TCSG: Troubled Character Support Group

Because of this…

I love to read. That’s been well established by now. I love to read manga. Also well established by now. Because it usually only takes me 45 minutes to an hour to read one volume of manga, I tend to go through an entire series quickly, and read multiple series simultaneously. Now, I’m sure you are aware how agonizing it can be to wait for a sequel to be released; manga is no different, and is more likely to end at a major cliffhanger, leaving you pacing the floor, gnawing your fingernails, and giving you troubled dreams for four months until the next release (wait, that might just be me). Imagine reading two excellent series, one in the midst of the final plot climax and the other in a major turn of events….and waiting and waiting and waiting.

Lo! By complete good fortune, my little brother happens to be at the bookstore and discovers that the next volume of BOTH series have come out earlier than I expected! What joy! What excitement and anticipation! I settle down with the first one and plow through it.

Okay, it was pretty serious with no comic relief, but that’s to be expected since it’s entering the final climax. There were some events that left me pretty startled. Well, the other books should be a little lighter. I settle down to read the next.

….That was….depressing. I have never read a volume in this series that was so consistently disheartening. It was so down, even the knuckle-headed, stupidly optimistic main character hyperventilates and passes out. Can’t really blame him. Adding that to my previous inner turmoil over the state of affairs in the previous book…

Ugh, I’ve got a stomach ache. I’m fretting over fictional characters and their problems, which I won’t see resolved until at least September. I have to do something.

I do this…

I am a sympathetic reader. I easily get emotionally tied to the characters in the books that I read. So when there is a character who is suffering, I really want him or her to get out of the situation as quickly as possible for my own peace of mind (emotional conflict is the worst. I can deal with physical pain and near-death experiences). So when I find myself stuck with my suffering friends, I have developed a surefire method to take my mind off of cliff the author has left me hanging from. I write my own sequel.

I don’t actually write anything down. Just fantasizing a quick resolution to the problem is enough to relax me. Sometimes these fantasies get elaborate, with new characters popping in to deliver sudden, well-deserved smack downs to parties who really need to get with the program. Occasionally I throw in some completely impossible scenario rewrites which would alter the situation that’s troubling me. And occasionally (such as the dilemma I found myself in above) I put them all together and make a comedy out of it. What would it be like if all those characters had to go to group counceling?

“Hello, I’m N- and my friend has faceplanted into the dark side.”

“I’m S-, and yes, I have seriously faceplanted into the dark side.”

“Hi, I’m E-, the world is about to end, and I’ve discovered that the “truth” cannot be true. Did I mention the world was ending?”

“Hello, I’m the “truth”, and I have evil, ulterior motives. Or perhaps I just like messing with people?”

Someone please tell me that I’m not the only one who does this…

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nkeda14
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 00:34:53

    I DO THIS TOO! haha I thought I was crazy, but this does happen on the occasion that I put down a book to go to work and have no choice but not to finish the chapter. I did this with the EVERMORE series too… talk about cliff hanger endings! I came close to a panic attack at the end of book three!

    Don’t worry, you are sane…. or we are both crazy.


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