Quote Originally Posted by rachelpaige98 View Post
This is so helpful, thank you!
I really liked your suggestion for a head injury. That was my initial thought, but I didn't want her to end up with any permanent brain damage.

It is important to me that the cut on her arm exists. The circumstances around the car accident are incredibly confusing and stressful and having an easily visible scar from it is something I use on several occasions later. I liked the idea of a couple broken ribs simply to slow her down a little. She's a pretty active person and she needed to not be for a little while.
It's also super important that she's almost entirely unconscious for a few days. The car accident is my inciting incident and there's a few practical matters that need to be sorted out before she's conscious. She doesn't remember the accident at all, which drives much of what she does. (It's a pretty bad accident, both people in the front seat died).

Obviously, I threw these details in pretty quickly, because it all shows up in the first few pages of the novel and I needed to move on and get the rest down before I started revising (which is where I'm at now). I really like the idea of a head injury. Do you have any suggestions on what that would look like in a car accident? Or how long it would take for her to return to her normal routine, like school, after getting home?
You can make the head injury anything you want, they are quite variable. Many people recover fully from head injuries, many don't. Some are OK within hours, some within days and some need months to a year to recover as much as they will eventually recover. And she can have her seatbelt on or off. Sometimes your head smacks into the side window even with a seatbelt on, or some item from outside the car can go through the windshield and hit a person in the car.

No need to give the reader too many details on the medical side, have them induce a coma because of the brain swelling and wake her up when you are ready.

As for the arm injury, you don't need massive bleeding to get the scar you want. Again, you can write that injury anyway you want.

You can have broken ribs without puncturing a lung. If you want to gin up the injuries, add the lung injury and chest tubes. Just look up treating a hemothorax or pneumothorax.