With Velocity, it’s her relationship choices which has her on the ropes. With Amanda Scott, it’s her abilities and her addiction to alcohol which makes things a little more than interesting. But through that, it becomes a conscious choice on how we all create and develop our characters.
What are we going to do with them? What kind of pain and suffering do we plan on putting them through the wringer with? Naturally, such tendencies would make us all sadistic as writers–making the outside observer wonder if there is something that we aren’t telling ourselves or other people on just what’s going on upstairs that makes us look like Dick Cheney’s trained little minions at a glance.
Because torturing our characters is fun. Having a bland character does nothing for us or the reader. So we have to think of ways that will drag things out to its inevitable conclusion and give us what we most deeply desire.
For me, it’s finding out how long I can keep things up before one of my characters’ snap. And usually when that happens, they tend to take out their angst and frustrations out on their support character and the world in general before coming back to the realm of sanity.
But it’s a fun exercise nonetheless. And usually, I have a devious little mind on what I want to do to my characters: Inflict pain, drag out their pleasure, whatever floats my boat. I’ll do it.
I can’t think of my literally creations as mere dolls to play with, but real people. And I’ve seen enough of them in my life (and in movies) to know that I can be a real bastard when it comes down to it.
So what is it that you do which tortures your characters? What kind of methodical thinking that goes through your mind which would be the most effective method of self-gratification which has your creations on the brink of self-destruction?