Characters with Hampered Abilities

I make a point of trying not to complain about my pregnancy. I know that lots of women would trade anything for this experience, and I know I’ve been very blessed to have had a fairly easy-peasy time of it so far. But it is a fact that my physical abilities are now startlingly narrow compared to a few months ago.

Activities I wouldn’t have blinked at before, like shoving the bed one foot to the side, sitting all day at a desk, or taking a bath, are now out of the question or ridiculously taxing.

It’s got me thinking about characters with hampered abilities–whether from battle wounds, illness, or other conditions. I’ve started re-reading Raymond E. Feist’s Krondor trilogy, and there’s a character who just keeps walking no matter how many times he gets kicked and stabbed. It’s become a little annoying.

However, the new fourth season of The Legend of Korra deals with this in interesting ways. We’ve seen Korra bounce back from taking a beating so many times over the course of the show.

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So what happens when she can’t just bounce back physically and emotionally? What happens when she has to take time to heal? That’s what we get to find out. The second episode airs tonight!

These are my questions to consider with impaired characters:

How long does a character stubbornly try to ignore her hampered abilities? (For me, as long as I can.)

How is she affected mentally and emotionally when (not “if”) something forces her to come to terms with her limitations? (Don’t know about your character, but I tend to get a bit depressed.)

Who does she trust to support her during those times? (Trust is the key word here.)

Does it ever get any better? (Soon I will have a tiny baby! And after a while I’ll be able to move boxes and beds and whatnot again.)

Happy Yarning.

Pregnancy in Fantasy?

Conflict drives stories.

It’s probably a good thing.

But it seems to mean that the only time a pregnant woman is allowed “on screen” in a story is when the fact of her pregnancy causes conflict.

And I wish we could explore not only the tense and exciting parts of pregnancy (like the reveal and the delivery), but also the invisible, quiet bits.

Strangers couldn’t tell I was pregnant until just about yesterday (I’m 33 weeks along). Not too long ago a nurse at a new-patient visit, after taking my height and weight and blood pressure, was stunned I wasn’t worried that my last period was five months before.

~Three months. Can you spot the fourth person?

~Three months. Can’t spot the fourth person yet, but she’s there.

From week 1 there’s so much going on mentally and emotionally that affects only one girl. Is it enough to make a story out of? Maybe a subplot?

Can anyone point me to some fantasy that fills this gap? (And I do mean fantasy. I recognize there’s a good amount of contemporary fiction with pregnant characters.)

Happy Nesting! I mean, Yarning!