What To Do When Fiction Makes You Feel Something That’s Not Fictional


Congratulations! You have come across a book that’s reached inside you and pulled out emotions that you thought were only reserved for real life shit. Whether you are sobbing your heart out, or you’re so angry that you’re quite willing to throw that book across the room, or you’re so damn happy and feeling like you’ve just won the lottery.

Having been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, I’ve come across books that have torn my heart in half and others that make me go ‘Huh. Is that it?’ Most recently, I’ve dug myself a very deep hole in the form of The Game of Thrones. I have never had such a love/hate relationship with a book series. In particular, the scene dubbed ‘The Red Wedding’ in A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold. Fiction has never made me feel a grief so acute! So, some tips in overcoming these feelings.

1. Give yourself a small break. Acknowledge your emotional state and wallow for a little.

2. Curse or praise the author a bit. Get those feelings out!

3. Write some fan fiction where the scene changes to suit your feelings

4. Go watch some shitty TV. It will make you wonder what the fuck you are doing killing your brain cells, therefore will make you more  open to the idea of going back to reading the book that just broke your heart…logic at its best

5. Complain to your friends/family about what you have just read, and discuss mutual feelings.  If you talk to someone who hasn’t read that book, PLEASE warn them of what’s coming! Without giving it away, of course.

6. Take a long, hot shower. That usually fixes everything.

And above all, DO NOT STOP READING. You have committed yourself to this book, see it through! Anyway, if you’ve gotten to the point where a book is making you feel real stuff, you’re in too deep to stop, I would imagine.