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  1. dave_c

    dave_c Active Member

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    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

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    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

    Mot Member

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    That's what I tell myself too!
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    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

    A.Tad.of.Conrad Member

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    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

    Foxe Active Member

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    It's good to be god, isn't it?
     
  7. DeathandGrim

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    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

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    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

    Bryer Cakes New Member

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    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

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    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

    Khaelmin Active Member

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    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

    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    There's absolutely nothing logical or rational in those statements.
     
  13. Phoenix Hikari

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    How so?
     
  14. SwampDog

    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    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

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    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

    mg357 Active Member

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    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

    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Ah, I'm with you. Thanks for the clarification. Hope your other news is bearable.
     
  18. ms627

    ms627 Member

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    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

    jwideman Senior Member

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    Not at all. I put a little of myself in all of them. So, no, it's not guilt I feel.
     

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