Well if I say I’ve never done this, then I am a dirty rotten liar. We’re all guilty of it. When we read fiction novels we go hard, am I right? We’re not messing around here. Getting to know brand new characters is like sitting down to hear someone’s life story and seeing how they live through various situations. You’re getting quite a feel for their voice and how they react to certain scenarios. Quirks, vices, catch-phrases, inner-monologues; all these things begin to piece together. Now you’re in deep.
This character is charming, intelligent, lovable, and before you know it… BOOM. You find yourself falling for fictional person. I’ve been there, I know the struggle. You get that lame fuzzy feeling and you wish they could come to life. Yes, it’s rough. You’re probably thinking of a character right now. If you’re still not sure of your feelings, here are the stages of completely falling for a fictional character.
1. Getting to know them little by little
It’s like going on a blind date where you can’t talk, only listen. You’ve had feelings for other characters in the past and now someone new is on the scene. Their tone of voice seems intriguing at first, but they’re basically a stranger. You want to know more and you’re trying to figure out what their deal is before you even get through the first chapter.
2. You start to analyze their life and have sympathy for their complexities
By now, you’re already starting to feel little blips of possible attraction. Who needs sleep when you could spend the night reading about this unusual literary specimen? When the character’s quirky friend makes a scene, their following reaction has you thinking, ‘damn, they’re cute and witty’. When an inner-monologue comes up you give it a voice that’s deep with emotion and feeling.
3. You’re convinced everything about them is relatable
‘Omg I feel the same, I always do that and no one ever gets it,’ yada yada. Now it’s feeling like they’re telling their story right to you, as if it were a coffee date or text message. Oh boy… Their jokes and quips feel real, like y’all would have a good time together if you hung out. You would totally be friends if you met each other at a bar… or at Target.
4. Attraction is key and they are smokin’
Sweet honey biscuits, this character is fine as hell. Usually I find that characters are a combination of people we’ve already seen and find attractive. Whether it’s the cute guy at the mall or a celeb we have a crush on, we take the ingredients the author gives us and cook up something hot. The worst part? Everyone you usually find attractive in the real world is now dull and can’t even compare. This is dangerous territory- tread carefully.
5. You feel like they’re actually real
Red alert! Red alert! If you have that warm fuzzy feeling even after you put the book down, as Usher would say, you got it bad. You could totally imagine them in a group setting with friends or exchanging favorite books with one another. If your phone pings with a text, you know damn well you wish it was them messaging you… Le sigh.
6. You read the book as if you were the character who’s their love interest
‘[Insert character’s name here] reaches out to quietly hold [insert your name here]’s hand as they walk along the avenue and…’ Hold it right there. You are here, not there, but that doesn’t stop you from letting your imagination run wild. Scenes that will most likely never happen just feel right, right? And if those sensual scenes make your cheeks flush, then you’ve gone too far my friend.
7. The bittersweet end
Alas, all good things (real and fictional) must come to an end. This includes your fictional fantasy dreamboat. It really does feel like the character left you. You could reread the book, but it’s not the same as that very first time. They feel like a part of your life, afterall, you’re not the same person you were before you read it. Although endings are hard these characters still feel present. You think of them often and rather fondly… But you’ll get through it… seriously.
It’s so hard for me to start a new book once I’ve fallen for a character in the last one. However, as bookworms, we always manage to make room for new stories (and crushes.) Plus, even if the character stays with us for a while, isn’t that just the sign of a really great book?
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