Do you remember the first time a fiction book ever left you with a deep and powerful emotional echo?
The most effective works of fiction do more than enthrall us with a gripping plot and memorable characters. They are written so effectively that they are able to masterfully tug on our heart strings, like a skilled musician playing an instrument.
The emotional mood of fiction changes depending on its genre. For some of us readers, we have a particular type of fiction we’ve fallen for. We want to read everything in this genre. If this isn’t you, you’re sure to know someone who’ll eagerly check out the latest mystery novel, or is first in line for a romantic release. For other readers, the type of fiction they prefer changes over time. Sometimes we find ourselves in the mood for a thrilling read, other times we want something to make us stop and think.
No matter which type of reader you are, you’re sure to recognize the power of the best fiction out there. Here’s a small celebration of three of our favorite types.
The Thrill Of A Page Turning Mystery
Of all the types of genre fiction out there, the mystery novel remains one of the most consistently popular.
There is something about the combination of a plot that keeps you guessing, a carefully crafted main character, and a diabolical villain that keeps the mystery genre an enthralling favorite.
Sometimes, snobbish readers dismiss mystery books as lacking any kind of emotional payoff. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The best mystery books are able to effectively combine elements from every other type of fiction out there. Often, within a single novel, mystery tales will explore romantic subplots, moments of horror, and even flashes of dark comedy.
In fact, to read a great mystery novel is to have your emotions constantly played with. If mystery novels weren’t emotionally impactful, they would be easy to put down, and nothing is further from the case.
From the constant thrill of being one step behind the villain, to the sheer terror inspired by a coldhearted killer, the mystery genre is one which is sure to try the emotional fortitude of even a hardened reader.
The Joy Of Emotionally Moving Romance
The case can be made that romance is the most popular type of fiction out there.
The universal human experience of falling in love will never go away, and neither will stories that focus on this joyous sensation.
Romance is often a lot more literary than it is given credit for. While there will always be examples of cheap and trashy romance, there is also a wide range of different types out there. In fact, some of the greatest works of literature ever, from William Shakespeare to Jane Austin, are basically romantic tales.
Trends in romance come and go over time, but the basic emotional premise stays the same. The reader’s emotions are toyed with as the main characters go through and overcome obstacles in the way of their love, but in the end, things usually work out well.
Good romance stories are more than just entertaining. They can provide a little bit of light and warmth in a scary and cold world. They can give people hope in their own lives, when things aren’t quite going as planned.
The feeling of warmth and comfort is rarer than it should be in today’s world. As long as romance novel writers are around to provide that much needed emotion, they are sure to remain popular.
A key trend in recent years has been the emergence of young adult and older children’s fiction being popular among even older readers.
The trend perhaps started with Harry Potter. Rowling’s tale of wizardry had a vast appeal, extending way beyond the younger audience it was originally envisioned for. Although many of the series’ fans are people who grew up alongside the novels, there are plenty of adult readers who were well above drinking age when the first book came out.
A number of other books aimed at younger readers have gone on to experience acclaim and even big screen adaptations, such as The Hunger Games. So what exactly is the emotional reward that readers get from this type of gripping young adult fiction?
Often, one of the key themes to emerge is rebellion and resistance against injustice. We live in a time where many youth protest movements, on issues ranging from the environment to school safety, are catching the attention of the news. It’s therefore natural that fiction aimed at younger readers would reflect this sense of righting wrongs.
To get caught up in a gripping young adult work of fiction is to feel as if we can all make a difference. No matter how much the odds seem stacked up against us, it’s always worth keeping hope and trying to make the world a better place. That is the powerful emotional truth at the heart of the best books for young adults.
Although we’ve celebrated three examples of the emotional power of fiction today, in truth, it’s scope is endless. From the sheer terror instilled by a favorite Stephen King novel, to the sense of wonder and adventure found in fantasy, fiction always has a powerful emotionally payoff for those willing to discover it.
If you’re ever feeling a bit jaded or cynical about the world, it’s worth reflecting on the power of fiction to move our emotions.
Think back to a favorite book, and try and place yourself in that emotional moment. How did you feel? Would you like to relive it?
The great news is, you can. Pick up a beloved book today. Just be prepared to feel something real.