This is what happened when I was quizzing a 30 something friend the other day on her thoughts about Breathless. I knew she'd bought it and read it, and hadn't as yet given me any feedback. At first she said she hadn't read enough to comment, but as I pressed her for any response, and assured her that I could take it even if she thought it was crap, and that I'm okay with constructive criticism and that not everyone is going to like it, I wasn't prepared for this response;
I don't want to read anymore because I can't handle being taken back to the painful days of my teen years, I'm sorry but it's just too much, it's like I can feel everything Charlie feels, the loneliness, the heartache of things happening out of my control, the sadness, the grief.. and I don't want to feel like that again, it took me too long to work through it..But isn't this why we write to evoke an emotional response from the reader; to have them feel what we can hopefully have our characters convey to them? As it dawned on me that that is exactly what I'd hoped a reader would feel as they identified with Charlies (my main female protagonist) dealt hand in life; this transitional, often sad and lonely, often complex, often raging emotional period of life from deep despair one minute to conquer the world the next, called Adolescense.. maybe writing is not so bad after all..Except for the pay.. but that's for another post , another day.