On The Chain Gang #13 — Character Torture

My LINK in the Blog Chain

THE BLOG CHAIN is comprised of a group of fiction writers from Query Tracker and Rally Storm. We thought it would be fun and insightful to acquire differing ideas and opinions on a particular writing topic.

So, we work through the chain posting one-by-one with the same general focus, and then, we repeat the process with a new topic for discussion. Christine Fonseca, has posted before me and Elana Johnson, will be posting after me. If you’d like to read the chain from the beginning, start at the Newly Agented, Leah Clifford’s blog..

All Blog Chain members are listed in the sidebar to the right.
My previous Link in the Blog Chain was on the topic of Brainstorming: Procrastinating Effectively!.


This Round’s Topic is:


Show me your dark side…What do you do to amp up the conflict? What pins do you stick in the little voodoo dolls? How do you torture your characters???




Torment Your Characters!



Who could possible connect with a Goody-Two-Shoes, someone who is perfect and has no troubles? Every reader, in every genre, in every age group, wants to feel an attachment to the characters of the story they are reading. The best and most effective way of accomplishing this is to make the reader relate to your character by giving your character depth. And just how do you do it?


A writer must pull out every weapon in their arsenal and go for broke…be merciless! Give your characters flaws, quirks, heartache, and troubles. Breathe life into them. Make them multi-faceted, let the reader peel away the characters’ layers bit by bit.




Torture and torment your characters…ripping them away from loved ones, making them suffer embarrassing moments, injuries – from minor to catastrophic, killing characters, placing obstacles in their way, putting them in peril. Heartache, pain (physical and mental), struggles, dilemmas…all of these can and should be used in some form to strengthen your characters and give them depth. Be evil, be manipulative. Make your characters work hard to get the prize. Your story will be the better for it and your readers will be begging for more.




I would love to hear from you…leave me a COMMENT. hmmm

Stumble It!

~ by bloggingexperiments on February 26, 2009.

13 Responses to “On The Chain Gang #13 — Character Torture”

  1. A writer’s definition of hell: To be reincarnated as one of our characters. 🙂 Great post today!

  2. great post…loved it and LOVE the pictures

  3. LOL I love that Kat! And I totally agree with you Abi. The happy ending is so much better if the character had to work for it. It’s hard to connect to someone who is perfect. Great post!

  4. So…how DO you torture your characters?

  5. I dunno, I’m pretty perfect, and people connect with me. 😉 Just kidding Michelle. Yeah, it’s true. The characters that are tortured most are those we want to read about.

  6. I don’t know about being evil, but I definitely am manipulative when I’m writing:) The pictures are so great by the way!

  7. I totally agree with your take on it, Abi. The more broken a character, the better. Well done.

  8. Great visuals! I do agree, without a bit of torture, how can your character grow?

    🙂 Terri

  9. SUCH a great line: “Who could possible connect with a Goody-Two-Shoes, someone who is perfect and has no troubles?”

    Amen, sista!

  10. First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    FREE Image Converter.!Convert just using right click.

  11. I actually have no problem connecting with a goody-goody character. I actually do follow the rules most of the time, go out of my way to find and take the high road. I think there’s a lot of us out there. The idea that people can’t relate to a good character seems a little overrated to me. I write to be creative. I don’t live vicariously through my characters and I make sure that when they are bad, there are consequences. If I torture my characters in any way, it’s by making them like me, whenever they do ANYTHING even remotely out of line, they pay a price. I don’t ever get away with much so neither do my characters.

  12. The world was created by a single thought!

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