I suppose we love to see our hero/heroines in terrible trouble so we can admire how they ultimately get out of terrible trouble. It’s what all good fiction is about, whether it be romance, horror, mystery or whatever.
The problem presents itself early on and usually the concerns and worries pile on as the story progresses. But the thing that fascinates all readers is asking the questions of ‘how are they going to get through this or cope with that?’ This is where story gets to us because we put ourselves in their places and worry if we would do the same thing. We root for them to succeed in their endeavours because if they can cope then so would we. If it’s a good story, we identify with the character and we want them to succeed against all the odds. It confirms something to us about human nature and the will to survive, I think. And when at the end they do rise up and overcome their terrible trouble we cheer for them.
As writers it is our job to create that terrible trouble and then throughout the middle of the story make the terrible trouble even more terrible until finally the hero has to step up to the mark in some way, deal with the terrible trouble and be heroic to save the day! Hooray!
So, do you find it easy to pile on the woe for your charcters?