A lot of bad stuff happens in my WIP.
I mean, that should really go without saying. It is a dystopian/sci-fi. There are very clear villains. And the premise involves killing.
So. Yeah. A lot of bad stuff happens.
But when I started writing the book, I never realized how hard this stuff would be on me. Because it's not just the villains who suffer in my book. The good guys suffer, too. They go through some painful stuff - physically and emotionally. There's one scene that makes me cry every time I read it - and when you put your very first word on the page a year ago, you end up going through a lot of readings. There are other scenes that make my stomach turn because...well, they're kind of gory.
Every time I read some scenes, I consider changing the outcome. Even though I've always planned for things to turn out that way, even though I know they work better if I leave it as is, I can't help but think to myself, "What if I just tried it another way?" And maybe I even let the result play out in my head...but it never works as well.
And that's how I know I'm making the right choices. Because even when it kills me to do mean things to my characters, I know, ultimately (as strange as it is) it's for the best. Kids don't grow up if they're coddled, and the same goes for characters. You have to let them deal with the hard stuff, with the heartache. And it's so rewarding to see how they change because of it. (Did I just compare my characters to children? YUP.)
So don't be afraid to write the hard scenes. Let your characters suffer. You'll be glad you did.