So far, we’ve talked about how grammar gets worse when you’re brain dead and how to write when you’re brain dead, but what happens when characters get brain dead? If it happens to us, it must happen to them, right? If they’re realistic characters. So what can you expect, and how can you use it to improve your plot?
When Characters Get Brain Dead:
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To be ready to use this in your books, it helps to consider what causes the brain dead feeling, how people react to it, and how that can affect the plot.
What Makes People Feel Brain Dead?
I’ll be brief on this section since anyone old enough to be interested in reading this has probably already experienced many of these situations. In fact, they may more know options, but here are some of the main reasons for a brain to work below par:
- sleep deprivation/exhaustion
- low blood sugar
- low oxygen
- repetitive activity
- long periods of sitting/not moving
- illness (especially fevers, infections, specific brain diseases/disorders, etc.)
Any of these options can impede brain function, and combining them makes it even worse.
The Symptoms of Thwarted Brain Function
Now that you know what could be causing the feeling (assuming you’re still awake), what happens as a result? Well, you might have trouble with
- remembering things
- concentrating or paying attention
- making fast judgments (especially good ones)
- physical reactions (increased clumsiness/lowered depth perception)
- resisting pressure (brainwashing is easier…)
- catching nuances/subtleties
- doing anything as quickly as normal
Yeah, yeah. Anything that requires brain function suffers. I get it.
How These Short Circuits Affect the Plot
Brain dead moments (derp moments, as my friends call them now) are a wonderful way to complicate a plot realistically because they cause mistakes or unexpected results. And since any grown adult who claims to never have had one is lying, readers can relate to them and be less inclined to blame the characters for these complications.
Here are some ideas and advantages:
- out of character moments (break promises without breaking promises)
- hidden foreshadowing (if the point of view character misses the nuances, the reader might, too.)
- add humor (dialogue confusions, banter that goes over the tired person’s head, etc.)
- weaknesses to exploit (by the villain or the hero)
This is one area that truly has infinite opportunities, and the methods you choose can easily add to the uniqueness of your story.
Welp. Ready to plot against your characters with some brain dead moments?