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Medical advice (for my book, not me 😂)


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Most of you have heard about/read bits and pieces of the novel I've been working on for a long time.  And I know a lot of you have heard me talk about one of my favorite characters.

 

I could use some medical advice for writing about him.  I'm hoping maybe there's someone on here who knows a bit about this sort of thing, or possibly has experience with putting medical details into a book.  So quick details, for anyone who doesn't know: my character's name is Finn Blackwell, and he's my MC's father.  I imagine him to be about 48 years old.  He's very much a gentleman, and somewhat old-fashioned in manner.  Thing is, he's got some kind of serious heart condition, which will probably end up killing him at the end of the book.

 

Which brings me to some questions about said condition.  I've done a crazy ton of research, read a lot of medical books and articles, and know more about certain kinds of heart problems than I reasonably should.  😆 Yet I still struggle with how to work it into the book.  

 

The main things I'm wondering about are these, and I appreciate any and all answers/suggestions.

 

1. How do I cover what needs to be said about it without being boring and info-dumping the reader with all kinds of medical stuff?

 

2. If he had, let's say heart failure for example, what kinds of things would he still be able to do?  Hobbies, I mean.  This detail has always tripped me up, because I can't for anything think of reasonable hobbies for him, that would fit his personality and be doable for him.  I know well-developed characters should have interests and hobbies, so I really need some help with this one.

 

If you need more details about him or the book or anything, let me know.  I really, really need some help here!!  Thanks in advance, everyone!

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If I'm from Louisiana and a Michiganer started telling me what my state is like, I'd be mad as a wet hen (and put down the book, hehe)

I really like this idea! I love parrots! I had a cockatiel for almost 18 years and she was my animal companion of a lifetime. A larger parrot can live for 80 years or longer. People have to put these

of course, I might tell you that the MC's father should be an alcoholic reprobate instead of a gentleman 😆

Knitting, bird watching, making bird houses, reading, writing (I mean, why not? 😉), playing piano or guitar or any other instrument that isn't too strenuous (I don't know if playing a tuba is strenuous; but if Larry the Cucumber can do it, then he'll be fine), volunteering to help with a food pantry or some other similar organization, baking...List goes on and on. 😄

 

Other than that, I don't know how else to help you. Lol! Sorry about that.

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4 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

writing (I mean, why not? 😉), playing piano or guitar or any other instrument that isn't too strenuous

I did consider making him an author!  I might still do that.  I also toyed with the idea of having him play piano or fiddle.  Anyway, thanks Ky!

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Just now, Wesley Southern said:

 

nah, just mean if you post something of your book I can critique it

Cool, that's fine, man. 👍 I will post something eventually, I just haven't lately because I want to get it all figured out myself.  Need to settle more plot details before I share.

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1 minute ago, Grey_Skies said:

Cool, that's fine, man. 👍 I will post something eventually, I just haven't lately because I want to get it all figured out myself.  Need to settle more plot details before I share.

of course, I might tell you that the MC's father should be an alcoholic reprobate instead of a gentleman 😆

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24 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

How do I cover what needs to be said about it without being boring and info-dumping the reader with all kinds of medical stuff?

I'd just add in as much as is needed to make sense of the story (in non-medical language that your reader can understand 🙂). And if you're writing from his POV, you could talk about his symptoms.

25 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

If he had, let's say heart failure for example, what kinds of things would he still be able to do?

I'd think he could still do lots of things if he took it slow. It would just depend on how quickly he gets tired and if he's having a good or bad day. He could have a pet, play an instrument like @Ky_GirlatHeart said, work on cars, go on walks, read, write--like you said, do some kind of woodwork, or paint.

