Apr 14, 2014

Posted by in Question | 4 Comments

Question – Why Do We Freak Out/Worry/Cry Like a Baby?

Question Visual Again

This is you:

You are starting a new book in an urban fantasy series.  A book two in a series so you are already attached to the characers.  The title of the series is the main protagonist’s name.  You get to a particularly stressing scene.  The heroine is facing off with a band of horrible vampires and is hurt.  Badly hurt.  They don’t think she’s going to make it.  You are freaking out and crying like a baby.


You are reading a contemporary romance book.  The main couple, who you are completely smitten with, breaks up.  There are only 43 pages to go.  You are freaking out and worried sick.

Why?  Why why why?

We all do it, me included!  We freak out at a high-action scene when THE main character is close to death even though we know that book three is due to release in 6 months.  We worry when a main couple breaks up even though the book is a guaranteed HEA.

These are signs of how strong an author’s writing chops are.  If the author weaves her story right and offers up just enough detail to captivate us completely, we will freak out.  But we know that logically, we should not.

So why do we do it?  Why do we freak out or worry or cry like a baby while reading a book even though we know everything will be okay?








  1. Lol, I have no idea, the authors are just that good

  2. Another excellent question, Julie. I wonder if it has something to do with empathy? I’d hypothesize that a good story draws us in, and we put ourselves into the story, and, indeed, in the mind of the character. We truly live in the moment with the characters. We experience their pain and loss; we grieve for them when they are hurt. Even if we rationally know there are books to come and therefore our heroine and her love interest will most likely be fine, we cannot help but empathize with them in their moment of distress. I often find myself thinking of how I’d feel if that were happening to me, and then realizing I wouldn’t react NEARLY as well as the heroine.

    I attribute this to both the skill of the author, in creating a world we can’t help but loose ourselves in, and the above-average imagination we have as readers. Go us! : )

  3. It means the story is a good one, if it engages our emotions. If you are left cold with what ever is happening with the main characters, why would you read the book at all?
    We want to be pulled into another world, some one else’s life and problems, perhaps to forget our own for a while.
    Isn’t it the same with a good movie? You cry, you get scared, or excited?

  4. For me it’s the attachment to the characters and being completely drawn into the story. I will still cry even when I’m reading the book/series for the 5th time!

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