There's this thought in my head, one that I cannot easily dismiss, and I happened to think about it while rewriting that second draft of my book.
Why do we torture our characters this much?
Don't tell me that you don't love torturing or reading about the tortures of an MC because I'm going to call you a liar! Every book we read is exactly this: A journey to the most hard and painful things that can happen to a person. Upon taking a book in our hands, we know for sure that the MC will lose the ones she/he loves, will suffer death, betrayal and usually in the end, she/he will manage to have a sort of a happy ending.
Did you ever wonder why? Why in fiction all we crave is trouble?
We want the books we read to feel real, we care about the characters as if they are real persons, we want the best for them, but still, we can't hide the excitement when something terrible happens as we long to see the character to overcome this obstacle too.
If you think about it, this is what happens in real life too. We may not fly with dragons, or we may not take a sword and fight for our life, but we do give fights every day. Some of us may face a war, some raids or conflicts but in one way or another life is a combination of all the fights we fought and even if we won or not, we survived.
So, trying to answer the questions above, I think that we enjoy reading about the darkest moments of a character just because it gives us strength to keep fighting our own battles. So don't feel bad when you love a "dark" book. It's a lesson, even if it's fiction, there's always a lesson waiting to be learned.
At least that’s the way it is for me. How about you?