So I’m currently writing a story where my character has emotion-based powers. When she is angry or scared she can do pretty powerful things, but they leave her completely weak and worn-out.

I’m not a very experienced writer, so I was wondering how exactly I could write her as weak and exhausted? In the part I'm writing, my character has just used a whole load of power because she was scared and angry. She fainted and has woken up a few seconds later and is physically weak.

I’ve got her as finding it hard to move, she’s super dizzy, she can barely keep her eyes open and she can’t think straight. Is there anything else that either would help me or that I could write in to show how weak she is?

  • I was actually wondering the same thing and this was very helpful. I was wondering how to correctly write about someone who only sleeps once every four days. (Not by choice, just busy all the time) she only slept when she absolutely needed to, because everyone else needed her. Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


You seem to have it covered decently well already, so you should do fine.

Although, I think you might be overdoing it just a tad. As she's just fainted, I think this is a bit too tired. Depending on how long she's been out, that's how long your character has been napping. Probably not much longer than a minute or two(I've fainted before from heat, it's not fun if you're on anything hard and you wake up with a giant headache). Depending on your character's recovery speed, you might have less symptoms.

I would knock it down a bit to 'hard to move, she’s really dizzy, and she can’t think quickly'.

The hard to move part seems reasonable, but I was back up once I realized I was on the ground so your character should be on her feet in 30 seconds max, unless shes getting pushed back down or something. The dizzy part will mostly come before they pass out but it's still an after effect. Thinking straight and thinking quickly are rather different things. I was still sane after I woke up, although it took a minute to piece together what happened. Overall, she should be up in 30 seconds, dizziness should clear up in 1-2 minutes, and once she takes a nap she should be all good.


Have you ever been completely exhausted? If so, you can draw on that experience to see what would be realistic.

If not --or if it's not fresh in your memory --it's an easy enough experience to create. Just go online and find a difficult workout video. Once you get done working out for 30 minutes, you'll know what exhaustion feels like. Just be sure to take notes so you don't forget the immediate sensations.

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