Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Don't Be Cruel... Well, Not THAT Cruel.

Haven't got a lot of time for a real post today, so I thought I'd open up for some discussion of a topic that I've been giving a lot of thought during this revision.

How cruel is too cruel? I mean, we're not supposed to make it easy on our characters, and tension and conflict are what make stories memorable. But is there a point-- if the situation in question has no influence on the plot, only the character-- where doing bad things to your characters stops building character and becomes cruel and unusual? Or needless and gratuitous?

Or is simply the fact that the characters must react to this stimulus, no matter how horrible, enough to warrant such cruelty?

Any thoughts, or examples? I'd love to hear them.

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