Research and Hurting the Characters We Love

Do you research before you start writing? I do, to an extent. For the major scenes I’ll gather as much information as possible in an effort to streamline the writing process. However, for the bulk of the story, I conduct research as I go.

We all want our stories to be authentic, believable. My current WIP is filled with emotional scenes and I find myself needing to take a break. That’s what I did Tuesday. Took a break. But, when I went back to work Wednesday, (after reading notes from my CP on chapter 12) I realized I needed to research a few things to make the story more believable. Unfortunately, the subject matter I researched drained me.

You see, I need to hurt one of my characters. I mean physically hurt her. I researched ways for her to be injured and, for each way, I researched the actual physical consequences. I unearthed lots of medical jargon and actually made sense of most of it. But, I love my character. It’s tough to put her through this.

It makes me wonder, if I’m on an emotional roller coaster while writing, will my readers feel the same way while reading? Am I the only writer in the world that gets so caught up in the story I’m creating that I have to take breaks so I won’t fall into an abyss of depression?

Yes, I’m finding it difficult to write these scenes, the ones where my character is physically and emotionally pummeled. I have to do it though. It’s the only way to move the overall story forward.