EMOTION AMPLIFIER THESAURUS

PAIN



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HELPFUL TIP:

Amplifiers are conditions that enhance emotions, causing characters to become more volatile. This often leads to impaired decision-making, hasty actions and, best of all, mistakes. When utilizing an amplifier to generate conflict, think carefully about setting choices and which environments will naturally escalate emotion. An amplifier can also be perfect for triggering your character’s negative traits; the resulting fallout will draw attention to how his flaws trip him up and hold him back.
DEFINITION:
Physical discomfort associated with an injury or illness

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:
Clenching or grinding the teeth
Probing, rubbing, or grabbing at the pained area
Wincing
Hobbling about; taking tentative steps
Eyes that water or cry
Flinching when touched
Leaning back and grimacing
Expelling a grunt or pained hiss at exertion
Asking for aid (to move, to get something, to call for help)
Medicating
Breaths that saw in and out
Flaring nostrils
Trying to sleep it off
Gripping people or nearby objects for support
A bent back, hunched shoulders
A stiff walk
Trembling limbs
Blotchy skin
Glassy eyes
Screaming, moaning, or groaning
Biting the lip
Rocking back and forth
Panting
Repeating the same phrase over and over
Distracting gestures (flapping a hand, tapping a foot, nodding the head)
Squeezing the eyes shut, refusing to look
Squirming in discomfort
Arching the back

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:
Shuddering breaths
Hyperventilation
Nausea
Light-headedness at the sight of blood
Starbursts behind the eyelids
Tight muscles
Dizziness
Fainting or blacking out
Cramping
Feeling cold or feverish
A dry or coppery taste in the mouth
The body shutting down or going into shock

MENTAL RESPONSES:
Panic
Attempting to calm oneself
Hallucinations
Short-temperedness
Trying to convince oneself that it isn’t as bad as it seems
Bargaining with God

CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG TERM PAIN:
Begging for the pain to end
Making final preparations
Depression
A haggard face
Drooping eyelids and mouth
Dark hollows under the eyes
A pale complexion
Excessive sleep
Passing out
Medication dependency or addiction
Personality shifts
Asking for death
Researching, planning, or attempting suicide

CUES OF SUPPRESSED PAIN:
Clenching the jaw
Whitened lips
Tension throughout one’s body
Lying down
Remaining perfectly still
Avoiding talking to others
Sweat gleaming on the face
Hands clenching
Hands bunching up a blanket or clutching at one’s clothing

WRITERS TIP:
Each person has a different pain tolerance. Your character’s personality and (in)ability to withstand pain will determine whether he would show open symptoms of pain or suppress them.

ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS:
Ache, throb, burn, pulse, tremor, sweat, twitch, hurt, sting, torment, stiffen, moan, grit, bite, rack, keen, cry, tear, groan, scream, stab, erupt, prick, writhe, wail, cramp, chafe, rub, agonize, pinch, grate, wince, weep, heave, faint, blister, redden, fester, bruise, cut, slice, support, lean, drag, crumple, hobble

SCENARIOS FOR BUILDING CONFLICT AND TENSION:
Reckless fun leading to calamity (jumping out of a moving car, crowd surfing at a rave, etc.)
Inattention causing injury (twisting one’s ankle on a walk, falling off a deck, etc.)
Being unknowledgeable about local dangers (being struck by a rattlesnake, stung by a scorpion, etc.)
Forcing close contact (which may be a good thing, or awkward) as one leans on another for help