Do you feel sorry for your characters?
You should. If you don't, something's wrong with your story.
I feel sorry for mine.
Oh, how they suffer! And yet, I lie awake nights thinking of fresh ways to disturb them and make their lives horrendously hard.
Because without conflict, a story is about as exciting as a stale marshmallow, a dead toothbrush, or a cracked porcelain bell without a clapper.
We love our characters, so it's tough to make them suffer. If only their lives could be smooth as ironed silk scented with blooming jasmine. . .
However, if we wrote them like that, they'd be so boring they'd put everyone to sleep.
So, another day, another hardship! For the characters, that is.