|Photo credit: Anders Adermark on Flickr|
There are few things I enjoy more than taking my characters’ perfectly peaceful lives and ripping them to shreds, then setting the shreds on fire and throwing the ashes into Mount Vesuvius. I love taking terrible situations and making them worse, and making my characters feel entirely hopeless before they rise above and overcome their difficulties.
I love scarred, conflicted characters—whether it’s emotional, physical or mental scars. Sometimes they start off scarred at the beginning, sometimes I inflict the damage within the plot, but in the end, I find those kinds of characters much more fun to write and read about, and so I’m rather cruel to my characters.
But the thing is, I truly believe it’s necessary to bring out your inner sadist, at least to some extent, while writing.
Every story requires conflict. The magnitude of that conflict will from genre to genre (and even within your book), but without conflict, there isn’t a story. The ability to take an initial conflict and make it worse (then worse than that) can take story from good to amazing. It can lead to essential urgency to keep reading, and at the end, when your characters overcome the insurmountable odds you set them against, their victories are that much more memorable.
I don’t hesitate to admit that I’m a jerk to my characters. I’m proud of it, even.
But now I want to hear from you: are you a jerk to your characters?
Are you a jerk to your characters? Why or why not? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog! (Click to tweet)
Do you bring out your inner sadist while writing? Here's why you may want to. (Click to tweet)