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GatetheWay
January 6th, 2005, 07:09 PM
I have read a lot of Atlantis fics and it seems a lot of them like to greatly abuse the characters espacially Sheppard and McKay. I'm new to fan fic and have not readmuch other then Atlantis ones but I just want to know why writers enjoy hurting them so much.

kris
January 6th, 2005, 07:55 PM
yes that's a topic I have thought about a lot because when I first discovered fanfic I was struck by the sometimes excessive use of "whumping" as I came to know it. But not all fics are that way, some use it sparingly. Some not at all.


It's not just fanfic that does it. Hurting the hero is a time-honored device for getting the reader involved. It can be exciting or engender a warm and fuzzy feeling, concern, for the character. In the novel The Bourne Identity, we start with the hero being shot several times and floating in the sea, cared for by a drunken doctor (if I remember the story correctly, been a long time) and look at poor Luke Skywalker - ouch, my hand! I just reran Master and Commander--anybody see that? Poor doctor gets shot accidentally and has to operate on himself! Yikes! How about poor Frodo in Lord of the Rings trilogy? Sam had to practically carry him by the end he was in such a sad state. Old TV westerns used it a lot too, rattlesnake bites, gunshots, flogging at sea or prison episodes. It's endless.

As for why writers do it: Anything to stress and test the emotional core of the hero and those around him. Writing is all about what can be done, where it takes you, and in that way, the writer is on his own adventure without getting hurt herself/himself. yeah, it's fun. Oh those wicked, wicked writers!

Also, fanfic is written by mostly amateurs, so I think the tendency is to take the hurt the hero thing over the top. If you look at the show SGA, there is very little hurting. The writing is restrained and careful.

btw, I think Daniel Jackson has been hurt more than any other character in fanfic on the face of the planet. He definately has a poor baby kind of face.

I hope that starts the discussion. If not, we'll have to go find some rattlesnakes.

Sparky13
January 6th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Good question! Lots and lots of fan fic out there has beatings, torture, illness, mental breakdowns and angst (the latter amounting to self-abuse if one reads too much of it, IMO). It's an interesting phenomenon.

Speaking as an individual, the "hurt" aspect of a story is not the least bit satisfying unless there is also a "comfort" element. Just having someone out there, bleeding into the dirt alone, does nothing for me. It is only the care and concern of others for the hapless, abused character that makes a story worthwhile.

I am not an introspective person, so I can't figure out on the spot why I tend to enjoy this type of story. Perhaps with enough therapy the answers will come. Off the cuff, I'd say that the strong bonds forged between characters are magnified by hurt/comfort situations. (Quite the opposite from, say, my real, actual life, wherein my very own family belittles my 104-degree fever and insists that I get up this very instant to make dinner... You know, I may be on to something, here.)

Sparky

ShadowMaat
January 6th, 2005, 08:22 PM
The hurt/comfort fics seem to be a staple of the genre. I think it's mostly the comforting that comes afterwards that makes people want to hurt the characters. Unfortunately, though, SOME people write hurt/death/torture fics because they hate the featured character. I think Jonas has cornered the market on those, although Pete probably has a few, too.

I go mostly for angst, myself, because I think it's good for character development and to explore the emotional dark corners of a character. But I usually avoid physical pain because it isn't as interesting to me. Physical pain hurts the body, emotional pain hurts the soul. Which, when you think about it, is probably a much darker and more disturbing thing to like. :o Ah well. I'm used to being creepy.

