Recently I came across the German word, Schadenfreude [shahd-n-froi-duh]. I don't speak German, but I love this word. I love the sound of Schadenfreude and the way I have to contort my lips when I say it. I also love how it explains what writers are called to do daily in their writing: derive satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.
Initially, I struggled with this concept. Each time my character got too close to danger, I redirected her into safety, but, as we all know, that results in a very boring story. So, I began creating situations that caused my protagonist pain and suffering. The story got exciting and we all lived happily ever after. Well, at least I lived happily ever after. As for my protagonist, she's not talking to me right now.
Have you ever heard of the word Schadenfreude? Do you use it daily in your writing or do you derive satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune outside of writing?