You've finally figured it out. You've killed your MC's parents, best friend and dog. Your MC has been thrown off a cliff, barely survived and has to limp 50 miles back to save his love interest from certain death. On the way he encounters wild animals and crazy people who are trying to kill him.
So ... why would we put him/her through all that?
We all know we need to raise the stakes in our MC's lives. We have to throw them into situations that nearly crush them to pieces. We want them to hurt. Emotionally and physically. We want to draw our readers in so far that they cannot put the book down. We want them to feel the emotion. Root for our MC to come out on top.
But how do we know what to throw at them? How do we know how much our MC can handle and when enough is enough?
When I'm writing I tend to think about what I would do in a situation. Most of the time I'd cower in a corner or run away screaming, but then I think if my family were involved, I would stay and fight. I'd fight for them and I use that to get inside my characters heads. My MC's always have someone they care about. Someone they would die for.
Make sure your MC's have something to fight for. To keep living for. Don't just chuck them in a hole full of rattlesnakes for no reason. There has to be a purpose for everything they go through. To grow, to make them realize how much they have to lose.
How do you know how much is too much for your characters to go through? How do you put them in situations that seem hopeless and make them come out on top?
**Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Matched by Ally Condie! :)