Skydiver
January 7th, 2005, 04:56 AM
Hurt comfort fic is easy to write, it's as simple as that.

imagine writing an adventure or drama....you need, or should, come up with who, what, when, where, why....a plot and all and that's harder than it sounds like.

for hurt/comfort fic, eh, just have them off world, one gets hurt, another comforts

you have the opportunity to use the caring element to get through those barriers people have (when one person cares for antoher one, as in comfrt caring, not ship) then you have the opportunity to deal wtih emotions, to lower those barriers, to get to the 'true' feelings and expose them

you use the injury to get down to brass tacks with two characters

unfortunately, since its so easy to write, it's also incredibly easy to write poorly. writers don't do enuogh research and actually kill the characters wiht what they put them through. they make no effort to show the true fallout of the injury, or the fact that what they've done to a character necessitates months of recuperation

prion
January 7th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Hurt comfort fic is easy to write, it's as simple as that.

imagine writing an adventure or drama....you need, or should, come up with who, what, when, where, why....a plot and all and that's harder than it sounds like.

for hurt/comfort fic, eh, just have them off world, one gets hurt, another comforts

you have the opportunity to use the caring element to get through those barriers people have (when one person cares for another one, as in comfrt caring, not ship) then you have the opportunity to deal wtih emotions, to lower those barriers, to get to the 'true' feelings and expose them

you use the injury to get down to brass tacks with two characters

unfortunately, since its so easy to write, it's also incredibly easy to write poorly. writers don't do enuogh research and actually kill the characters wiht what they put them through. they make no effort to show the true fallout of the injury, or the fact that what they've done to a character necessitates months of recuperation

Actually, the same can be said of any genre of fanfic if you want to go that route... all you need are Sam and jack on a planet to make goo-goo eyes at each other, or all you need are just two guys or two women on a planet to have slash.

As you pointed out, yes, you need to have a decent PLOT for the story itself, which is why so much slash, ship, and h/c (or any other genre) is more of a skim it, don't bother with it. But then again, fanfic writers aren't paid a penny to write, it's free to post, so nobody is editing them and telling them a) no, sam and jack can make wild jungle love on the gateroom floor without someone noticing, or b) no, you can't lop off McKay's head and then just sew it back again, or c) no, Hammond isn't going to tell Sam and Janet, or Daniel and Teal'c, etc, etc., that sure, we don't mind if you're gay.

As for recuperation time in fanfic, some stories are great in it, others suck, but ditto for what the writers on the actual show do as well (usually they have a character recover in between episodes, that vague, undefined time...)

Mind you, there are some great h/c, ship and slash stories out there; it's a matter of sorting and finding them, or getting recommendations.

prion
January 7th, 2005, 08:57 AM
I have read a lot of Atlantis fics and it seems a lot of them like to greatly abuse the characters especially Sheppard and McKay. I'm new to fan fic and have not readmuch other then Atlantis ones but I just want to know why writers enjoy hurting them so much.

H/C fanfic has been around since, whenever fanfic started, STAR TREK for one. ANyway, there's an old phrase, 'you only hurt the one you love,' which hey, maybe it applies here.

One part of h/c fiction (as long as it doesn't descend into a 'get-em', which is unending never-ceasing suffering without the comfort - sort of like a protracted IRS audit, I guess) is that you get the emotional resolution that most writers on TV shows never give you. After all, in the SG1 episode "Need," one minute Daniel has nearly killed Jack and is suffering a breakdown, and the next minute (after commercial break) he's fine. Fans like to read that in between part. It explores a part of the character you really don't get to see in the series, although the writers/ producers jumped into h/c themselves fairly early on with "38 Minutes" as they consider that kind of situation to be something that would bond the team together, which it did.

I like h/c, write h/c, and gee, was raised on h/c, come to think of it. As a kid, every show I saw put the hero in jeopardy, but usually bonked him on the head or shot him in the shoulder. In scifi, you can do more. Heck, in SG1, you can kill 'em ten times over and revive 'em like new in a sarc!

BackStageJim
January 7th, 2005, 09:08 AM
A lot must come from their own hurt being transferred and placed on characters they identify with on some undisclosed level. If the character is hurting more then they are, they can feel good for the moment. On the other hand, if they are made a hero, the same transference occurs.

Might be cheaper then professional therapy, but not as productive.

