Writers are told to “torture” our characters. To make awful things happen to them, to see what they have to do to squirm out and escape the victor–or get the guy/girl–or catch the villain. We hope, once it’s all done (or at least reaches a lull), our character comes out of it stronger. Better.
I’ve really been putting my heroine, DJ, through the wringer in the new manuscript, and it started me thinking about some of the things that have been done to my favorite fictional characters.
Here are some of my favorite “dark moments” (warning–there might be spoilers):
Okay, let’s start with Rachel Morgan. First, Kim Harrison lets Rache transform herself into a mink, then get caught by the morally ambiguous Trent Kalamack, who first puts her in a cage, then enters her into the city’s underground rat-fighting rings. Oh, and she finally finds The Guy? I don’t even have to say his name.
I really can’t tell you what Jim Butcher did to Harry Dresden or the spoiler would be too huge. Take my word for it; it’s really, reallly bad.
Hm…Let’s see…JR Ward had Wrath witness his parents’ murders–before he lost his eyesight; Vishous got semi-castrated by his father and pretty much fries anyone he touches with one hand; oh, let’s not forget Zsadist, the tattooed, tortured sex slave or his twin brother who had to destroy his own leg to save him. Yeah, Ms. Ward can do her some torture.
And yet we love those characters because they persevere, often with wit although not without dark moments. What are some of the most memorable “low moments” you remember from your recent reads? I’m currently reading Julie Cross’ Tempest, and her character is stuck in a time-warp, trying from the past to change time in order to save his girlfriend, who was murdered in the present.
So…if you’d like a copy of Tempest, which comes out next week, just weigh in. You know the deal. Four entries are possible: one for comment, one for blog follow, one for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and one for Tweeting or Retweeting the contest. Now…torture somebody!