Author has written 3 stories for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Power Rangers.
Profile contains a couple rather old stories of mine.
For story reccs, be sure check out my Harry Potter community, because there's good stuff there.
It's become popular to post rants on your Author page, and so I might give in to temptation and do the same. Here goes:
Real people don't faint.
This is an exaggeration, of course, but not much of one. Fainting is one of the most annoying abuses of natural human physical processes in fanfiction.
There are acceptable times to faint, of course, but the persistently irritating and inappropriate kind you often see in fanfiction is a different matter. It almost always takes this certain form:
Character A is talking to someone else. (We'll call them Character B.) Character B says something a little off-the-wall, and Character A faints. Blah.
It's stupid. The sort of comments that these characters are supposed to faint over run along these lines:
"Magic is real." Character faints.
There IS a natural physical response to comments like these, but it's not fainting. Fainting because you're surprised by something you've seen or heard is VERY UNUSUAL. We have a very effective way of not being overwhelmed by things we observe or that other people say that contradict our world view — it's called Denial, and it's not just a river in Egypt.
This highly effective coping device runs the gamut from literally 'swearing that what you just saw with your own eyes didn't happen' to simply giving you a nice cushy emotional sense of unreality that protects your mind against sudden shocks to your world view. In other words, you hear it, but you don't actually believe it (at least not completely) until later, whether it takes five minutes or five days for it to sink in. And it takes something TRULY impressive to break through the various incarnations of denial enough to make a person faint.
So, if in doubt, never make an otherwise healthy character faint over something another person says to them. It bears repeating: NEVER make an otherwise healthy character faint over something another person says to them!
With that said, here's my list of times when you can make your character faint without making me want to puke and then trash my computer screen:
1. Your character has experienced significant physical injury or stress. (We're talking broken limbs, blood loss, significant lack of food or sleep, etc.)
If your character's fainting spell falls under one of these categories, I won't quibble. If it doesn't, I probably want to reach through the computer and punch you for ruining my suspension of disbelief.
And if you're wondering, YES, these rules definitely include humor fics where the fainting is for comedic effect. Think of the situation in your fic and ask yourself if a comedy movie would use fainting in that situation. If you would have rolled your eyes in the theater, don't use it in your fic either. It makes a nice rule of thumb.
To wrap it up, use fainting in situations where it really is effective — please! Otherwise, instead of writing "Character A fainted," why not try writing "Character A stared in disbelief," or, "Character A laughed, then realized Character B was serious." My digestion and equilibrium will thank you.
P.S. If you absolutely can't let go of random fainting, there are a couple of things you can do to help. Try not to baldly say "Character A fainted." Instead, go with something that helps the reader visualize what's happening, like "Character A's eyes rolled up into his head and he collapsed." Then, have the other characters comment on how they can't believe he fainted, is he ok, etc. When he wakes up, have them razz him about fainting. (And have Character A feel embarrassed about it. Wouldn't you be embarrassed if you fainted after being told something?)
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