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October 2nd, 2002, 05:29 AM
Someone before (user123) gave me an idea for a new topic.

Do you like torturing your characters?

If yes:
<Insert daemonical laughter here>

How much?

What kind of tortures do you like to put them through?

And (yes, I know I'm opening Pandora's Box here :rolleyes: ) is it true that male writers like to torture female characters, while female writers like to torture male characters?

October 2nd, 2002, 09:18 AM
Either this is a very new thread or everyone's too terrified to think about it.
I voted for psychological as I put my characters into states of emotional duress quite often. It's a test of their character (sorry could think of no better synonym) and can tell you more about them in a few sentences than a lengthy history related prologue/flashback/chapter etc.
If you really want to find out about someone, put them under pressure.
A character only gets physical torture in my writing if he;

A. Really deserves it.

B. Is going to get some major payback on his torturer later.


October 2nd, 2002, 11:11 AM
Yep, psychological and subtle. Wonderful way to let your characters grow . . .
Sometimes I let them suffer physical as well, if it fits in the story and brings on some more conflict.

Nice poll, anyway. ;)

October 2nd, 2002, 01:32 PM
If I'm writing a light hearted adventure, then I would never physically torture my characters to any horrific degree. However, if I was attempting a horror piece, torture would have to be a centerpeice, since there is very little more horrifying than being helpess and at the mercy of a demented torturer.

I'm sure many of you have read Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind. The [spoiler!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~]

mordsith scenes were disturbing and hard to read, but they made sense as the series went on.

Anyway, I have to admit that deep withing the dark, twisted recesses of my nether soul that torture is fascinating and exciting in a terrifying way.

October 2nd, 2002, 02:51 PM
Well, torture is kind of a difficult subject. In many of the fantasy books that I've read, somebody gets tortured somewhere. Usually it is a lesser character, or the hero goes past a torture chamber... If you put your hero through physical torture he has to get healed by someone or something.
Personally I pick psychological torture, it's more dificult to write convincingly, and if you do it correctly it can lend a deeper aspect to your story. Physical wounds heal over time, but mental scars...?
And psychological torture gives you more playing (can't think of a better word) room with your character, because suddenly the motives for anything he does becomes more detailed (I'm truly at a loss for English words today. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.)
In one of my stories - hopefully I'll polish it enough to release it on sffworld soon - one character has two totally different personalities, because of various things that happened to him in the past. Psychological torture, basically. I've tried something new (hopefully) writing one character from first person and the other from third. I hope it works.
Wow - maybe I should stop rambling on now.

October 2nd, 2002, 04:24 PM
I like to have the heroes go through pain. Sometimes, I'm afraid, a little too much pain. One of my characters, Tom Longfellow, gets bitten, slashed, burned, and brutally cut open. He goes through a lot. :p

October 2nd, 2002, 05:43 PM
Some of the characters in my stories suffer tremoundous torture of various degrees and genre, but I really don't write it because I enjoy it... in fact I hate writing it. Call me crazy, but the chracters I have created and written for years have become as dear to me as family...

And of course, trying to call on understanding of what might be in someones mind during torture, isn't a pleasent task, but as authors this is exactly the sort of thing that we must do, whether it be by a bold imagination, or by recalling the darkest times of our life...

October 2nd, 2002, 09:07 PM

Robin Hobb did it very well with Fitz - it was physical torture, but her main focus was the psychological effect this had. I think she did it extremely well, and very powerfully. Anyone who wants to incorporate torture into their writing on a more-than-voyeuristic level should read the Farseer Trilogy.

Pirate Jenn
October 2nd, 2002, 11:24 PM
Always the slow, subtle (very subtle) torture. I enjoy letting two good characters torture each other...or let the quest (unfiying goal) torture...or the past. (gets too boring, otherwise--to write, I mean)