It's worth being a big meanie to our characters. My friend Carol Berg is a master at it. She sets up Portier, in her latest book THE SPIRIT LENS, in a bad spot and then she proceeds to have the people who took him do everything horrible that they possibly they can do to him, short of killing him outright.
I think there's a lesson in that. I have a scene where Trinidad gets caught and put in jail. I thought I did an okay job of making him suffer, but last night I was thinking (always dangerous) of all the things that really could scare the reader into thinking how in hell might he get out of this one? I realized I hadn't done my job.
So. Off to do my job.
By the way, check out the hottie on Carol's beautiful cover. He's a real dude and they're Facebook friends! How cool is that??