It has come to my attention that authors sometimes do such a good job telling their stories that some readers are pulled into the story world, to the point where those swoon-worthy characters seem like they could be real. And thus hunks and heroes from novels have been breaking hearts of readers everywhere, just by refusing to actually exist.
Has this ever happened to you? See if you recognize any of the tell-tale signs.
One: The main reason you would want to be the heroine of your favorite book is because of the hero, not because of her good qualities or exciting life (although that’s a nice bonus, of course).
Two: Every time he says anything romantic to the heroine, you sigh. Actually, any time he says basically anything, you sigh.
Three: When you move on to another book, you feel a little guilty for liking the new hero. Particularly if it’s a series by the same author and Hero 2 is Hero 1’s brother or best friend. (Not naming any names here…Alaskan Courage series.)
Four: When someone mentions time travel, you immediately think about visiting your favorite historical characters…before realizing that they were not, in fact, real historical people.
Five: You have, on multiple occasions, worried about and/or prayed for a fictional hero before remembering that he was fictional.
Six: You have had debates with your friends who have read the same book over who would actually be the best person to date/marry the hero of the story. And your argument was clearly the winner.
Seven: If your favorite author ever mentions a hero from a past book, you erupt into squeals that make everyone around you stare in confusion. (Full Disclosure bringing in an O’Malley? Watching how cute Ty and Celia are as a married couple in A Love Like Ours? Seeing what happened to some of our favorite characters in the generation-space between Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest? Yes, please.)
Eight: You have actually thought about how his last name would fit with yours. (Check sticky-notes on your desk to see if you doodled his initials inside a heart. That might also be a sign.)
Nine: If you think about the qualities you are looking for in a spouse (or that you appreciate in the one you have) they pretty much describe the main character in your favorite novel. Well, except for a few details like “former NFL player” or “bounty hunter on the run from the law” or “brilliant Congressman with a tragic past.” But, you know, other than that….
Ten: At the last page of the book you find yourself sad, not because the ending was tragic, but because you have to say goodbye to the characters. Particularly that one character…. Sigh.
If you read through this list of symptoms and find yourself checking most of them off, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that these fictional heroes are, well, fictional. (So sorry to break your heart.)
The good news? Like all great characters, they’re based on qualities of the everyday heroes around us, the kind we can cheer for and admire in real life. And, of course, your favorite author is probably writing the next book with an equally intriguing hero, so there’s always that to look forward to!
Okay, confess: which fictional character have you had a crush on and why?