Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dealing with Crisis

There are many different crisis that our characters encounter throughout our stories. The way they handle those crisis is what makes them who they are. Some of the effects of prolonged crisis is health problems, mental problems, stress, mood changes, etc... What helps our characters overcome these ill effects and/or recover from them? In class today we were talking about different crisis that take place in schools (shootings, suicides, death, irate parents) and we discussed the different stages that need attending. We have: pre-crisis, during the crisis, day after crisis, and then several weeks/months down the road.

We had a huge list of things in the pre-crisis column and very few things in the following columns. This is because if you are prepared for the inevitable crisis things can go better and after the crisis hits there is less that can be done.

How are our characters being prepared for the crisis? This is a very important question that I think needs to be addressed so that when the character goes through the crisis it makes the story believable. Our readers may not know how our characters were prepared, but we should.

For example, what do we know about Tabatha so far in her story? We know that she has some skill with knives and weapons. We know that she can take a hit and is able to react in tough situations as well as find a medic when she needs one. She seems to be equipped well considering she has a strength enhancing chip and of course her way cool watch :) Further, she was prepared (the knives by her bed) knowing a quick escape route and training. As a reader I could guess that she was trained as a fighter or maybe she grew up in a rough crowd. As the author of the story it is helpful for me to know more about why she responded how she responded to the situation in her room. As the story goes on I will slowly reveal more of why she was able to get through the crisis moment. However, lets jump ahead a little to where she is in the cab. She is not responding as well. The adrenaline is wearing off and her plan didn't go how she wanted it to go and her partner is gone. We see that her personality is starting to come out more and we see how she reacts and behaves differently outside of the flight or fight situation. Watch tomorrow how the stress of the crisis takes a greater toll on her and without support she would be a mess.


  1. def this gives some great opportunities for character development...and things you should think through...and sometimes there should be things that our heroes are not prepared for and be ready to walk them through the fall out...

  2. A lot of the time we think of characters in crisis, but you're right, there's a lot to do pre-crisis. It's neat to see how they handle crises that they are prepared for and ones they aren't!

  3. You bring up some good points. One of the reasons why I like LOTR so much is the fact that J. R. R. Tolkein shows us what happens to Sam after all is said and done. I know that not everyone likes it, but I think it gives some good closure.

  4. I like how your story and psychology explanations are feeding each other now. Fun to read! :)


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