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View Full Version : What is the lowest point you've ever brought a character to?



Drachen Jager
10-21-2011, 11:58 PM
In my current WIP I find myself pushing the extremes of human misery. From a background of privilege, my lead has lost everything, his foolishness and cowardice caused the death of a girl he liked, he's been crippled and forced to beg in the streets (this is during the Industrial Revolution too, not a good time to be a beggar, or a cripple). In desperation he tries his hand at blackmailing someone who showed him kindness, but ends up suffering a literal beating within an inch of his life at the hands of his target's colleagues.

What sorts of slings and arrows have you been using lately?

Maryn
10-22-2011, 12:08 AM
Beaten, his hand amputated, and held prisoner by his former rapist.

Maryn, not nice

Al Stevens
10-22-2011, 12:15 AM
In my WIP, the mc, a PI, is beaten severely in an alley by two thugs. He spends most of the book in casts and bandages and on crutches. His girl friend cheats on him, and his former partner on the force (before he was fired) considers him a person of interest and threatens to lock him up. He drinks a lot. Who wouldn't?

crunchyblanket
10-22-2011, 12:40 AM
One of my secondary characters gets captured and beaten the crap out of. He ends up with a head injury, which wipes the chip implanted in his brain, and he suffers seizures during an extremely important mission. They manage to escape, but not only is the key information stored in the chip destroyed, but so is the rest of his memory.

These Mean Streets
10-22-2011, 12:42 AM
I made my protagonist a writer.

Brukaviador
10-22-2011, 12:54 AM
Made immortal (as a vampire) and locked in an undergound prison for over a century where she was left alone to subsist on a diet of vermin and go mad.

Little Ming
10-22-2011, 01:30 AM
I made my protagonist a writer.

You monster!

waylander
10-22-2011, 01:35 AM
One of my characters voted Liberal Democrat

Mr Flibble
10-22-2011, 01:36 AM
You monster!

I made a man admit he was wrong, and ask for directions. :D


Okay, hand amputation, check. Realise he's been working for the bad guy all along. Realise that while he thought someone was betraying him (so he gets revenge, big style) he finds out actually they were trying to save him...Made a cocky MC realise he wasn't God's gift to women, made a man chose between his god and a woman, made a man fall in love...

'Worst' depends on the person.

tarkine
10-22-2011, 01:36 AM
Little Ming - I was just thinking the same thing.

Dave Hardy
10-22-2011, 01:38 AM
I buried one protagonist alive along with a supporting character and a demon (a rather hostile one). Things got better though.

Kitty27
10-22-2011, 02:25 AM
Character:Amelie Beauchamps
Acts Of Writer Cruelty:
Her family was murdered by Riordan.
Faith and soul broken.
Driven completely batshit insane.
Turned into a vampire against her will.
Basically remade into an eternal daughter for Riordan,despite her wish to reunite with her family.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-22-2011, 02:27 AM
Father sold daughter (MC) to Carpetbagger for money to pay taxes in Georgia. MC runs away when she finds out she's pregnant and gives birth on the run to Louisiana. She leaves her son at a church in New Orleans where he's adopted by a couple headed west - she never sees him again. After trying her hand at being a housekeeper, governess, and French tutor on her journey up the Mississippi, she eventually has to turn to selling herself. She runs afoul of a brutal and sadistic sheriff in Dakota Territory. When she becomes the cause of a man's and his three children's deaths at the hands of said sheriff, she runs again - back south this time - to wind up in the saloon at the center of the Newton, KS, massacre. Then she meets the hero and the real trouble begins.

Kitty27
10-22-2011, 02:33 AM
Can I just say that I feel all tingly and happy that I am amongst such sadistic folk?

Jed Power
10-22-2011, 02:41 AM
In my novel "The Boss of Hampton Beach" the protagonist, Dan Marlowe, a reformed cocaine addict, is bound to a chair and forced at gun point to drink a glass of beer laced with a large dose of coke. Then his tormentors smokin' hot girlfriend, whose also coked up, sexually teases him mercilessly.