Sparky13
January 7th, 2005, 10:23 AM
<<Might be cheaper then professional therapy, but not as productive.>>

It depends on the therapist. Or the patient. Or both.

prion
January 7th, 2005, 11:23 AM
A lot must come from their own hurt being transferred and placed on characters they identify with on some undisclosed level. If the character is hurting more then they are, they can feel good for the moment. On the other hand, if they are made a hero, the same transference occurs.

Might be cheaper then professional therapy, but not as productive.

Oh, believe me, academics have already done papers on fans ;)

But if h/c writers xfer their hurt on to a character, what does this mean about people who write ship and slash??? :p

CoffeeGirl
January 7th, 2005, 12:07 PM
But if h/c writers xfer their hurt on to a character, what does this mean about people who write ship and slash??? :p

Don't go there... http://www.mainzelahr.de/smile/geschockt/str.gif

prion
January 7th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Don't go there... http://www.mainzelahr.de/smile/geschockt/str.gif

Oh, I love that little yellow emoticon that hides its face! :)

Skydiver
January 7th, 2005, 12:58 PM
A lot must come from their own hurt being transferred and placed on characters they identify with on some undisclosed level. If the character is hurting more then they are, they can feel good for the moment. On the other hand, if they are made a hero, the same transference occurs.

Might be cheaper then professional therapy, but not as productive.

in a lot of the 'stereotypical' hc fic what you have is Hero. Hero has a theory/opinion. Hero is right, but Comforter doesn't believe him/her. usually because of that disbelief, Hero is hurt and Comforter is forced to care for Hero....thus seeing the error of his arrogant ways.

in ship/slash this can also be the catalyst for Hero and Comforter to realize their unmentioned feelings for each other

once Hero and Comforter are rescued, there is the obligatory infirmary vigil, whre Comforter is again shown the error of his ways by Friends, who see what a great person Hero is and must show that fact to Comforter. And who, sometimes, urge Comforter to overcome his/her guilt and confess their feeligns to Hero.
Of course, there is teh angst of Comforter feeling that Hero will never forgive him/her for thier transgressions.

in the end, every one is happy and forgiven

What you can draw parallels to is a common feeling of inadequacy in a lot of people. many times, a person feels left out or not wanted. They have to earn the respect of the 'cool kids' and what better way than to be proven right and accepted?

The Hurt part is a way to get through the emotions, but also there to engender guilt and angst while the comfort part gives the other person an excuse to reveal his/her feelings and accept the outcast

The problem with this is a problem endemic to a lot of fic....people go too far. In that i mean that the situations/feelings/actions are so over the top that the fic becomes farcical.

prion
January 7th, 2005, 03:14 PM
The problem with this is a problem endemic to a lot of fic....people go too far. In that i mean that the situations/feelings/actions are so over the top that the fic becomes farcical.

Well, after seeing a few minutes of Desparate Housewives, who's to say fan fic is farsical? :rolleyes:

Skydiver
January 7th, 2005, 05:12 PM
Well, after seeing a few minutes of Desparate Housewives, who's to say fan fic is farsical? :rolleyes:

desperate housewives is meant to be farcical, that's half the allure

to me, it's one thing when a show sets out to be a farce, it's something else when it is a farce, but thinks it's really high drama

Sparky13
January 8th, 2005, 07:01 AM
in a lot of the 'stereotypical' hc fic what you have is Hero. Hero has a theory/opinion. Hero is right, but Comforter doesn't believe him/her. usually because of that disbelief, Hero is hurt and Comforter is forced to care for Hero....thus seeing the error of his arrogant ways.

in ship/slash this can also be the catalyst for Hero and Comforter to realize their unmentioned feelings for each other

once Hero and Comforter are rescued, there is the obligatory infirmary vigil, whre Comforter is again shown the error of his ways by Friends, who see what a great person Hero is and must show that fact to Comforter. And who, sometimes, urge Comforter to overcome his/her guilt and confess their feeligns to Hero.
Of course, there is teh angst of Comforter feeling that Hero will never forgive him/her for thier transgressions.

in the end, every one is happy and forgiven

What you can draw parallels to is a common feeling of inadequacy in a lot of people. many times, a person feels left out or not wanted. They have to earn the respect of the 'cool kids' and what better way than to be proven right and accepted?

