1. dave_c
    Offline

    dave_c Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    st helens, near liverpool

    Do you ever feel guilty about what you do in your books?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by dave_c, Mar 5, 2013.

    I recently asked a question in the general section about what was the worse of two pains i could put my character through. After getting some very helpful replies i wrote a sentence "i think the main thing i need to decide is what kind of pain i want to put my MC through."

    It suddenly struck me that what i am basically asking is how to torchure a person more and i felt an unexpected pang of guilt. i think most writers get emotionally invested in their characters in one way or another yet we still put these characters we have poured ourselves into through so much.

    Im just wondering, is this just me who thinks like this. maybe i'm just odd...er.
     
  2. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I did have a character -- really my favorite MC, or the one most like me, and I just couldn't put him through some things. But, I did do it to another character. I felt sad about it, but not really guilty. He wouldn't have any life at all if it weren't for me, you know. ;-)
     
  3. Mot
    Offline

    Mot Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2013
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    London, UK
    That's what I tell myself too!
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    I think everyone has a Sawesque personality inside them, whther it be deep down or very close to the surface. Fortunately I only bring it out to play in my books (!), but some writers probably enjoy it more than others, a la me. Right now I'm writing the second draft of a post-apocalyptic world with a vile dictatorship. It's pretty grim to be honest! So no, you're not alone. ;)
     
  5. A.Tad.of.Conrad
    Offline

    A.Tad.of.Conrad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    1
    Nah, all my characters are terrible people right now so they all deserve what I'm putting them through ;)

    (Though I suppose my MC started out fairly innocent and pretty good, but I don't feel bad about warping his soul.)
     
  6. Foxe
    Offline

    Foxe Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Canada
    It's good to be god, isn't it?
     
  7. DeathandGrim
    Offline

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    My MC is being tortured by a goddess in some messed up ways

    Last night though it gave me the willies when she changes his clothing to a really tight wool sweater and starts raising the temperature outside, essentially green housing him inside his own skin as he tries futilely to tear it off of him he starts suffering internal trauma and eventually gives way.

    I stopped writing and went downstairs to do some chores for a bit and kept thinking about it and I was like holy hell that had to suck! It was one of those events that you witness and you CAN'T let go because it was just painful to watch. I felt like a jackass but the scene was integral to the lesson for the MC so jackass or not it happened, but that doesn't make it any less haunting.
     
  8. Phoenix Hikari
    Offline

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    6
    I only put my character though events he deserves to go through. Look at it logically, even in real life, sometimes we think it's unfair that something bad happens to us because we are good people but truly nothing you don't deserve will happen to you. Recently I went through a life damaging experience and I came out realising that I needed this to happen, even if it had gave me pain, I have discovered a mistake and I am working on correcting it. Funny enough, as soon as i started correcting it the situation started to get better.

    No one receives what they don't deserve because everything is a lesson to learn from.
     
  9. Bryer Cakes
    Offline

    Bryer Cakes New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I like to put my characters through all sorts of things, and I don't really think it's something we should feel bad about. I do love all of my characters, since they're all like children to me, but I know that the story needs the character to suffer, and learn, and grow. In the end, knowing that I have to do it usually makes me think that it's alright if I make them go through terrible things. It's probably not such a good thought process, and I should definitely never apply it to real life, but it works.
     
  10. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Guilty? No. Sometimes I wonder at my mental state that my mind comes up with some of the things it does. Sometimes I am saddened at having to kill off a character whom I have grown fond of, even if that is the only way to resolve his story line. Sometimes I feel the pain of my characters' sufferings. But, feel guilty? Nah. It's just the nature of the beast.
     
  11. Khaelmin
    Offline

    Khaelmin Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Do you feel guilty about sacrificing a peon in a game of chess? How 'bout a bishop, or a queen? I tend to view my characters like pieces on the chess board that is my imagined universe. Some will die, gruesomely and painfully if need be, but never pointlessly. My kings may get a painful check from time to time, but never a checkmate, thanks to the sacrifices of others.

    So no, I don't feel bad about what I do to them at all. :D
     
  12. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    There's absolutely nothing logical or rational in those statements.
     
  13. Phoenix Hikari
    Offline

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    6
    How so?
     
  14. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    You're associating the acceptability of misfortune - however grave that misfortune is - with a learning process. And that makes it OK? Turning your words around, we all deserve what we get. Tell the child that leukaemia is OK because they can learn something from it.

    Pehaps you'll now explain the logic behind your deductions. You asserted. You prove. ;) (Best stop after that to avoid derailing the thread.)
     
  15. Phoenix Hikari
    Offline

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ah, of course I didn't mean people who have unfortunate things happen to them. I was fully aware of children and innocent people. My logic was more directed at good people who do mistakes and have to pay the price. Things that work from karma if you believe in karma.

    Even in your point of view, I have seen many children become heroes after falling victims to a disease that they really never deserve, such as: leukemia. Some old people who get as sick might fall into alcohol or become bad people. That's not my point.

    I might have made my point unclear in the previous post but I was talking about getting back what you give, sort of thing rather than get bad things while you did nothing.

    I don't make much sense do I? lol Pardon my unstable brain today, I had some shocking news that I fully deserved.
     
  16. mg357
    Offline

    mg357 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    368
    Likes Received:
    33
    I don't feel guilty about what i do to my characters in my writing projects because when i put through something painful or challenging i make sure that the pain or the challenge makes sense something that my readers can relate to.
     
  17. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    .
    Ah, I'm with you. Thanks for the clarification. Hope your other news is bearable.
     
  18. ms627
    Offline

    ms627 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I'm watching a movie, and an animal is hurt, I feel awful, even though I know it's fake. With writing, I'm aware that the events are ENTIRELY fake, and though I'm "creating" them, they will not occur because of me. In fact, I find that some of the most "guilt-ridden" literature (Kite Runner, anyone?) pushes the reader in the most emotional direction, something difficult to do with mere words. That said, I feel sad and uncomfortable with the realization that though the EXACT, horrible event in a story did not actually happen to Paula the Grass Fairy of Old, something similar has happened to a human in reality.
    :love:
     
  19. jwideman
    Offline

    jwideman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not at all. I put a little of myself in all of them. So, no, it's not guilt I feel.
     

Share This Page