Today I had to emotionally torture my main character and as I did so I realized the importance of this. I have often been too easy on my characters, giving them too safe a path to trod, but it is the hurt that the character goes through that adds drama and tension to the story. This gives readers a reason to go on to the end because they want to find out what will happen with this character. Will he make it? Will he go mad? Will he turn to evil? Certainly such an event must change a person. How will it affect the way he thinks and feels for the rest of his life? The way he responds to similar circumstances?
So, though I will not do it gratuitously, I will torture my characters at times. For until a man has been through the storm, how can he appreciate the calm? Until he has entered the dark, how can he appreciate the light? How much better the healing is welcome after the torture of the soul.