Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Suspense is like Anaphylaxis

I've been helping a friend edit her novel, every few weeks she gives me a new chapter. I read it and then return it covered in scribbles about grammar, possible continuity errors, awkward phrasing, word choice, phrasing I love, questions, and predictions. It's a great story, and getting the chapters so far apart means I'm pretty much perpetally dying to find out what happens next.

Early in the story, one character tells the protagonist that she definitely cannot ever be seen by another character. Halfway through the book, the protagonist arranges for the two to meet. I read this chapter right after getting my allergy shots. An important thing to know about allergy shots is that they have a slight possibility of causing a systemic reaction that makes you puff up and die. Allergists make you wait for 30 minutes after your shots because if you are going to puff up and die, it's probably going to be in that period. This systemic reaction is called anaphylaxis, and can progress to anaphylactic shock, where your airway swells up until you can't breathe. The cure for this is a shot of epinephrine and cup of weapons-grade Benadryl.

I read feverishly through confrontation scene, barely breathing through the suspense. I finished the chapter, and somehow still felt...suspenseful.

Apparently anaphylaxis feels a lot like suspense.

1 comment:

  1. A book that comes with a warning on the back that it may induce puffing up and dying because of all the suspense COULD be kind of cool in a hardcore way. (But thank you for not dying.)