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johnnysannie
07-13-2010, 07:37 PM
This may seem like a weird question but I have a character in my WIP who suffers from stomach problems. The question is what should she say when her stomach hurts?

I've asked several betas who don't agree so I thought I would ask here.

Should she - she's 20's/30's - say "tummy" and "tummy ache"? Some of my betas say that's for kids.

Some think "my belly hurts" is too old-fashioned or gauche.

Some think it would be better to say "indigestion" or "Flatulence" or "heartburn" not just "stomach hurts".

Any thoughts on this because it's one of those niggling things that drives me crazy!



My personal thought is to either just go with "My stomach hurts" and occasionally use different terms like one scene she has a tummyache, another her belly is cramping but I don't know!

Ruth2
07-13-2010, 07:46 PM
My daughter is 24 and has IBS. She says "My gut's killing me."

kaitiepaige17
07-13-2010, 07:47 PM
My stomach hurts. At least that's what I say and I'm 19

Don Allen
07-13-2010, 07:50 PM
I managed to eat away most of my stomach with NAISIDS, which pretty much means it hurts all the time, and though I rarely complain anymore, (don't do any good) Ocassionally I will say something to the effect "I'm a bloated pig" feel free to add swear words where you like.

Drachen Jager
07-13-2010, 08:12 PM
Depends on the character. If she's creative why not be creative about it, we're writers after all, you should be able to come up with something interesting, "Ooooh, I feel like I just swallowed a can of pepper-spray and it went off half way down!"

Becky Black
07-13-2010, 09:04 PM
It depends on the character and possibly on who she's talking to. Most people speak differently to different people. You could choose one way for the narrative, possibly the most neutral sounding one, depending on the rest of the general tone, and then have her say different things depending on who she's with, her friends, her mother, kids, her doctor, her boss whoever. Might depend on the mood she's in at the time too.

backslashbaby
07-13-2010, 09:17 PM
I think tummy ache sounds too childish, but that depends on your character, of course.

I say, "My stomach hurts" or "my stomach is acting up again," "my stomach is so bad," etc. NSAIDS did (and do) me in, too, Don!

JulieHowe
07-14-2010, 07:03 AM
You could also be creative with your phrasing, depending on the character's cultural background and who she's around at the time she complains about her stomach hurting.

Smish
07-14-2010, 07:15 AM
My stomach hurts. At least that's what I say and I'm 19

This. And I'm 29.

Stomachache is okay, too. And so is heartburn, if it is actually heartburn.

Or be creative. :)

Kateness
07-14-2010, 07:30 AM
I'm 22 and I say tummy ache.

*is weird*

Vespertilion
07-14-2010, 07:47 AM
Stomach ain't happy.

thewakingself
07-14-2010, 08:05 AM
Should she - she's 20's/30's - say "tummy" and "tummy ache"? Some of my betas say that's for kids.

Some think "my belly hurts" is too old-fashioned or gauche.

Some think it would be better to say "indigestion" or "Flatulence" or "heartburn" not just "stomach hurts"

Some think "my belly hurts" is too old-fashioned or gauche.

Well, I'm curious as to what stomach problem you want your character to have.

As someone who's had diverticulitis and an ulcer (lucky me): "tummy" and "belly" sound too young in my opinion.

I just turned thirty.

To my doctor, I have to be very distinctive about where the pain radiates. I describe my pains as "in my gut" or "in my stomach" [actually, I say: "Here... here! OMG, RIGHT HERE!" and point to eleven on the pain scale (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/02/boyfriend-doesnt-have-ebola-probably.html)]. By "stomach" I indicate where a fist fits at the region under my ribcage. The gut pain is lower, from middle of the ribcage to the areas between my pelvic bones (from left to right). Heartburn is, for me, any pain around my sternum and esophagus (above the middle of the ribs).

/more than you ever wanted to know about tws medically

frolzagain
07-14-2010, 09:09 AM
I would say 'my stomach hurts' or 'my stomach's acting up.' You could also try just having the character touching their stomach and saying 'ouch' or something depending on the situation.

johnnysannie
07-14-2010, 04:47 PM
Well, I'm curious as to what stomach problem you want your character to have.



