No, I'm not dunking them in large vats of boiling oil or feeding them to salivating alligators. Yet. This torture has more to do with emotional turmoil. Love in particular.
See, I've reached the big black moment in my current work in progress and its painful. Usually I enjoy ripping my character's hearts out (metaphorically of course) until they cry for mercy. But with this particular hero and heroine its different. I've already made them crash a spaceship, battle alien squids, and eat SPAM (the processed ham, not junk email). How much more can these two take?
Okay, lots. Let's face it, I'm evil that way.
So how about you? As a writer, do you look forward to torturing your characters or does it leave a bad taste in your mouth (kind of like that piece of SPAM)? And as a reader, do you feel shafted if the author goes too easy on the characters?