Namatu
10-22-2011, 02:41 AM
My MC saw her parents murdered, was raised by people who orchestrated said parents' deaths, made to work for the organization responsible, fell in love with one of their loyal minions (who was sent to spy on her), nearly got killed in an escape attempt in which she worked with The Most Hated Enemy of her employers, was interrogated and tortured in the aftermath, and that's before the book starts.

BotByte
10-22-2011, 04:24 AM
MC get's limbs chopped off, eyelids cut off, forced to watch his family is toutured/raped and then buried alive.

He's granted life once more to hunt these men down.


Another one is having my almost invisible MC to battle a army of 150,000 men. 7 days later he walks through the thin oceans back to his woman, covered in dried blood. Quite gruesome. He could not die or escape, go figure.

jaksen
10-22-2011, 04:30 AM
Do all of you write horror? Or is this romance?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-22-2011, 04:33 AM
I can't speak for the others, but... yeah. Mine's a romance. Technically.

Maddie
10-22-2011, 04:38 AM
I stuck my MC in a monotonous marriage...correction, monogamous...if that ain't torture at times, then I don't know.

Drachen Jager
10-22-2011, 05:58 AM
Do all of you write horror? Or is this romance?

I think only These Mean Streets writes horror. :tongue

JessicaJoy
10-22-2011, 06:32 AM
Hmm one of the children characters in one of my stories (who is a very shy timid child) overhears her parents arguing about her in the middle of the night, in a moment of hurt, and simply not wanting to hear her parents fight she sneaks outside into the dark.
She ends up terrified, outside alone in the woods behind her house in the dark, feeling like she's the reason her parents fight.
It has a happy ending though, with the girl finding courage she didn't know she had.

seun
10-22-2011, 02:57 PM
I could tell you.

But then I'd have to kill you.

Kitty27
10-22-2011, 08:24 PM
I write Horror. It is my favorite genre to the point that when I work on my other books,it always manages to sneak in.

I tried middle grade once and it turned into a werewolf snacking on the kiddies.

nchahine
10-23-2011, 11:41 AM
Abused as a child, lived in isolation most of his life, forced to kill hundreds of thousands of people, and finally lost all of his family, who he just found again. That about sums it up. :D

SJAB
10-23-2011, 11:50 AM
One of my characters voted Liberal Democrat

That's so cruel!

ChaosTitan
10-23-2011, 06:22 PM
I suppose killing her (*cough*twice*cough*) is about the lowest point I could take her....

JayMan
10-23-2011, 08:16 PM
I made a man admit he was wrong, and ask for directions. :D
Clearly, IdiotsRUs writes fantasy :tongue

My MC has survived the apocalypse, lost almost everyone he knew and loved, blinded in one eye by a piece of shrapnel, developed an addiction to sleeping pills, and is currently starving to death in the wilderness. (It's okay, though, he'll be all right in the end, if a little psychologically scarred for life :D )

ios
10-23-2011, 09:15 PM
In my Walker Universe, Walker hits his all time low in the second novel (wip): Because he broke a law while trying to save his planet*, he is exiled to a planet* that is supposed to be a paradisal place to be imprisoned for life. It is really more like hell. He gets captured and tortured by the worst of the supernatural creatures. Years later, when he thinks he is the only survivor (he is somewhat immortal) on the planet besides the monsters, he starts setting up his own death. Just then he gets rescued by his exilers, only to be forced by them to go back to that planet a short while later to retrieve something important. Basically, in that novel, his life sucks.

In my nano2011 novel, I plan on an all time low being when my dragon realizes a connection between the human he saved and the woman who tortured him, left him for dead, and then proceeded to use what she learned from him to enslave the rest of the dragons. The connection is that the woman is the aunt to his human ward, and he learns this after he is starting to trust his human again.


Jodi

*Not really a planet, but it's hard to explain briefly, so I'll call it planet.

ios
10-23-2011, 09:18 PM
My MC has survived the apocalypse, lost almost everyone he knew and loved, blinded in one eye by a piece of shrapnel, developed an addiction to sleeping pills, and is currently starving to death in the wilderness. (It's okay, though, he'll be all right in the end, if a little psychologically scarred for life :D )

Sounds like something I wanna read :-)

Jodi

ios
10-23-2011, 09:19 PM
I suppose killing her (*cough*twice*cough*) is about the lowest point I could take her....

