Actually, I think it helps to think of characters as real. You get attached, yes, but it makes it so much more fun. I guess that's the way I feel. I'm sure it's just becauseI love to put my characters through distress and trouble. I love to watch them get stronger and overcome their problems. Makes me feel stronger too. :)
Oh, yes. One of my greatest struggles is putting my characters through real pain. I know I must, but who wants to do that to someone you love? Yet that is what has made my most popular non fiction work popular. I guess that should be a clue.
I have the opposite problem...I put my characters through all sorts of painful experiances. But that might just be because I do most of my big-scale writing in NaNoWriMo.
I love to watch them get stronger and overcome their problems. Work from home India
I know just how you feel. Sometimes, I get rather maniacal when I'm writing about my characters getting hurt or even dying. I have to take a distant and unfeeling position in order to let myself kill one of the people I have grown to know and love so well. And then I cry with those still alive, and it all becomes so much more real.