So, earlier today I saw this funny post on Tumblr. (Oh yeah, and you should all totally follow me on Tumblr because I'm addicted. Uh, just as long as you don't mind a lot of "Legend of Korra" spam ...)
The post was about a made-up term called "scheherazadenfreude,"a play on the word "schadenfreude" (pleasure derived from watching other people suffer). If you don't know who Scheherazade is then I guess the joke's not really funny ... so uh, if you don't know who she is, then you should just read the Wikipedia page about her story. But anyway, this Tumblr post defined "scheherazadenfreude" as "perverse joy in the suffering of one of your own characters in the story you are writing/telling."
And I found this particularly funny, because ... well, I really love torturing my characters. I don't know why, but I do. Maybe because it makes me feel powerful? Bahaha, I don't know.
But, seriously. For instance, one of my favorite characters has been ... um, let's see ... shot, stabbed, strangled, drowned, tortured, beaten to a pulp ... Well, I think that about covers it. You get the idea. It's like, the more I love a character, the more I want to harm him/her. Because that's totally normal, right? Heh heh.
I've heard some other writers say pretty much the opposite thing––that is, they love their characters so much that they're afraid to hurt them in any way. But, personally I just find a story more compelling if the characters suffer a lot. I mean, if I finish reading a book, and none of the major characters have died (or almost died) I find myself feeling rather disappointed. And the same goes for my own stories; I just can't imagine myself writing something where nobody dies-or-at-least-almost-dies. I would get super bored.
Don't get me wrong, there are definitely exceptions ... I do love a lot of books where no one dies-or-almost-dies. Just, in general I guess I find it hard to get excited about writing a story if there isn't any violence in it.
So ... Is it just me? Or are you all running away from me, screaming? ;)