Do you love reading stories that makes you cry?
So do I and it is why I write novels that will tug on your heartstrings long after you finish them.
Sad books serve a purpose, especially for people whose lives aren’t very sad. And, oddly enough, most people are drawn to sad stories. Which is a good thing. There is a lot to be gained from reading about other people’s situations (ficticious or real).
Heart-wrenching fiction can be valuable for many reasons. It can bring awareness to an issue, help the reader empathize with the characters, by understanding how great their struggles are/were. These stories can also help the reader release negative emotions and make the happiness one feels stronger. Many readers connect better with unhappy endings. Not only is there more power in a sad story – it is relatable.
Searching for happiness all your life is a fool’s quest. If all you felt was happiness, life would be dull, and the happiness would become meaningless. As a lover of sad stories – one can find a balance. Sadness and other negative emotions are necessary in order to fully understand and appreciate happiness – and to really get a sense of what others are going through.
Benefits of reading about tragedies:
- forces us to confront negative emotion. It can purge, release, or unclog negative emotions (pity, fear, remorse), sentiments that humans bottle-up instead of facing and accepting.
- discourages reckless behavior. Can serve as a realization, as to what not to do if you want a happy ending for yourself.
- fosters empathy. C.S. Lewis said, “Tragedy is more important than love. Out of all human events, it is tragedy alone that brings people out of their own petty desires and into awareness of other humans’ suffering. Tragedy occurs so we will learn to reach out and comfort others.”
- helps us evaluate our own relationships. Observing the dramatic fate or unfulfilled love of others fosters thoughts about one’s own close relationships/situation.
- encourages gratitude. Tragedy is a necessary part of the human condition. It wakes us up, reminds us that horrible things can and does happen, and inspires us to appreciate what we have.
On a personal note:
I constantly read sad stories because loss, pain, doubt, confusion, and life does not stop. I read to understand anger. I read so that I’ll not judge. I read for perspective. Life is a hampster wheel of work, cooking dinner, folding the laundry, and worrying about finances. And regardless of how difficult your life is, someone else is facing the same struggles – or worse. I cannot change what people are going through though I can better understand it, by reading and observing. Then when I have a full understanding of other people’s challenges, I often write about it.