There is a reason why in fanfiction archives there's a whole category of stories called “hurt/comfort”, where one of the main characters of a specific IP is injured, and others (usually an unlikely person or whoever the author is shipping with the injured one) have to take care of him/her in the struggle for convalescence.
It's fun, and deliciously likely to force characters out of their usual MO or comfort zone.
While often in fanfiction a wounded character is simply an excuse for melodramatic confessions of friendship, love, devotion, or the clearing up of misunderstandings (and often leading to smut of some sort), which might diminish the idea we have about the value of this plot device, the fact remains that it is an extremely valuable one.
A character that is injured is a stimulus that shakes the boat, stirs the waters, forces for the characters to do things they wouldn't normally do or just plainly don't want to do:
They may be forced to look after the injured character when as a rule, they are offstandish, cold, and usually uncaring.
They may be forced to look after the injured character while they portray themselves as caring and nurturing, but in reality they are not- and thus this facade starts to crack under the demands.
They may be forced to realize things and change their behavior for the future. Maybe they learn to appreciate the injured character more, or maybe they take to heart the reasons the injury happened, so it won't happen again. (i.e. “it's my fault he/she got hurt, next time I won't let that happen”)
If they are a group of characters, and one of them is injured, the dynamics and the balance of interaction between the characters is thrown off. The absence of that character is a great opportunity to showcase how important (or unimportant?) they are to the group. Especially when it comes to characters that are usually quiet or unassuming or wall flowers, and yet they are vital to the group, injuring them can definitely drive the point through to the audience as well as the rest of the characters.
Perhaps the injured character is the one that is always taking after all the others, and now they have lost the crutch they hadn't even realised they were relying on. Perhaps the injure character is a resource that is vital but rarely celebrated, like a bookish fellow with a ton of information that helps out the mission. Or perhaps the injured character is the glue that holds everyone together, that keeps the team functioning by their personality or their skills, and now that they're not there, the team is fracturing.
And of course, while all this is happening, saving the injured character might be the goal of the rest of the team that now is minus one player in whatever fray they find themselves in.
This also works very well with characters that normally the team finds insufferable, for deserved or undeserved reasons.
Just take care not to make them so insufferable the audience roots for the character to succumb to their injuries or something!
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Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, July 25, 2020
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