The Hurt part is a way to get through the emotions, but also there to engender guilt and angst while the comfort part gives the other person an excuse to reveal his/her feelings and accept the outcast

The problem with this is a problem endemic to a lot of fic....people go too far. In that i mean that the situations/feelings/actions are so over the top that the fic becomes farcical.

This is absolutely fascinating! Assuming that fan fic writers who are heavily invested in h/c and angst are expressing their own feelings of inadequacy, then it is a beautiful thing to read the works of those who use h/c as a means to heighten the canon aspects of the series. For example, in the episode "Solitudes," there was plenty of h/c, but this scenario was used to develop the characters and give Jack's backstory, as well as to establish the existence of a second gate in Antarctica. And, as we know, the Antarctica gate was used later on in the series to solve a problem or two (and the explosive situation that brought O'Neill and Carter through that gate was also used to solve problems that arose with the black hole and so forth).

Now, h/c was used quite effectively in this episode because it heightened the drama of the situation. It was not the sole *reason* for the episode because there were lots of other things that went on. I believe that "Solitudes" was a great Daniel-type episode; it brought to the fore his ability to think outside the box (or, in this case, inside the box!) and it also examined his tenacity in trying to locate his friends. In truth, it was Daniel who saved them. (Wonder if he got a little raise on account of this.)

Taking this whole train of thought further down the line...what if a fan fic writer chose to use h/c in a similar way? That is, use it to provide the necessary drama to enhance themes and ideas that stick closely to the canon of the show. In fact, I could even see a writer creating their own plausible canon that could be continued in multiple fics. When I read "The Asgard Series" (I think that's what it's called), I was struck by how Gumnut established the Asgard as tougher and more varied than the characters we have seen in the series. However, this new type of Asgard was at once plausible and more interesting than the ones we have seen. This is what I mean by establishing a new canon that does not send us away from the tale, but actually draws us in, with h/c as a means to that end. It is when h/c becomes the story itself that things get a little psycho.

"The Asgard Series" sticks in my mind because it was so beautifully written, so interesting and also true to the SG-1 characters that we know and love. There are probably other fics out there that have the same means and ends. I'd appreciate learning the titles and locations of any of them.

Sparky

GatetheWay
January 10th, 2005, 08:00 AM
Really, on the show the characters don't get seriously hurt all that often compared to the fan fiction. Here is a list of the episodes of Atlantis so far and who got hurt and how (main characters only) *Warning Spoilers*:

RISING: Sheppard got stunned though it didn't seem to last long

HIDE AND SEEK: Ford got electrocuted and McKay passed out... twice :)

THIRTY EIGHT MINUTES: Sheppard got that funky alien bug sucking the life out of him as well as having his heart stoped

SUSPICION: McKay got hit with a wrath stunner in the face but recovered fast enough. Sheppard also go hit with a stunner but only on the shoulder. I guess you can count Teyla getting bet up by the wrath till Sheppard shot him

CHILDHOOD'S END: No one

POISONING THE WELL: No one (not physically anyway)

UNDERGROUND: No one

HOME: No one (unless you count dropping unconciuos on an alien planet)

THE STORM: McKay's arm got slashed

*Just tell me if I am missing any :p *

prion
January 10th, 2005, 08:22 AM
Really, on the show characters don't get seriously hurt all that often compared to the fan fiction. Here is a list of the episodes of Atlantis so far and who got hurt and how (main characters only) *Warning Spoilers*:

RISING: No one

Sheppard got stunned by a Wraith. Well, Sumner died an awful death.



HIDE AND SEEK: Ford and McKay got electrocuted


Uh, McKay just passed out, that's all. He didn't get fried.



