You know that moment in Mockingjay when they finally rescue Peeta, and Katniss spends a paragraph or so thinking how happy she and Peeta would be and how she would hug Peeta and tell him all the things she was never able to tell him before?
And was anyone surprised when Peeta wasn't okay?
I think this is becoming a pet peeve of mine, in YA especially, where the MC starts thinking about how great it will be when their plan works then (of course) the plan doesn't work.
(This goes the other way, too. Whenever the MC is dubious about a plan or is certain someone has died, it's a sure thing the opposite has occurred and everything is going to be okay.)
It shouldn't bother me. It's just a trope, right? I mean, you can't have the MC go, "Was that his voice in the next room? It had to be. Of course it was! He was back home safe, and everything would be like it was." And then he's really there and everything is just like it was. That's boring, right?
But when I read a narrator's thoughts like that, it either makes me feel like the MC is dumb or it blows away all the tension ("Well I thought it might be him for a second, but now...").
But what to do about it? I'm sure I do this all over the place, and it can't be a bad thing all the time, can it?
Seriously, is this even an issue? Or should I file this under temporary insanity (too late)? What do you guys think?
I think what I want is for authors to be aware of the signals they send the reader. We (authors) go, "I'll trick the reader into thinking everything
is okay then BAM!" But the reader is all, "Do they actually
think I'm buying this? Oh, look: 'bam'."
We need to find a better way.