So our situation is this:

Imagine that you are an astronaut on a space ship that is trying to get safely home but you recently have come to learn that one of your crewmates is trying to stop you all from returning home.

So it is like Among Us but real-life style. I started my diary like this:

Dear Diary,

You won’t believe what happened to me, today!

I was in the kitchen making my crew’s brekkie when it happened. The emergency alarm suddenly went off and said in its usual booming voice continually “Communications Disrupted, Communications Disrupted!”.

How do I describe my confusion here?

  • 1
    It will be easier to help you if there are some more details to the question. You might want to elaborate a bit more on who's confused, what they're confused about, and what the backdrop to the scene is. What are you writing this for? Whose POV is it?
    – user613
    Dec 19, 2021 at 13:35
  • Describing things, like in all of fiction writing, tend to take the route of describing what a character does that signals their emotion/confusion, e.g. cocking one's head, burrowing one's brows, even squinting, etc. Each one is different, so it's really up to you which description best fits the confusion you want to describe.
    – veryverde
    Dec 19, 2021 at 14:37
  • Many problems with this epistolary narrator. Clickbait ledes addressed to 'Dear Diary', an inanimate object does not need to be enticed to read…. Mixed adjectives/adverbs muddy the tone: 'emergency, suddenly' vs 'usual, continually' in the same sentence describing the same thing…. Exposition in a personal log: "I was in the kitchen making brekkie for my crew…" – presumably your question is how to show 'heightened emotion of the moment' in 1st-person that was written later when the emotions/danger are past. You can't. Not all stories are suitable for this type of narrator.
    – wetcircuit
    Dec 28, 2021 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Jan 1st, 2022

As I was lazily browsing through writing I se I stumbled upon one of the most baffling question I have seen to date. I have now read the opening post at least five times, but its meaning still eludes me. I even copy-and-pasted parts of the question as I wondered whether somebody was trying to dupe me into doing their homework -- and the thought has not yet entirely left the back of my mind. I started writing a comment. Not an answer, as I should have, but a comment. I even considered closing the question, but I could not find in my heart a good reason for that. I went back to the comment, but all I could say was 'You got ME confused'.

how to describe confusion?

Show it.

Show the things that you did due to confusion. Shuffle their temporal order to convey that the confusion still lies with you. Reason on how silly you were not to do the obvious things you should have done.

Examples of things that people do due to confusion in emergency situations:

  • check over and over that it is in fact an emergency
  • go around in circles without taking an immediate decision
  • inform people that have no need of being informed
  • forget to do the things that they were trained to do during an emergency
  • go back to do what they forgot to do, ignoring that they should not return

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