sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
Sholio ([personal profile] sholio) wrote2011-06-18 01:56 am

Probably more than you really wanted to know about my id

Hee. I've been playing with my [community profile] hc_bingo card in Photoshop, color-coding the squares based on how much I want to write them.

There are more than one shade of orange ... basically the redder a square is, the harder I think it's going to be to write (and the red ones are either outright squicks or I can't really think of a way to write them that works for me as a writer). The wild card space is of course going to be easy.

Mostly I'm trying to figure out which of the various scoring options I should go for here. A line up the right side would be great, except that "starvation" in an h/c context is pretty close to a bulletproof squick of mine; I can read it (sort of, as long as it's not the only thing in the story) but I'm honestly not sure if I could write the prompt and enjoy it. Ditto for the "corporal punishment" and "dub-con" squares; I think those are the only three on the card that I'm not sure if I could write under any circumstances (oddly non-con would be much easier for me to write than dub-con).

I'm actually thinking that the best one to try for might be a vertical and a horizontal line that cross through the Wildcard space. This hits nearly all yellow squares, doesn't include any squicks, and uses the existing fill I already have.

... and there's also the question of which fandoms. Highlander is mainly where my inspiration is these days, but some of the prompts on my card would obviously work better in other fandoms ("alien abduction" ... perfect for SGA, crackariffic for HL). Several of these lend themselves really well to HL ("extortion" - someone finds out about a character's Immortal identity and blackmails them - perfect!) but others would be pretty hard to do properly with Immortal characters. *muses*

ETA: I wanted to clarify that just because I don't think I can write some of these tropes doesn't mean I think there's anything wrong with them -- I know there are a few people on my flist who really enjoy or have a kink for some of the tropes I've marked off, and clearly I don't mean to imply there's something wrong with any of them, or with anyone who likes them, or that I'm judging you for liking them or anything like that; they just don't really work for me personally. Just wanted to make that clear. >_>
brightknightie: Nick and his remote control (Remote Control)

[personal profile] brightknightie 2011-06-18 07:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I was asking [personal profile] skieswideopen about this the other day when she posted her card; may I ask you, also?

I looked around HC-Bingo and noticed that they don't define "hurt/comfort."

I don't feel familiar with it as a trope/genre. Perhaps because it's a challenge, not a routine, to seriously physically injure vampires, immortals, mythical creatures and superheroes -- or perhaps because my favorite shows are so formula-driven, and so much from the "reset button" era of syndicated storytelling -- hurt/comfort seems moderately rare in them. (Granted, threatening/kidnapping/injuring/converting Natalie is a regular occurence in FK fanfic, and torturing, starving and drugging the vampire characters is not unheard of.)

So: How do you define "hurt/comfort"?

Separately, what do you think most fans of it consider its appeal, or signs of excellence in it?

(If you don't feel like answering, no problem. I'm just curious. I have too many commitments to consider playing the game.)

scrollgirl: john sheppard beaten up (sga shepwhump)

[personal profile] scrollgirl 2011-06-18 08:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm probably an atypical hurt/comfort fan in that a great deal of what's labeled "hurt/comfort" in fandom is not really to my taste -- it's too indulgent for me, I guess. Generally I prefer h/c elements that are wrapped up in a bigger story.

Re what I said in my below comment about not liking torture because of the helplessness... I think, for me, it's the "indulging in a character's helplessness" that bothers me most. I really love the SGA ep "Common Ground", and yeah, John and Todd and even Weir and everyone in Atlantis watching John get tortured are helpless to an extent. But there's movement in the episode, the torture exists to make a point, and then the plot keeps going. With a lot of h/c (or the badly written ones, maybe) it feels like the writer lingers on the helplessness and hopelessness, to an extent that pushes me out of the canon (Stargate is rarely that bleak). And while I can understand why some people might enjoy that kind of thing, it's not to my personal taste.
scrollgirl: sam and vala female friendship (sg-1 girls)

[personal profile] scrollgirl 2011-06-19 12:16 am (UTC)(link)
I love the characters for their strength and competence, and seeing them laid low, turned into victims needing to be rescued, completely destroys what appealed to me about them in the first place!

Yes, exactly! I don't mind it when characters are occasionally outnumbered or outclassed by the bad guys, because hey, nobody's perfect. I like it when stoic characters unbend enough to accept help from friends. But I'm not a fan of stripping characters of their inner strength and hope, writing them without agency--it's too much like torture porn to me. Any "comfort" provided after that point seems almost... invasive.

ITA with your second paragraph. That said, I'm not sure why I'm perfectly happy reading plot-lite kinky sex (though I get turned off when it's 400 chapters of kinky sex, with nary a plot to be seen) and yet require h/c to be more restrained and in-character and plot-driven.
brightknightie: Duncan and Tessa embrace on the sidewalk. (Other Fandom Highlander)

popular tropes = defined story payoffs

[personal profile] brightknightie 2011-06-19 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the link as well as all your reflections.

>"Personally I tend to think of h/c as fulfilling a similar place in h/c fans' psyches... as romantic stories do for slash and het fans. Does that make sense?"

Yes, indeed. In fact, I was recently bending a patient friend's ear with a theory (whine? ~g~) that the romance writers have it comparatively easy, because they always know what the baseline goal/payoff of every story should be (to get or keep their couple together) while gen requires a new story goal/payoff to be created fresh every time. What strikes me, therefore, is not only that h/c is like romance in giving characters an "excuse" to interact, but that -- whether inside a gen or romance superstructure -- h/c defines a specific, repeatable baseline goal/payoff that its fans enjoy, the same way that romance does.

I'm now wondering what other tropes (in addition to romance and h/c; but excluding kink for clarity's sake) are big enough to accomplish that, to serve up a pre-defined story payoff that readers are eager to see again and again, and call it a genre rather than imitation.

>"it's really more of an excuse to get characters to do nice things for each other or worry about each other"

So friendship fics, but with a specific sort of nudge into action. :-)

Again, thanks!
brightknightie: Feliks Twist and a pink orchid (Guest Star)

please do post at will

[personal profile] brightknightie 2011-06-19 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
>"do you mind if I ask this question in a fresh post to my journal?"

Not at all! I would be very interested to learn how different people interpret the trope, and what about it attracts or repulses.
scrollgirl: shen mei-ling (hl mei-ling)

[personal profile] scrollgirl 2011-06-18 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Ooh, that's very handy! And anything that encourages you to write more HL fic is, in my books, a terrific idea!

I saw someone mention "touch starved" for "starvation", but you could also take a scifi spin to it, like an Immortal who was starved for a Quickening. I could see Methos or maybe Darius fighting with himself after absorbing the Light Quickening, having chosen not to go head-hunting any more, and yet working through the "hunger pangs" and being comforted by someone. Hmm, or maybe that's closer to "craving". I don't know if that's another H/C square or not.
scrollgirl: shen mei-ling (hl mei-ling)

[personal profile] scrollgirl 2011-06-18 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh, this is why I'm so picky about h/c (that is, fic written to be h/c), because I can't stand torture. It's not that I'm squeamish about violence, but I hate the helplessness and the fetishizing.

Anyway. If you like the Darius idea, I hope you go for it! You're right, there just isn't much fic about him, versus Darius-the-cameo-guest-star.