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Just now, Wesley Southern said:

of course, I might tell you that the MC's father should be an alcoholic reprobate instead of a gentleman 😆

You're not gonna believe this, but I considered making him a very flawed individual early on in the writing process.  And I don't mean little flaws either; I thought about making him an adulterer, hence his failed marriage to my MC's mother.  😬

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1 minute ago, Grey_Skies said:

You're not gonna believe this, but I considered making him a very flawed individual early on in the writing process.  And I don't mean little flaws either; I thought about making him an adulterer, hence his failed marriage to my MC's mother.  😬

 

then it'd be easier if you have the mother be the flawed parent. A flawed father would damage the MC's relationship with men for the rest of her life. A flawed mother would just make her bitter.

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4 minutes ago, HK1 said:

do some kind of woodwork, or paint.

Thanks so much, @HK1!  Your suggestions were great.  I am now considering making him a painter, and y'know what?  I think I'll give him a pet parrot! 😁

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5 minutes ago, Sarah Daffy said:

couldn't do much heavy work or instruments that require lots of arm and breath usage.

Well, there goes Larry the Cucumber's legacy, even though Larry doesn't have arms.

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1 minute ago, Wesley Southern said:

 

then it'd be easier if you have the mother be the flawed parent. A flawed father would damage the MC's relationship with men for the rest of her life. A flawed mother would just make her bitter.

I know.  Actually, I have already decided that her mother is a jerk.  I backed off on making Finn a rough character, and ended up settling on switching it around: his wife walked out on him.

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Just now, Grey_Skies said:

I know.  Actually, I have already decided that her mother is a jerk.  I backed off on making Finn a rough character, and ended up settling on switching it around: his wife walked out on him.

 

maybe have the mom be materialistic and Finn not rich enough for her tastes

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3 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

 

maybe have the mom be materialistic and Finn not rich enough for her tastes

The way I envisioned it, he was quite wealthy, but when he started getting sick, his wife Maggie split the scene because she's extremely selfish and materialistic, as you said, and doesn't want to wind up as his caregiver.  Then she took the daughter, Joanna, with her.

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2 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Why not make the father interested in photography? He can do a lot fro his computer. Is there any mystery in your book?

That's a great idea too!  Thanks Lynn!  As for mystery, there might be.  I'm not sure yet.  I'm a sucker for mystery, so there's a good chance of it.  Why?

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1 minute ago, Grey_Skies said:

The way I envisioned it, he was quite wealthy, but when he started getting sick, his wife Maggie split the scene because she's extremely selfish and materialistic, as you said, and doesn't want to wind up as his caregiver.  Then she took the daughter, Joanna, with her.

eurgghhh I already don't like the premise.

 

Maggie sticks around, facilitates his death, gains the inheritance

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Just now, Wesley Southern said:

eurgghhh I already don't like the premise.

 

Maggie sticks around, facilitates his death, gains the inheritance

Let me guess: and it falls to Joanna to stop the murderous deed, right?

 

Don't tempt me!  It's the kind of thing I would do! 😂

 

2 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

man there's about five contradictions in the premise alone

 

sorry

 

What's wrong with the premise?  And I'm not asking in a negative way.  I really need to know, because I'm still at the point where anything at all in the story could change.  I'm actually really enjoying this conversation, Wesley!  Man, this is the kind of stuff I need to hear!

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5 minutes ago, Wesley Southern said:

Maggie sticks around, facilitates his death, gains the inheritance

Maybe they'd signed some kind of agreement before they married, and nothing would go to her. Or maybe she just wanted out of the deal.

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8 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

The way I envisioned it, he was quite wealthy, but when he started getting sick, his wife Maggie split the scene because she's extremely selfish and materialistic, as you said, and doesn't want to wind up as his caregiver.  Then she took the daughter, Joanna, with her.

 

1. a selfish woman wouldn't take the kid

 

2. wealthy people can afford caregivers

 

3. a materialistic wife sticks around for her rich husband to die

 

4. if Maggie doesn't want to take care of a sick Finn, she surely won't want to take care of Joanna

 

5. Rich people can afford the best doctors

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