends belittling him. He's afraid of fire works, construction sights and loud noises in general.

Whooooo take a closer look at all that trama!
Hey uhhh, if you don't mind, some feedback would be appreciated, worldbuilding YouTubers have got me down 👉👈

@stressed-sock group

I read a book where a character got struck by lightning. As a result, he was paralyzed, but through rehabilitation, managed to get, more or less, back to normal. However, he still has symptoms, such as tremors and slurred speech. (The book is Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce btw)
I don't have any characters who had this happen to them, but I think it's an interesting idea. :P

@tiredandconfused group

One of my favorite permanent injuries is of Calla's, a ship captain who sacrifices her arm to a witch halfway through the book. It's not my favorite because of what she loses or how she loses it (although giving your arm to a sea witch is pretty cool) but because of the arc it forces her to go through. She's a pretty reckless character, always trying to solve problems by hacking at it with her sword. But the witch takes her sword arm, so she can't duel anymore and she has to find a new way to solve conflicts.

I also have a few other characters with serous injuries, but most don't have as much of an impact on their character as Calla's. Lib is the member of an agency that requires you to take out your own eye to prove your loyalty. She got a new cybernetic eye that gives her special abilities and allows her to keep in contact with her agency, but she goes through a lot of conflict when the agency betrays her and she has to remove the cybernetic eye so they can't track her anymore. Nikellai has a lot of injuries, having an immortal mind but a body that is aging and decaying. Some movements are difficult for him and his vocal cords are slightly damaged so his voice is raspy. Sarus' left arm is badly burned and he has trouble moving the fingers on his left hand, but it helps him pose as the deceased heir to the Alyamora throne, who was rumored to have survived the fire that supposedly killed him.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

I know this thread has been dead for over a year now, but I just saw it and couldn’t resist.

(There is one trigger warning under a spoiler tag, but I don’t know if there are any other potential triggers, so yeah)

Malcolm
He’s my evil genius scientist, and pretty much a cyborg, for good reason.

The left half of his body was mangled in a massive explosion. He barely survived and went through serious reconstructive surgery multiple times (which still didn’t fix all of it).

Shortly after the explosion, he went a bit psycho and became the evil mastermind that he is now. He is aware that he has some mental issues, but he couldn’t care less.

He has a mask integrated into his face, which keeps his jaw from hanging loose and actually allows him to eat/talk. He also has a mechanical left eye that screws into what remains of his eye socket.

He also has metal plates integrated into several spots on his body, namely shoulder (where the arm meets the torso), hip, and several spots on his leg. Without these plates, his arm wouldn’t be attached and his left leg wouldn’t be able to function.

He also has various other implants, whether cybernetic or otherwise, but these aren’t actually injuries.

Lucitius
My mentally unstable demigod. His permanent injuries are mostly subtle scars, with the exception of his mind.

As previously mentioned, he is mentally unstable, primarily because he can’t cope with his past. His condition can vaguely resemble schizophrenia at times, though it’s unknown exactly what he has. He also occasionally has fits of uncontrollable emotion, typically sorrow, and he can be extremely destructive if not quickly soothed.

His scars are usually covered by his primary marking (something like a full body tattoo, not including his head), but he is covered in scores from various battles in his long life. However, the most prominent is… (trigger warning)

Phalakros
The timid servant of Lucitius.

He is very, very twitchy because of past experiences. He has been slightly genetically mutated by being ‘possessed’ by a parasite for a time, and now has a dark alter-ego from this that he is absolutely terrified of. This ‘possession’ also gave him a few powers that he previously didn’t have, but they only work involuntarily and when he is terrified.
—————————
(Might add more later)

Edit: And @Seeba, I don’t know if you still want feedback, but holy crap, that’s a lot of detail. I might research a few of the IRL things you mentioned just to sate my warped curiosity.

And I thought I had a lot of traumatized/injured characters, when, in fact, I only have a handful of pretty messed-up guys and a few ‘eh, I’ll survive’ types. (Though, it doesn’t help that a bunch of my characters are actually not very developed. That, and I have too many characters to remember all at once at any given time, so yeah, casual shrug)

@Seeba petsmost writer ever 👍

Edit: And @Seeba, I don’t know if you still want feedback, but holy crap, that’s a lot of detail. I might research a few of the IRL things you mentioned just to sate my warped curiosity.

And I thought I had a lot of traumatized/injured characters, when, in fact, I only have a handful of pretty messed-up guys and a few ‘eh, I’ll survive’ types. (Though, it doesn’t help that a bunch of my characters are actually not very developed. That, and I have too many characters to remember all at once at any given time, so yeah, casual shrug)

Thanks ! unfortunately, I don't use most of those characters anymore, but some of them still apply :p

Giving characters crippling handicaps is unfortunately my only talent

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

Edit: And @Seeba, I don’t know if you still want feedback, but holy crap, that’s a lot of detail. I might research a few of the IRL things you mentioned just to sate my warped curiosity.

