Is It Weird to Cry at Fiction?

I only ask because it seems I’ve been doing this a lot lately. (Then again, I’ve been reading and watching pretty emotional stuff.)

In your opinion, is it normal/understandable to cry when reading books or watching television? What constitutes the line between acceptable and pathetic?

Are there specific instances when you have cried at fiction? Does it make you feel weak, or like the experience has strengthened you somehow?

Just curious.

About Aloha

A teen writer and future world ruler. Llamas make me happy.
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22 Responses to Is It Weird to Cry at Fiction?

  1. BushMaid says:

    Hrm… I cry at fiction generally because I can identify with whatever pain the character is going through. I cry when something is *sad*, i.e. people dying, unavoidable horrors, etc. I don’t think I can say exactly _why_ I cry… * shrugs * good question, really.

    • Aloha says:

      Yeah, definitely. I think it’s a mark of a good writer, if they can make characters and plots so rich that readers become emotionally attached. Mercy said much the same.

  2. Kirsten says:

    *HUNGER GAMES AND HARRY POTTER SPOILERS*
    I hope it is. I generally cry when there is a sad death or something horrible happens to my favorite HFG, or (when I’m re-reading) there’s a quote that is just so sad in hindsight, like Dobby’s “I will always be there for Harry Potter.” However, I always sound pathetic when I cry at books or tv, because I sort of make this sobbing sound that sounds stupid.
    Well, I cried at Dobby’s death, Fred’s death, Godric’s Hollow, the forest scene, and a couple other places. In the Hunger Games, I cried pretty much through Mockingjay, because it was so depressing, and then I cried when Peeta was all crazy, and then I cried when Prim died, and I cried at “Real or Not Real”. And then at pretty much everything Peeta said to Katniss in Catching Fire on the re-read. HFGs do that to me. I have cried other times, but those were the ones I was actually bawling at. Sorry for the long comment.

    • Aloha says:

      (SPOILER FOR MOCKINGJAY)

      See, I read the whole book in a really short amount of time, and it was so emotionally rich that I felt more hollow than anything, a little overwhelmed. I didn’t cry until I finished the book, but as soon as I turned the last page, I just rolled up in a fetal position and sobbed. Finnick…. Prim…. Cinna…. Finnick….. and then WTL was with Gale’s District 2 job? Way to cut corners on the resolution to a three-book love triangle! And Finnick…. (I was really ticked at Collins for killing off Annie and Finnick, the real starcrossed lovers who’d overcome everything to reunite, just to be torn apart by some goon mutts! Plus, Finnick was my favorite character.)

      I didn’t cry at the Deathly Hollows the book– I did cry a little in the movie. The only time I cried during the HP series was in the Goblet of Fire, when (SPOILER) they toast Cedric at the end. But I LOVE the line– “Kill the spare.” So ruthless. So antagonistic. So awesome.

      • Madeline P says:

        Did she kill Annie? I thought only Finnick died, and then Annie was left alive, alone, and pregnant. 😥

      • Aloha says:

        Huh? Oh, maybe. I haven’t read the books in a while…. I’ll have to reread them, at least before March (squee, squee, squee).

  3. Mercy says:

    I don’t think crying makes you weak. I recently read If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman, and the second one made me cry. I cried when Dumbledore died in the 6th book. And I cried twice when I saw HP 7.2. But it seems to me that if you cry at fiction, the author has done their job well: they have showed you the characters in such a way as you are bonded to them, and they have nailed human emotion so well as to elicit such a reaction.
    Or something like that.

    • Aloha says:

      I feel exactly the same way! That’s the mark of an excellent writer. I think that’s one of the things I most aspire to do when writing– to make people feel things, and maybe change the way they think about certain things, or at least cause them to examine them more. To make an impact on your audience. Not every book, and not every author, can do that.

  4. ZNZ says:

    I cry all the time when reading. I cried when Aslan died. I cried when Dumbledore died. I cried throughout nearly all of Jacob Have I Loved, and at the end of The Book Thief.

    I cried when I watched the last Harry Potter movie, just because it was so INTENSE and it was the END and it was just TOO MUCH.

    • Aloha says:

      I read the first chapter of the book thief, and of course HP and Narnia, but I haven’t read Jacob I Have Loved. Worth checking out?

      Agreed completely about the last HP movie! Another thing (we went at midnight) was how hyped and on-edge the entire theater was. Everyone was holding their breath, or cheering, or laughing, or crying at all the same parts, which just added to the intensity.

