Do You Think It Hurts?

November 14, 2008 at 6:00 am (Larissa Ione)

As you might know, I have this thing about “reality” in my fiction.  Recently I discussed how my demon shifters had breeding rules when it came to size, because in the real world, size matters. *g*


So when I write my shifters, I generally have it be painful…or, at least, uncomfortable…for a shift to take place.  Because, in following the “reality rules,” it makes sense to me that, even if there isn’t a big size change, skin is stretching in places.  Bones are expanding or compressing.  Joints are popping.  Organs are trading places.  That’s gotta hurt, right?


Or not?


Maybe when certain creatures shift shape, their natural ability comes with a sort of anesthetic effect? 


I don’t know.  I assume pain comes with the shift, which makes many of my shifters dread going through it.


What do you think?  Do shifters feel a sting, or do they sail right through it?



  1. MsValerie said,

    Gosh…I’ve always been troubled by descriptions of bones cracking and reforming, and other pain associated with shifts. Seems to me, since magic is involved, that it should be more like a huge orgasm…a wave of wonder and letting go.

  2. Teresa D'Amario said,

    Hi Larissa, I use a magical shift. I couldn’t seem to put my characters through that pain, but in my case, they WANT to shift so that may be the difference. To me, if it hurt too bad, they wouldnt’ wanna do it so often. So that’s why I chose magickal over “scientific”. It’s one of the few places in my work where I lean more toward the magickal. Well, except my wizards, and even then, magic to me is mostly scientific – using energy and such. LOL.

  3. Larissa Ione said,

    You know, I forgot to mention that I do use different kinds of shifts in my books. For example, the “true shifters,” which are people who shift into true animals, don’t feel pain because the shift is natural for them. It’s my other shifters, like my weres, who feel pain because the ability to shift came unnaturally — as an infection or a curse, if that makes sense.

    But yeah, my more “magical” beings don’t feel pain. That’s gotta be nice for them! *g*

  4. Crystal Dee said,

    I love Ms Valeries idea of the orgasmic change. I am comfortable with both the painful and the painless changes. I can see the viewpoint for either. I do have to say that I like the painless changes best. Maybe a solution could be to have pain only if there is evil present in the were or an intent to perform evil during a particular change. I like the idea of giving pain to those changes. Good weres can do bad things, so it could still provide angst for the hero/heroine.

  5. Lea said,

    Hey Larissa!

    OMG… um I would say that yes shifters are bound to feel pain during the actual shift for all the reasons you mentioned. But, I think maybe they would forget the experience fairly swiftly. Like childbirth for a woman. It’s no fun at the time, but once it’s overwith the memory fades fairly swiftly (for many women that is – lol, I don’t want to get into trouble here).

    Best Regards

  6. Cynthia Eden said,

    Oh, I like to think it hurts. 🙂 A lot. LOL.

  7. Karin said,

    Larissa, I agree with your ideas about shifting. For those who are natural shifters, it’s probably not so bad, which is why they like to do it so much. But, for weres, I do think the process would be at least slightly painful because it would be an unnatural change to their physiology.

  8. azteclady said,

    *sneaking in late*

    I go for painful or at the very least uncomfortable, but not necessarily something a shifter would dread–I mean, it would depend mostly on the payoff, right? Not just whatever improved physical abilities or sharper sense, but the rush of being *able* to shift.

  9. Greta said,

    You know I never really though about this much. But a shifter is changing from one shape to another so it seems natural that there would be pain.

  10. Hilcia said,

    If the change is too painful, I feel that it would affect the shifter too much after the change, i.e., if they’re ready to fight, etc… but, I think that discomfort is something that should be expected when shifting. I DO believe in the power of magic though, lol! So, if there’s magic involved, this is something that I can easily disregard and go with the flow — this is a case where suspending disbelief is acceptable to me.

  11. blackroze37 said,

    i think depending on what age and how much they shift . if vey young, they prob doesnt notice the pain anymore and if they have to shift to some thing big, probaly hunrt somewhat

  12. Larissa Ione said,

    Sorry I haven’t been back sooner! Between internet problems and a migraine, I’ve been pretty scarce. But I wanted to thank everyone for commenting! I love your reasons for either pain or no pain. This is great! 🙂

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