And I thought I had a lot of traumatized/injured characters, when, in fact, I only have a handful of pretty messed-up guys and a few ‘eh, I’ll survive’ types. (Though, it doesn’t help that a bunch of my characters are actually not very developed. That, and I have too many characters to remember all at once at any given time, so yeah, casual shrug)

Thanks ! unfortunately, I don't use most of those characters anymore, but some of them still apply :p

Giving characters crippling handicaps is unfortunately my only talent

Casual shrug, then thumbs-up. Torturing characters can be so fun.

I think right now I have this combination of person appears, then dies and severely torturing main characters. I don’t know, like I said, I have way too many characters, and most of them are underdeveloped (and/or have a really short lifespan in the story)

@Seeba petsmost writer ever 👍

Edit: And @Seeba, I don’t know if you still want feedback, but holy crap, that’s a lot of detail. I might research a few of the IRL things you mentioned just to sate my warped curiosity.

And I thought I had a lot of traumatized/injured characters, when, in fact, I only have a handful of pretty messed-up guys and a few ‘eh, I’ll survive’ types. (Though, it doesn’t help that a bunch of my characters are actually not very developed. That, and I have too many characters to remember all at once at any given time, so yeah, casual shrug)

Thanks ! unfortunately, I don't use most of those characters anymore, but some of them still apply :p

Giving characters crippling handicaps is unfortunately my only talent

Casual shrug, then thumbs-up. Torturing characters can be so fun.

I think right now I have this combination of person appears, then dies and severely torturing main characters. I don’t know, like I said, I have way too many characters, and most of them are underdeveloped (and/or have a really short lifespan in the story)

I know what you mean, its super hard to keep track

Deleted user

(here's the best approach to writing that i know of: who is the character, what does the character want and how can you keep that character from getting what they want/how can you pretty much torture your character on the road to get what they want? this really helps with giving characters trauma and permanent injuries!)

Deleted user

(i agree with that. and nope, your just like me… wait, nvm. i am kinda just cruel and mean, so yes… lol. )

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

(Lol)

De Tearion
Among my most developed characters. He has gone through a lot, so most of this is justified.

Definitely has some heavy-duty mental issues. He has a serious case of PTSD with only sheer willpower to cope with it.

He has extremely pent-up emotions (which has caused several incidents), and he is very sensitive about certain subjects (namely his younger sister, who he had protected for most of his life). He has never had an outlet for his emotions, nor has he ever received comfort, so he’s pretty much a walking bomb. It also doesn’t help that he became more traumatized than his sister, despite most of the conflict being aimed at her.

He doesn’t like being touched, particularly in his sleep, and particularly hates having his legs touched (many have tried to kill him in his sleep, and his legs are naturally sensitive to touch/pain). He has nightmares, and sometimes sleepwalks. He also has violent reflexes in his sleep, so touching him automatically causes him to attack, and he has hurt many people this way.

It takes forever for him to open up about certain things (his trauma obviously), and he often unconsciously attempts to manipulate/intimidate others to avoid explaining himself. He also manipulates/intimidates as a defense, so that people are more likely to leave him alone than attack or question him.

Deleted user

Yeah, he definitely has PTSD. Reasons: Doesn't like having legs touched bc people tried to kill him in his sleep (I'm pretty sure that woud traumatize most people), automatically goes into fight mode in sleep (definitely seems like a legit response to people trying to kill him in his sleep [no that's not sarcasm]), doesn't like opening up (definitely a sign that they've been hurt by people close to them), and doesn't mean to manipulate/intimidate others to avoid explaining himself (a definite sign that they've been "taught" not to open up). All of this adds to being post-traumatically stressed AF.

@Serpentess health_and_safety language

Yeah, he definitely has PTSD. Reasons: Doesn't like having legs touched bc people tried to kill him in his sleep (I'm pretty sure that woud traumatize most people), automatically goes into fight mode in sleep (definitely seems like a legit response to people trying to kill him in his sleep [no that's not sarcasm]), doesn't like opening up (definitely a sign that they've been hurt by people close to them), and doesn't mean to manipulate/intimidate others to avoid explaining himself (a definite sign that they've been "taught" not to open up). All of this adds to being post-traumatically stressed AF.

That makes a lot of sense, and all very true.

Edit: And honestly, some of the things you pointed out I hadn’t even noticed or thought of, consciously at least. The fact that so much lines up now is shocking.

Also, the manipulation/intimidation seconds as a defense, because it was the only way people would leave him alone. (I’m going to add this bit real quick)

Deleted user

Yeah… I know all about defensive reactions. I am the definition of a defensive reaction. And the only reason why I can line some of this up is because I kinda understand this character, and what they feel.