It's hard knowing when your characters are going to die and you can't do anything about it. It's hard knowing things about your characters - secrets that only they themselves know - that no one else may ever find out about. It's hard dealing with a character that repeatedly dies over and over and over, again and again, with no one who can possibly understand everything she is going through.
It's hard dealing with so many lives and deaths in one's head. Sometimes, I feel like I'm going to cry because I know it's going to happen. I want to cry even though I know everything is going to work out. I feel not only the pain of the character who had experienced death, but also the depression and sadness of the one left behind. I feel every single death and every single blow to that one character who keeps dying. I feel their frustration, their desperation, and their hopelessness as they seek out answers for why they are the way they are.
I wish I could speak directly to my characters, because I feel as if I could alleviate some of their pains. However, I am merely an observer; they would not hear me no matter how much I try to tell them that they are not alone.
Sometimes, it is hard seeing the lives of every single character in a book - when/where they are born, why they are important (even as a 'side character'), and how they die. All I can do is write it all down, hoping that someone else will see their pain and sympathize with them.
My characters are people, and I try to stay true to their stories. It is not my story to tell; it is their's. I want to help them in any way I can, because they are real people to me. I want to show the world these individuals who have inspired me to write about them. I want to show the world what I have learned from these people that walk off the pages and into the hearts of the readers. I want to give others a chance to laugh, cry, and dance with these people that have touched my heart in such an amazing way, even if it is only in the imagination.
I never think of them as merely fictional characters even though I know that is what they are. They are real people to me; I can never take them lightly. Their lives are not to be trifled with, but I also know how the story must unfold for them to reach the end. Every death, every heartache, every blow hurts me, too, as these characters - these people - get injured, fall onto their knees, slam doors in anger and frustration, and die (some in horrible ways). I will cry even if the villain dies; she believed she was doing the right thing up until the very end.
Never underestimate the writer. They are not only carrying their daily burdens, but also the burdens of their characters.