I'm waiting to receive my manuscript back from my new editor at Crescent Moon Press. First Dragon is the first book in my latest epic fantasy series. The book has three main characters sharing the danger, battles and ... well ... difficulties of epic proportions. I know I have a good plot but I'm a little worried if I've made things difficult enough for those three people. Have I tortured my protagonists enough?
I think of all the books I love, the movies I enjoy, and I know the best ones are the ones where the main characters suffer greatly and then overcome it all. 2012's offering of hero movies certainly followed the formula from Dark Night Rising and The Avengers.
Besides my epic fantasy novels, I also write fantasy romance under the pen name, Susan Kelley. I have a contract for another novel with my publisher coming out later this year. Romance usually requires a 'happily ever after,' but that doesn't mean the characters shouldn't be tortured before they get there. I know I've done a pretty good job of it in some of my previous novels. One Good Woman might be the one with my most tortured characters who finally find happiness. I love those characters because they react to the adversary in their lives in complete opposite ways yet somehow both come to the same point of healing and redemption.
Have I tortured my characters in First Dragon enough? I guess my new editor will let me know. Do you torture your characters? Do you ever worry you're too nice to your protagonists?