I don’t know about you, but I love nothing more than reading about flawed characters. Through their pain and misfortune, we as readers are able to connect to them on a real level within a fictional realm. No one’s life is perfect and if they say it is, they’re a liar. Our imperfections and perceived flaws make us who we are. There is no difference when it comes to fictional characters, or as far as I’m concerned there shouldn’t be.
When I can connect on a level of brokenness with a literary hero or heroine, it opens the floodgates of emotion, making me step into their world one page at a time. Sure there are so many angst-filled books out there, but some of them lack the depth of reality.
“I read to escape my mundane or chaotic everyday life.”
No shit. So do I. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be on the same level with a character in some way through their pain. I’m sure we’ve all experienced pain in one way, shape, or form. It may not have to be in the same context in order to have sympathy for someone else. I’ve never had cancer nor has anyone in my immediate circle, but when my best friend told us her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I immediately made a care package to send to them both. Was it actually helpful? Who knows. The one thing I do know is it raised their spirits– if only for a moment. I felt a level of sympathy with them that even though I had no experience of that issue, I know what it’s like to be sick and afraid.
Whether a character is ill, a victim of abuse, dealing with loss, tragedy or any other form of grief, it makes them better, full of depth and real. Maybe I’m a little morbid because I want to connect with characters through their pain, but if I can walk in their shoes through their sorrows that only lifts my spirit when they experience joys.
Reading is such a subjective thing and they say no two people read the same book. We all have our opinions on what we like to read, when and why. I’m a mood reader. That can take me from something gut wrenching and have me blubbering like an idiot to reading a rom-com, grinning so hard my cheeks ache. I’ve lived a thousand lives and traveled a million miles through the eyes of other characters and their journeys. This is why I read. It’s a part of who I am. What about you?