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My character is in the beginning stages of a life-or-death situation and he knows it. "Racking his brain for possible solutions" feels played out. But words like ruminating, fretting, musing, etc don't sound frantic enough. Does anyone have any ideas on how they would right it? The more synonyms the better.

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    What's wrong with the words you already know? Knowing that will help us zero in on the mot juste. What about " flustered", "discombobulated", "funky", etc.?
    – user405662
    Nov 9 at 5:35
  • I decided to just go with "frantically vacillated between possible solutions." I still don't really like it.... I think it could be more descriptive/vivid. I don't really want a synonym, I moreso want ideas on how to better illustrate his desperation and racing thoughts. Nov 9 at 6:48
  • "He frantically vacillated" or "he was frantically vacillating". Nov 9 at 8:52
  • How about As he was caught up in the liminal space between life and death, his mind kept frantically racing between possible alternatives.?
    – user405662
    Nov 9 at 10:56
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    Show don't tell? To illustrate desperation and racing thoughts, describe what we'd see. Was he relaxed or shaking? Whistling with joy or frenzy? Meditating or sweating? Once you show us, the narrative no longer needs to tell us. Nov 9 at 13:53

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