Janet Fitch, author of “White Oleander” and “Paint it Black,” has written 10 rules for writers that can be of great reference for simmers. Check it out, especially, number 10:
Torture your protagonist.
The writer is both a sadist and a masochist. We create people we love, and then we torture them. The more we love them, and the more cleverly we torture them along the lines of their greatest vulnerability and fear, the better the story. Sometimes we try to protect them from getting booboos that are too big. Don’t. This is your protagonist, not your kid.