This week I found myself battling with a powerful and lingering fictional crush on a male character from Zoe Allison’s latest novel, Second Chance At First Love.’ I’m still not over it yet and have had to pause my reading as every time I open another book I picture…Damon (sigh) and his mid-thigh navy swim shorts in my mind. If you read my blog post on Zoe’s book earlier this week you will know I struggled to keep the fire and heart emojis under control on my review blog post and I had to give my hand held electric fan a break as it was exhausted.
Fictional crushes on book characters can take several forms:
- You are a bookworm who falls helplessly in love with a character in the novel you are reading.
- You are a writer and can’t shake off the fluttery feelings for the character you have just created.
- You are a writer and have a hot crush on the character your fellow writer friend has cast in her / his latest draft book which needs an intelligent critique.
Each type of crush will see you exhibiting that same sort of symptoms:
- Feeling hot and flustered when your crush comes onto the page.
- Sleepless nights thinking about your book crush and knowing they don’t actually exist.
- Going bat crazy on a book review and letting your emotions run away.
- Picturing your crush in your day to day life; your crush smouldering in the frozen food section of your local supermarket, casting you a hot look in the butchers as you pay for your sausages and winking at you as they help you with putting out the recycling waste in the rain.
- You pestering your writer friend with emails titled with, I AM OBSESSED WITH [enter character name of choice], and, WE WILL HAVE TO FIGHT OVER [enter character of choice].
- Being unable to stop tweeting about your book crush or making Insta stories featuring your dreamy face as you hug the book in question / your own manuscript or your friend’s draft novel.
So, here are the 5 stage of a fictional crush:
- Go wild with a book / new story / your writer friend’s latest book. This is the stage where you realise you are on a fictional holiday in the story and for the next hour or two, free from the drudgery of your normal life. It is an amazing feeling to be stepping onto a fictional golden beach, looking out (through a character’s eyes) across a crystal clear blue sea and hearing that little voice inside you whisper, “think I am going to enjoy reading / writing this.” As the character starts to let their fictional hair down in the story and enjoy themselves – so do you in your armchair / writing chair. In your head you are this character rocking a new bikini, ignoring nagging doubts about wobbly bits on thighs and excited about dancing on tables later.
- Meeting Book Crush. This is the stage where you come face to face with your fictional book crush. The fluttery feelings in your chest will start the second they stride onto the page. You can expect the following to fall out of your lips without warning; OH HELLO, SEXY! This is where loved ones in your reading / writing vicinity could drop their tray of home baked cookies in shock as they think you’re lusting after them. If you are reading a character created by your writer friend this is where you will start frantically messaging them with the words; WHO HAVE YOU CREATED? They will be wanting you to critique their story but you will be obsessed with their character. After a few messages of excessive CAPITALS and heart emojis they will realise they are not going to get any sense out of you for a few weeks.
- Desperate to shove the other character out of the way. This is where your fictional crush on your book character starts. We are talking tingles in places I can’t mention on this blog, excitement coursing through your veins, swooning every time you turn the page and light headedness during fictional intimate moments. All this will result in you being desperate to climb into the story and shove the other character out of the way so you can have your crush all to yourself.
- The book’s romantic climax. This is where you enjoy the book’s romantic climax. Loved ones will be casting you odd looks as you gasp for someone to pass you your hand held electric fan. Soon you will be seen lying in state on the sofa with a cold compress across your forehead and whispering your fictional love interest’s name.
- Is it goodbye or see you again soon? You’ve reached the end of the book and its a sad time for you. Yes, you got a satisfying HEA ending but you’re going to miss your fictional crush a lot. In addition you will also be faced with the agonising task of going on social media and discovering…OTHER READERS ARE IN FICTIONAL LOVE WITH YOUR CRUSH. You will be seen shaking your head in disapproval at someone on twitter talking about their obsession for your crush’s mid-thigh swimming shorts, his muscular chest and his cheeky banter. Loved ones will watch your eyes flash with anger and you will mutter, GET IN LINE, HONEY. The only way to live with your suffering of not being with your fictional crush is to not say goodbye but whisper, SEE YOU SOON, TIGER.
To anyone out there experiencing a fictional crush – you have my sympathy. Hang in there, my friend.
Keep writing x