Lol, good point. I tend to like to off my characters too--sometimes more than once ;-)

Jodi

ios
10-23-2011, 09:20 PM
One of my secondary characters gets captured and beaten the crap out of. He ends up with a head injury, which wipes the chip implanted in his brain, and he suffers seizures during an extremely important mission. They manage to escape, but not only is the key information stored in the chip destroyed, but so is the rest of his memory.

That chip part sounds really cool!

Jodi

ios
10-23-2011, 09:22 PM
I buried one protagonist alive along with a supporting character and a demon (a rather hostile one). Things got better though.

I like buried-alive tales! Sounds very cool :-)

Jodi

Libbie
10-23-2011, 09:36 PM
I made my protagonist a writer.


That's cruel and unusual.

My MC's ex-husband kills himself because of the loss of his marriage. And because of other things, but the divorce is a factor.

Calla Lily
10-23-2011, 10:16 PM
Husband dies; she's just found out she's pregnant. Bad Guys kidnap her, crucify her, leave her to die, she miscarries before she's rescued.

It gets worse. :evil

gothicangel
10-24-2011, 12:01 AM
Betrayed by his son, had the shit kicked out of him by the Picts, son then tries to kill him by re-creating a wound that almost killed him twenty years earlier.

cmi0616
10-25-2011, 01:11 AM
I just killed off one of my major characters in my current WIP. He was a failed journalist, who ultimately couldn't find a job and took to living on the streets. He was beaten to death while trying to save a woman he saw from across the street being slapped by her boyfriend.

sheadakota
10-25-2011, 02:11 AM
I love this thread

Soccer Mom
10-25-2011, 03:10 AM
I suppose killing her (*cough*twice*cough*) is about the lowest point I could take her....

Liar! You tormented that poor woman over and over.


I write sweet romance. So my hero got beaten within an inch of his life on his wedding night (before bedding his bride) and woke up with no memory of his wedding. See? Nothing compared you awful people.

cmi0616
10-25-2011, 04:11 AM
I almost forgot to mention the main character in my 1st attempted novel. In the first chapter, both of her parents kill themselves. A few chapters later she becomes a heroin addict. A few chapters after that she gets a boyfriend, who goes on to to knock her up and leave without even saying goodbye. Then, her baby dies of SIDS and she develops schizophrenia. She tries to kill herself by jumping off the roof of her apartment building, but survives and winds up wheelchair bound for the rest of her life.

Needless to say, it was a very depressing, shitty novel.

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2011, 04:49 AM
Wow. Doesn't anyone write happy stuff? :(

Steve Coate
10-25-2011, 04:55 AM
Wow. Doesn't anyone write happy stuff? :(

And then the ferret couple danced into the light of the setting sun, where they proceeded to live happily ever after:)

Shadow_Ferret
10-25-2011, 05:09 AM
And then the ferret couple danced into the light of the setting sun, where they proceeded to live happily ever after:)

And they high-fived the liberal democrat.

Drachen Jager
10-25-2011, 06:09 AM
I tend to find writing is about the extremes. That's why I started this thread. It's all about the highs and lows. If it's all shitty, then the audience will hate it, but if it's all sunshine and roses the audience will be bored to tears and probably hate the characters to boot. Who wants to root for the guy who was prom-king, valedictorian, went to Harvard, went on to be CEO of a fortune 500 company and lived a life of luxury and ease without a moment's worry?

We want to cheer for the underdog. Sometimes it doesn't even matter if he wins, he can just get the moral victory, like Rocky, and we're happy for him because he's come so far.

To be honest, the character I started this thread with is a bit of a dick, he is that prom-king, valedictorian guy with the rich parents who went to Oxford. But things took a wrong-turn for him and now he's in a really shitty place and the only one who can help him work his way out of the shit again is himself.

Rhoda Nightingale
10-25-2011, 07:38 AM
I suppose killing her (*cough*twice*cough*) is about the lowest point I could take her....
Not to mention all the stuff you put her through before and since. *shudder*

As for mine:

Character A--raped and murdered, then resurrected, only something went wrong and now she's possessed by a wendigo. (Yes, this is horror.)

