Stoic Characters and a Bastard Overlord God-Author

So, I was cleaning the stove top the other day, and scraped my finger on a sharp edge. I got a two millimeter cut as a result. Barely even bled. No bandaid required.

But it did sting in the shower that night. A tiny, minuscule cut, and it stung like a bugger.

This got me thinking.

I’ve just edited the passage in my WIP where my poor main character gets his leg savaged by a demon cannibal.

He’s properly wounded (lots of screaming and passing out), but after being patched up by a medicine man, he soon carries on, and a week later gets involved in a bloodthirsty battle.

Meanwhile, I’m still lamenting the scratch on my flipping finger!

It got me thinking about the god-awful things we do to our brave, stoic characters. In this WIP alone I put pretty much all my characters through the wringer. And that’s nothing compared to the emotional trauma I put my very favourite character through (in a fanfic piece I wrote a few years ago). The poor guy was totally emotionally destroyed by this bastard overlord God-author, all for the sake of entertainment.

Damn, we writers are cruel beasts.

So what about you? How brutal are you to your characters?

34 thoughts on “Stoic Characters and a Bastard Overlord God-Author

  1. That’s the fun of being a God-Author. You get to put characters through things you never have to experience yourself. Unless you’re like me with my second book where the main character experiences some of the hells I went through.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t like to hurt my characters for the sake of it, but sometimes is necessary.
    In the novel I’m currently working on, one of my characters had to get a tattoo to cover the scar I gave her in the previous book, courtesy of the dread shanhui, the green demon dog with a man’s face of Chinese tradition.
    And I might have thrown to the dinosaurs a few of the characters in House of the Gods, but that was part of the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I put my characters through tons of emotional trauma and often physical trauma, but in my last release, END OF DAY, I crossed a line for one of my MC’s that had me biting my nails on release day. So far no one has slammed me for it, but I still have “author nerves.”
    I think it also makes a difference if it’s a secondary character or an MC. I’m far more free with my secondary characters, but sometimes you just have to push the line with the MC.

    Hope the cut heals, Jess!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I submitted a synopsis recently where I killed everyone. It was brutal and cruel… and ultimately rejected until I saved some people. I was told it was a little too dark and hopeless. Go figure.

    I put my characters through hell. And probably more emotional torment than physical (which is saying something). But no one wants to read 300 pages of bliss, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I’ve put ny characters through too much, at least not yet. I did have a random moment recently where my protagonist was in a fight, and I randonly realized I needed to break their arm.
    It was a strange feeling, this calm, detached realization that was so different from the emotional maelstrom the character was experiencing.
    What’s really funny is I’m co-writing and the other writer asked why I didn’t break her protagonist’s character’s arm, and I very matter of factly told them, “Nope. I’m leaving that for you to do, if you choose to.”

    Liked by 1 person

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