Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Know They Aren't Real But...

I just finished reading the latest installment in one of my favorite series. And it looks like my favorite couple may not make it. People are arguing this one with me, but I think it's the beginning of the end.

And it just plain DEPRESSES ME.

My husband finds this odd...that I can feel actual sadness over fictional people in a fictional situation. Then again, my ability to do this is probably why I'm a writer and he's not :D After all, this whole emotional intensity thing is part of what makes writers be able to realistically express emotions in their books. Occupational hazard I guess that it spills over into our reading lives (at least mine) :)

Now, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way when reading (right? I'm not, right? I'm not the only one a little...off, am I?)

But I'm curious...do you consider this when you write? Do you, as a writer, think about how your audience will feel when writing your stories?

Given the main character in question, the outcome of this relationship was inevitable. I knew it when they got together (and the author has flat out said that they won't end up together on numerous occasions). Yet, still, I found myself hoping they'd find a way. And I find myself sad and depressed and revisiting happier times (i.e. books where they are all hunky-doory (emphasis on the HUNK)) in order to feel better about the whole thing.

So, I ask you, my dear readers/writers - how do you feel when things don't turn out how you'd like in a favorite book or series? And does this influence you at all when you write?

15 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

You raised a very interesting point! I think many readers these days want to feel vested inside the story. Anthropologists say there are two ways to view a situation, from the inside or from the outside. In an earlier era readers viewed from the outside, not so much today. I think reality tv has affected much. Reality tv isn't really real and is edited to pitch to certain emotions. This could be evolving into books.

Christine Fonseca said...

I always over-identify with fictional characters. :D

Misha said...

Great point. I definitely live myself into books. More than most. ^_^ I definitely think about the reader when I read difficult scenes, but the fact is that I don't think I'll ever know how they'd react.

So I tend to concentrate more on the story and whether the plot points, relationships, characters and endings make sense in the context of what I have written.

:-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

I feel jipped. And it definitely influences the way I write. I would never intentionally write something that would make me feel that way as a reader.

Amanda said...

I bet I know what you were reading!! ;) Because we've talked about this series before. If it's the same one, I was really dissapointed in the way the story is heading as well. I happen to agree with you. Our couple is on the outs. It makes me sad when a story line doesn't go my way, but in most cases I can respect the author's decisions. It's her story, afterall. In this case, though, I can't help but be dissapointed because I feel like the author has fallen out of love with her story and her characters. And that makes me sad.

John Sankovich said...

I liked to be surprised, but if it doesn't turn out the way I expect then I enjoy it. I like being thrown a curve ball, maybe its just me, but if it works then I'm okay with it.

In my own writing I like to do this to readers in some smaller ways.

Stephanie McGee said...

I generally like the HEA, the good guys winning out. But not every story lends itself to that and I try to accept that. (Though I will admit that endings that are less than that HEA or heroes getting what they aimed for often leave me feeling less than 100% satisfied at the end of a book.)

Marianne said...

I usually get depressed when the book ends. It is like losing a friendship.

Shari said...

I am so with you on this. I think I get overly connected! I do consider what the reader might think, but I write what I think is best for the story, regardless.

Mark Noce said...

OMG, I totally feel you:) It's almost tragic sometimes that a good book series has to end. When I get depressed at the end of a great book (or series) I often go back to the beginning and read the first chapter and it fill me with hope again:)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Oh yeah. I mean, if a book can make you cry it's because you care about the characters, even if you barely know them. Even if they're aren't real. Because they aren't. Good thing to remember. :) But I do think about this while I write b/c I don't want to be that writer that completely depresses my readers with an only mildly content ending after a devastating blow.

Lindsay said...

Now I'm wondering what series this is!

I do get attached to characters in books I read, so it does get to me if my favourite characters don't end up together. LOL.

That said, I don't think about it too much when I write.

Nisa said...

Oh, I so feel this way. My husband calls me empathetic. I suppose so, but seriously? Must I mope around the house for days when a book is too sad? I guess the answer is yes... Do I consider my readers when writing because of this? Definitely. There's still highs and lows, but I have to have a happy, or at least hopeful, ending!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A little can go wrong, but not a lot, or I am totally bummed. And I'm a sap. If a character dies that I loved, I cry.

storytreasury said...

I am only unhappy when my fav characters are hurt or when a fav series ends.