  5. annanm says:

    I cry all the time when I read. I think it’s partially because I like to take my time when I read, and let myself get emotionally invested in the characters. If you find a character you identify with, I absolutely think it’s normal to cry over their hardships. To not do so would be odd to me.
    TV is similar, but to a lesser degree. It’s harder for me to identify with characters on TV because to me, they’re actors. If I hear one snippet about their personal life, they’re no longer the character I came to love.
    But I will say I bawled like a baby for half of the final Harry Potter.

    • Aloha says:

      Definitely! Like Mercy said, it’s the mark of a good writer to be able to feel sympathy, or at least empathy, for the characters.

      Yeah, I’m not a big fan of “live action” TV– but I cry a lot during anime. Although part of the “actors acting” could apply, to the voice actors, at least. To a lesser extent if you’re watching it with subtitles instead of a dub, because you don’t normally hear a whole lot about the personal lives of the Japanese seiyuu.

  6. Madeline P says:

    Yes, yes it is. But it is also a common occurrence for avid readers/watchers. I cried during Inkspell, Return of the King, Legend of the Seeker, The Incredibles (don’t ask why), Captain America (again, don’t ask), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book & movie), Inkdeath, Mockingjay (lost count of how many times), Fang (twice), and a BUNCH of others that I can’t think of right now because the nerd-reactor in the back of my brain is whirling a million miles an hour, making it very hard to join coherent thoughts.

    • Madeline P says:

      And no, it did/does not make me feel weak; just all warm and fuzzy inside….. Although, now that I think about it, that may just be the woodchuck that lives next to my nerd-reactor……

    • Aloha says:

      The Incredibles? Really? 🙂

      No, I think that’s cool. You’re right, it brings out the nerd in the best of us! 😀 I agree.

      I think I cried during Fang. I don’t remember. I was mostly just dreaming about strangling Patterson.

      • Madeline P says:

        I’ve had several dreams regarding strangling Patterson (and Pattinson). Looks like us nerds have even more in common than we thought!

      • Aloha says:

        Definitely!

        Both of them could use a good kick in the butt every once in a while. Patterson needs to realize that you can’t just have six books in which two characters fight their attraction, finally get them together, then have them separate only for the guy to fall for the girl’s CLONE one book later…. Stupid, stupid, stupid! FangxMax was mostly fanservice, anyway, so to break it up is hurting his fanbase. Iggyxwhats-her-face isn’t gonna sustain the romantic arc for forever.

  7. I only cry when the author’s a good author and I can love the characters. See, last night I read this fantasy novel where everything good that could happen did. It wasn’t bad but it was just too good. Plus since I was dropped right into the middle of the story, it felt like, I couldn’t really get close to the characters so I was hoping really bad that this certain character would die. He didn’t. Only the bad characters died and I couldn’t cry for them.
    But in really good books, like Walk Two Moons I cried. It was tragic. I cry when people I really love die or things I really hoped wouldn’t happen happen. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it because otherwise I have a hard time crying for myself and crying over a book is easy to do.
    Then there’s other books that you can’t cry at and I’m glad. Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one *spoilers* at the end, it was so abrupt and sudden that I was more in shock than sad. I was like, what just happened? Oh my heck he’s dead! Then I finished the book, very shocked but only mildly upset.
    There now I wrote a whole post in the comments XD I think it might be longer than your post. lol

    • Aloha says:

      I hate books/movies when only good things happen, or only the bad guys die! I think I mentioned it in my post about the new Transformers movie, but Dark of the Moon was exactly the same way. And you THOUGHT that a bunch of main characters die (I’m sorry to say I was glad, ’cause finally someone was dead), but then of course they all come back at the end.

      I feel the same way about it that you do! I haven’t read the Boy in the Striped Pajamas yet, but I’ve heard it’s really powerful and I’ve meant to pick it up at the library. That’s the one set in the Holocaust, right? Or am I thinking of something else?

      • I know! It’s so frustrating! Sometimes the best parts is when a favorite character dies. It’s tragic and you cry but it’s soooo beautiful at the same time.

        Yes, that’s the one. Sorry if I just totally ruined the ending for you.

      • Aloha says:

        Yeah! I agree.

        Naw, it’s fine. A lot of Holocaust-themed books end that way. It doesn’t faze me.

  8. Madeline P says:

    Yeah, I can’t even remember “What’s her face”‘s name… (apparently you can only reply three times to a post)

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