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The crime storybook by Gerald Brence offers readers an opportunity to live an exciting life without physically going through trouble. Why do people develop a love for suspense and crave thrillers and mysterious novels when everyone only wants to live peaceful lives?
Why do people avoid uncertainty in real life but relish a love for suspense in fiction?
Let that sink in.
People physically steer clear of complex situations. They avoid putting themselves in circumstances that require them to make difficult choices. But they love to imagine scenarios where characters are troubled, grasping their hearts from anguish and suffering. They eat these kinds of storylines up.
Is it because people are highly aware of the distinction between reality and fiction? They know the discomfort they feel while reading thrillers doesn’t last, and there will always be pleasure at the end. Or is it because they can’t see themselves experiencing and handling these in real life, so they tap into the fictional world to supply them with these experiences to give themselves some relief?
The Popularity of Anxiety-Inducing Materials
People don’t want complicated in life. Being complicated entails having difficulties and heaps of drama, all of which are challenging to work around and sort out. When life throws them unpredictability, people take it upon themselves to avoid these. Unpredictability is instability. It’s similar to consciously rocking a boat in the middle of nowhere and waiting to see if the boat will sink. It’s dangerous, and nobody wants to plunge themselves into danger in reality willingly.
When asked what they aim to achieve daily, a universal answer is peace. People want to live in harmony and comfort and avoid distress and problems.
However, while this is the overarching belief in real life, people’s ideology is different in fiction. The factors they proactively avoid in reality keep them glued to a book. The uncertainties leading to high stakes and dangers draw people in regarding novels and the media.
For instance, in Old Money, a crime storybook by Gerald Brence, readers are thrust into a world filled with rivalry and death, a life that would’ve been a nightmare in reality. But since these complicated scenarios happen in a fictional setting, everything becomes exciting and entertaining. Suspense offers readers this uncomfortable pleasure, which, while uncomfortable, is still considered pleasurable at the end of the day. This is perhaps why mysteries and thrillers are the two most popular genres in literature, despite the discomfort these characters are going through.
Where Is This Pleasure from?
Perhaps, people are invested in playing detectives or love the thrill of beating a deadline for them to develop a massive love for suspense. Or, possibly, they’re addicted to the taste of adrenaline these chases are giving them. Not to mention how oddly delightful it is to indirectly experience these high stakes without having to lose something in return. There are various reasons why people have opened their arms to suspense and thrill-soaked materials.
Giving People Control
Fiction is a means to experience life vicariously, go through conflicts and a wide range of themes, and consider their consequences without actually going through the complications. These stories provide readers a space to play and experiment on possible outcomes with the reassurance that they’re still in the safety and comfort of their homes. Regardless of the obstacles they experience throughout the story, readers are still comforted while engaged in reaching a definitive ending.
In suspense stories, readers experience high-enough stakes from a safe distance. They can encounter nerve-wracking scenarios inciting every negative emotion. But the nature of how they experience these is almost exclusively, making their involvement easier.
People are imaginative, and this is what suspense provides its readers. The mind struggles with unresolved and unfinished threads, which makes it crave a way to complete narratives. This desire to unravel what happens next is why some people can’t help but not put their books down to finish the story. These intense cliffhangers make people continuously flip to the next page for relief.
Suspense novels are a cycle of desire and satisfaction or relief until the story is complete.
Ever heard of people wanting to continue the dream they’ve just woken up from? They close their eyes, hoping they will end up in the same dreamland, only to fail. Suspense novels and writers provide this similar sense of coveting, only that they satisfy people’s desires.
Providing a Neurochemical Rush
Suspense creates a contained rush in the brain, which likewise makes a neurological sense of pleasure. Reading about running away from danger offers the brain a similar kind of pleasure as physically experiencing the scenario. This means the readers go through the same entertainment and delight without exerting physical force.