Inaccuracies in Fainting Spells

Originally, I wrote this post under the assumption that most fainting experiences are relatively similar. Yet, I have discovered that fainting happens and feels differently depending on what causes the faint. However, here are four general rules to follow:

  1. Fainting is not a sudden feeling of cold nothingness and then blackness. A victim could feel anything from numb to woozy before fainting. See specific causes and stories in the source below for more detail on this.
  2. Where your character lands can add additional injuries to the faint. Typically a fainting victim will suffer concussions or need stitches and in rare occasions broken limbs, torn skin, or chipped teeth too.
    • Consider your character’s surroundings in the fainting scene. Are there any sharp corner-tops or edges nearby? Glass coffee tables? A plush rug? Or maybe the cold, hard forest ground? (Grass isn’t as soft as it looks!)
  3. Recovering from fainting is slower than you think. As Brina puts it: “The point is, trying to push yourself after, will lead to fainting again. And again. And again.”
  4. Your character will have to deal with what caused the faint in the first place. I’ve written about how blood loss affects the body and can lead to unconsciousness. But fainting can also be due to  physical exhaustion, emotional shock, hunger or dehydration, or an unknown medical problem. Remember, even if it’s something as simple as low blood sugar your character will still have to deal with what caused their faint after they wake up.
For more about fainting see original source material: A Collection of Tips and Symptoms for Writing about Fainting by Brina