I love hurting my main characters in my stories. I know its probably kind of weird... but I just can't help it! I feel it helps the reader sympathize and really get attached to the character. So here is my question: How much is too much to hurt a main character? The story I'm writing now has a female main character, but then it also has a very strong and involved male character that I also consider to be a main character. Even though the story isn't directly about him, he plays a very large role in it. I got bored yesterday while writing, was thinking about how I really just wanted to free write, and wrote a piece in which this male character gets very hurt. I mean I was super mean to this character. We're talking dislocated shoulder, broken hand, leg, and major concussion. I'm going into the medical field, so I was able to correctly relate his injuries to his accident, but I'm just wondering if doing all that to him is going to be too much for the reader? I let one of my close friends read it, and he said that although he liked it and thought it would be a good addition to my story, he thought that I had gone a little over the top. What do you guys think? How much can I get away with hurting my character without loosing the reader?