Character B--forced by evil adoptive father to use his magical abilities to manipulate, torture and kill people. (YA urban fantasy.)

Character C--hoodwinked by a demon and sent to Hell in its place, where he gets a private "room" next to the noisy ice machine for all eternity, and at one point gets stuck in an iron maiden for about a week. (Horror, but this one was fanfiction--and yes, I stole that "ice machine" thing from that Weird Al song.)

Character D--betrayed by former boyfriend, then kidnapped and experimented on due to her immunity to a certain apocalyptic virus. (Also horror.)

There's way too many to name. I tend to torture them pretty badly.

LadyA
10-26-2011, 05:11 PM
Blimey, I thought I was cruel to my characters!

Kidnapped, forced to kill his best friend in front of his other best friend, a slow descent into mental illness, and then to suicide (it's ok, he doesn't die, just breaks quite a few bones and shatters his leg). And I write YA...

ChaosTitan
10-26-2011, 05:28 PM
Not to mention all the stuff you put her through before and since. *shudder*


:evil

AlwaysJuly
10-26-2011, 05:59 PM
Well, I don't think I go quite as dark as a lot of you. But my MCs do suffer. That's what they are there for.

One MC has ulcerative colitis (a chronic disease of the digestive system that causes painful cramps/gas/diarrhea). She has an "accident" at the Homecoming dance and can barely stand to show her face in school again. So this isn't that dark, but it is pretty humiliating if you're sixteen years old!

Another MC is a sweet, soft-spoken pacifist possessed by a vengeance goddess, so that's rough for her -- nothing terrible happens to her personally, but she certainly suffers with the suffering she sees.

Another MC helped her terminally ill father commit suicide, and has been a pathological liar ever since after lying to cover her tracks. She has strained family and interpersonal relationships because of the lying, and a sense of guilt she can't shake. Her lowpoint is when her boyfriend breaks up with her & she moves out, her old lover doesn't want her back, and her mom doesn't even really want her to move back home.

And for the new WIP (a YA), my MC's father and brother has died, and she's haunted by other ghosts who are drawn to her depression.

Ruth2
10-26-2011, 06:14 PM
My bad guy is forced to cut off his penis and eat it.

JayMan
10-26-2011, 08:52 PM
My bad guy is forced to cut off his penis and eat it.
:eek:

Drachen Jager
10-26-2011, 09:06 PM
See, I'm all for torturing good guys. It builds character and a rapport with the audience, you really WANT the guy who's been dragged through the shit to succeed in the end.

Why would you want the audience to feel sorry for the bad guy?

Atlantis
10-27-2011, 11:45 AM
I had her get involved in a fight with several sea serpents, be forced to kill to survive, get thrown from a high height and suffer a broken arm, get thrown against walls, and I set her on fire a couple of times.

Ooh and I made her get picked on by her older sisters alot. I really had fun writing those scenes.

mccardey
10-27-2011, 11:47 AM
I made one of mine listen to a right-wing radio-shock-jock talk-back program. But only for a very little while.

JSDR
10-27-2011, 11:49 AM
My gay character got raped by his mom, who then gouged out his eyeball.

mccardey
10-27-2011, 11:52 AM
My gay character got raped by his mom, who then gouged out his eyeball.

Mine was worse







:p

cooeedownunder
10-27-2011, 12:15 PM
Oh, dear. Can't compete with that LOL

LadyA
10-27-2011, 10:40 PM
My gay character got raped by his mom, who then gouged out his eyeball.


Heavens! Did she have a reason or was eyeball-gouging a usual post-sex ritual for her? ;)

Monkey
10-28-2011, 01:55 AM
In my current WIP, the MC's husband is killed and her son is kidnapped. In trying to rescue her son, she's kidnapped as well. One of the people who maintains surveillance over her and her son attempts to rape her, and after that she finds it impossible to sleep or feel safe, even for a moment, because of the cameras all through the "guest house" she's kept in. She knows the man could come back at any time, can see her when she's sleeping or bathing, and there's no way for her to call for help. She attempts escape, after which she undergoes intense psychological/physical torture.

It gets worse before it gets better, but I don't want to give too much away. :)