I have a character who is beaten up. How long does it take for the bruising to show?
I envision her having a black eye, a busted lip, a broken arm and perhaps a broken rib or two. I think her arm will have broken as a result of being slammed against the edge of a brick wall, and I assume there will be a major bruise at the point of impact. I want to describe the state of her arm when the police examine it about 1 1/2 – 2 hours after the fact.
Bruising is blood under the skin. That won’t necessarily happen from a broken limb, depending on the mechanism of the break. She would have a road rash type picture from the roughness of the brick wall (though long sleeves might minimize that), and may develop a bruise from that crush, though 2h is a little quick. The appearance of the arm itself would depend again on how exactly you imagine her breaking it. It can look normal, or have a lump, or best might be for it to have an obvious deformity, a bend where there shouldn’t be one. That’s called a “displaced fracture.” If you want to get gory you could have a piece of bone sticking out of the skin, that’s an OPEN fracture and would bleed. Though by 1.5-2h the bleeding should be stopped.