To my doctor, I have to be very distinctive about where the pain radiates. I describe my pains as "in my gut" or "in my stomach" [actually, I say: "Here... here! OMG, RIGHT HERE!" and point

At this point I'm thinking more like stomach pain from stress/nerves.

Good point about being exact on the pain - my aunt just had most of her colon removed after another bout of diverticulosis. She always told her doctor her "stomach" hurt and they didn't pay much attention because they were examining the actual stomach area when the pain was actually lower - not until her symptoms became so acute that she was in the hospital.

dirtsider
07-14-2010, 05:09 PM
"My stomach hurts" or "my stomach's acting up" works more for an adult. "Tummyache" sounds very childish. YMMV. But it also depends on who she's talking to as well.

Mayfield
07-14-2010, 05:57 PM
I agree that tummy = baby talk. Are you talking about pain? Or nausea? They aren't the same thing. That anxious acidy/pukey feeing is different from some kind of sharp stabbing pain. Either way, my favorite stomach term is "bubble gut."

divy
07-14-2010, 05:58 PM
You could also try just having the character touching their stomach and saying 'ouch' or something depending on the situation.

this is a good point. unless you need it to be a part of dialogue, you can have the character holding their stomach, or doubling over if the pain is really bad. there are a lot of things that can indicate stomach pain without saying 'my stomach hurts'. even little things, like wearing looser pants.

divy, who spent 2 years in nearly constant pain and almost never said my stomach hurt ;) (mostly just said a lot of 'ow. fuck')

ETA: mayfield also has a good point. a stress stomachache isn't going to 'hurt' the same way an illness would. so be sure you know what sort of affliction you want your character to have.

Canotila
07-15-2010, 08:59 AM
I only used "tummy" after spending too much time working in a daycare. If your character spends way too much time around small children this could be the case, or it might be part of their vocabulary because some adults just use it.

For me it's always, "oooggh, my organs." Followed by doubling over in pain.

My sister gets stomach cramps so tends to call stomach pain cramps, not referring to menstrual cramps.

She'll clutch at her middle and say, "ugh, cramps!"

Nivarion
07-15-2010, 10:33 AM
I get entrapped gas. When I happens and I mention I say "My Stomach is killing me."

It takes about three hours to work through, and I'm bloating up the whole time. Normally starts right before dinner time, meaning I eat late.

I also get major heartburn most of the time from eating late. I just call it heart burn.

I'm 19.

blackrose602
07-16-2010, 04:26 AM
I think I'm weird. I tend to be very exacting as to what hurts. I'll say "I'm nauseous" or "I have an abdominal pain" or "ugh, gas bubble." Unless I'm feeling REALLY bad, in which case I have a tendency to regress: double over or rock back and forth and whine "my tummy hurts!" It's got to be pretty bad to get to that point though. I'm 34.

Cyia
07-16-2010, 09:33 PM
Normally, I say "Ugh! My guts!" If I'm around (or have been around) children, I might say tummy out of habit.

I'm 31.

SomberBee
07-17-2010, 01:35 AM
Well, I'm curious as to what stomach problem you want your character to have.

To my doctor, I have to be very distinctive about where the pain radiates. I describe my pains as "in my gut" or "in my stomach" [actually, I say: "Here... here! OMG, RIGHT HERE!" and point to eleven on the pain scale (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/02/boyfriend-doesnt-have-ebola-probably.html)]. By "stomach" I indicate where a fist fits at the region under my ribcage. The gut pain is lower, from middle of the ribcage to the areas between my pelvic bones (from left to right). Heartburn is, for me, any pain around my sternum and esophagus (above the middle of the ribs).

I second this. Just what I would've recommended. And I usually go with "gut" pain (I'm 38--my young kids say tummy/belly). So much can go wrong with the digestive tract; make sure you are specific about what it is that ails your character. Upper or lower stomach? Stomach or intestinal? Ulcer, hiatal hernia (feels like a heart attack), GERD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's, diverticulitis, bowel impaction...ouch.

Best of luck to you!