Well, this has been a rough week since the previous posts were about spoilers and a series have a book of darkness. Why not end it on the same note? After all, a big reason I’m anxious is because there are several scenes that involve . . . torture. I’ve hinted a lot that something like this is in the book, but I figure I should say it out loud:
The Baron is torturing one of the champions.
These scenes are rough and painful and not like anything that came before it. Remember when the Lich had captured Nyx and was trying to experiment on her? That was child’s play considering the Baron has had centuries to practice and create new methods to dole out pain. All of this is to bring a hero to the breaking point before the final battle, which is a very evil thing to do. I mean, what bad guy wouldn’t try to do something like this if the opportunity came up? That’s kind of their thing as long as they have the mentality to go that far.
This is where the strangeness comes into my thought process. Like most people, I’m against torture in real life. It’s a horrible act that strips the humanity from both people involved. One becomes a broken human and the other becomes a monster. This holds in fiction, but that’s also where you can show the terrible act. You can reveal what it does to the torturer and the scars it leaves behind on the victim. Perhaps you can show how a person can move on from such an act to live a normal act, which goes more for the victim than the torturer. I guess you could do the latter if you want them to work toward redemption. Wouldn’t be surprised if people who did horrible things during a time of war spent the rest of their lives trying to help others. Pretty sure I’ve heard a few stories about that. Anyway, fiction is where such acts should stay if an author decides to go this way with their villains.
I worry that people will read this and think I’m all about torture. These days, it feels like people don’t always separate the artist from the art. I write about an evil man torturing a beloved hero, so I think it’s okay? That’s not how it works. Villains have to be villains and giving all of them the same limits will harm their development if the direction they take is down into darkness. It’s hard enough when heroes do something wrong or take a moral stumble, which can toss people off a series. After all, those are the ones that are supposed to be perfect and flawless and nothing like real people who falter from time to time. To do this to villains makes it difficult to turn them into true threats. The Baron and his newest agent needed to surpass Stephen in terms of sadism. Otherwise, the champions wouldn’t be as scared. Why be afraid of a man who has ethical limits when you already the survived the one who has none?
Not sure if it helps my case, but it was tough to write the torture scenes. In fact, I’ve been told by a few people who read it early that the parts weren’t as bad as I thought. So it could be worse for me because I’m doing it to characters that are like my children. That doesn’t make it sound any better. After every part, I had to take an hour break and focus on something positive. Will any of this come across in the book? Will readers know that I’m not celebrating the flaying, breaking, and agony of my character?
Should I even be concerning myself with this? I mean, this whole thing sounds like I’m defending myself, which does denote some guilt. I do have some guilt since I put my characters through this. Tried to write the book without the darkness, but then it didn’t work out right. The Baron came off as weak, the final book had no twists, and the whole thing seemed too easy. Incarceration didn’t hit the right notes, which I can’t really explain without revealing too much. That spoiler thing rears its head again. All I can say is that the champions need to enter the final battle with wounds. The Baron is the type of villain who would make sure of this as a precaution even though he wants a great battle to honor his return. As much as he wants to play with his food, he doesn’t want to leave too much to chance. That’s just what some villains do.