That reminded me of a tweet by author Chuck Wendig that my editor RTed specifically for me to see. Pardon the bad word, but I'm going to copy it in it's brilliant, biting glorious entirety:
Sometimes you have to fuck up your protagonists so bad even YOU don't know how they're going to get right with the world.
I totally agree with Chuck. I find it kind of funny that the sentiment was mirrored back at me from two such different sources in a short period of time, and figured it was worth discussing.
How do you feel about tortured heroes and heroines? How do you torture yours? Have you found a line you won't cross?
I'm still looking for that point where enough pain is ENOUGH. The things I did to Emma and Alex were heart wrenching. The things I have planned in this next book? Possibly more evil on an emotional level for the main character.
But it's the suffering, the dealing with adversity and growing from it that makes a character worth reading. At least for me. I can't do happy, fluffy-bunny stories. Or stories where the character is perfectly perfect. My characters usually come to my fairly well developed. What takes me the longest is figuring how to twist them, how to hurt them to show the mettle they're really made of.
Call me sadistic, but I like to torture the hell out of my characters. And apparently, people already know it.
So how about you? Do you like the tortured hero? Do you like to torture your hero??