There’s a time when you experience a story, and you feel this churning, weird feelings inside your heart.
Somewhere deep inside your heart, you didn’t know if it will come, but you were waiting for it.
Until it appears.
“Lo and behold,” you thought. “At last, it came.”
“This moment,” you took a breath and smiled. “This moment.”
“This damn moment.”
A poignant feeling swelled and rushed up your throat.
You didn’t know what the feeling was: no… you just couldn’t pinpoint it.
Is it pain and sadness of losing something? Is it happiness of obtaining something? No, it wasn’t so simple. Many moments, numerous decisions, untold regrets, and a large potion of time spent reading, understanding the characters lead to it.
You couldn’t think up an exact reason to what you are feeling; or maybe you just… didn’t care.
You just, wanted to embrace the feeling all to yourself.
You didn’t feel glad because they achieved something—you feel devastated because they lost something in the progress.
You didn’t feel sad as they cry—you feel happy and smile with tears gobbling up strongly in your eyes.
Chills were sent down your spine.
You had to take a breath to calm yourself of what’s happening before your eyes.
Then, you took another quick, small breath to compose your shaky breath.
You wiped your eyes.
Your throat tightened.
You took another breath. Deep breath.
Slowly, gradually, you calmed down.
That’s when all the exposition, song, dialogue, characters, conflicts make sense.
That’s when you knew something good happened to you.
And you felt good.
You felt, refreshed.
You felt, relieved.
This feeling is termed ‘catharsis’.
It happens when heroes experience an event that lead to them feeling and expressing strong feelings, gaining some sort of insights or renewal that bring positive changes to their lives.
There is no definite formula to employing this feeling, but all stories that integrate it, has the same concept behind it: to give a sense of peace and help people move on after a bad event.
These stories prey on the idea that no matter how bad a relationship or the incident is, there is always an appropriate resolution for it—be it one that feels justified or not—leading to a satisfying closure.
Because there’s a certain sadness in it when strong people, and the heroes we follow start to cry.
They weren’t the type to cry.
They were determined, calm, empathetic, but never the one that wear emotions on their sleeves.
So it gives a powerful message whenever they did—they reached their breaking points.
It’s finally, finally, time for them to embrace their own feelings, completely, no matter how overwhelming it can be,
And, this layer of emotions, not bounded by the story plot, but rather the culmination of the heroes’ flaws, decisions, determination and background are what made the story much more memorable.
Because, in the end, we are all heroes/heroines in our stories, living through pages of our lives, embracing our little emotions, smiling and crying through the entirety of our lives.
Now, that’s a story worth living for, isn’t it?