THE STORM: McKay's arm got slashed


Well, a slow gouging dig is probably what he got. A simple slash isn't nearly as effective as doing a little digging, sort of like trying to excise a splinter that's stuck under the skin ;)



*Just tell me if I am missing any :p *

Well, there's some stuff in "The Eye" and "The Defiant One." :D

GatetheWay
January 10th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Sheppard got stunned by a Wraith. Well, Sumner died an awful death.



Uh, McKay just passed out, that's all. He didn't get fried.



Well, a slow gouging dig is probably what he got. A simple slash isn't nearly as effective as doing a little digging, sort of like trying to excise a splinter that's stuck under the skin ;)



Well, there's some stuff in "The Eye" and "The Defiant One." :D

Thanks for the corrections. :) I did think of Sheppard getting stunned but it just didn't seem to last long enough but I'll put it in anyway.
These only apply to the main cast, Sumner was only a guess star, though it was a pritty bad death :( .
I was only doing the episodes that I have seen in the US.

OXBastetXO
January 26th, 2005, 03:11 PM
Hurt comfort fic is easy to write, it's as simple as that.

imagine writing an adventure or drama....you need, or should, come up with who, what, when, where, why....a plot and all and that's harder than it sounds like.

for hurt/comfort fic, eh, just have them off world, one gets hurt, another comforts

you have the opportunity to use the caring element to get through those barriers people have (when one person cares for antoher one, as in comfrt caring, not ship) then you have the opportunity to deal wtih emotions, to lower those barriers, to get to the 'true' feelings and expose them

you use the injury to get down to brass tacks with two characters

unfortunately, since its so easy to write, it's also incredibly easy to write poorly. writers don't do enuogh research and actually kill the characters wiht what they put them through. they make no effort to show the true fallout of the injury, or the fact that what they've done to a character necessitates months of recuperation


I'm going to have to weigh in here, as the person who actually started the who "whumping" thing. "Whumping" has been around a lot longer than Stargate. Ever heard of the author Dick Francis?

Saying that H/C is a cope out because it is "easy to write" is the farthest thing from the truth. A good Hurt/Comfort story takes a great deal of research and plotting. You have to think out what the damaged is realistically, what their reaction to that injury will be, what the reaction of others to that injury would be, what basic first aid would be given, what advanced care it will need after that, what the ramification of that injury are, what the long term affects of that injury will be, what are the psychological ramifications of what they have gone through and that just to start with.

For every hour I put into writing, there are at least two hours put into research. Everything from triage to necessary equipment to psychological counseling. Writing H/C is much more complicated than most of the other genres of fanfic writing. Yes, the "whump" is often used to peal away the outer layers of a character to get at the person underneath, but this has to be done carefully and realistically.

To blithely brush off an H/C writer as amateur hacks is a grave disservice to the writers. I have read many "Whumpers" who are much better writers than "professional" writers.

Smile,
Bastet...the orginal "Danny Whumper" and yes, published writer

Skydiver
January 26th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Some people do write good HC. They do research and don't go over the top. They know and represent the characters and thier reactions faithfully

Then there are the ones that have jack severing his femoral artery and hiking back to the gate for three days. Or have him picking up and carrying a wounded daniel, despite jack's broken collarbone. :rolleyes:

as with every genre of fic, there are 'good' authors, and there are not so good authors

Fortunately, there are readers with tastes just as varied as there are authors

Biscuit
January 26th, 2005, 05:08 PM
This is a truly interesting thread!

For my money, a good hurt/comfort story is a thing of beauty. Think what "38 Minutes" would have been like without a giant life-sucking Wraith tick thrown into the mix! Still would have been a fun episode, sure, but a bit of peril for Our Heroes adds a little extra tension to the plot. So say I, anyway.

Me, I like hurt/comfort fics. But I like 'em in character, within the bounds of medical reality and as a device that advances (or complicates) the plot in some way, not as an end in itself.

I do think it's silly to imply that every author who's ever trapped a character in a room with a ticking bomb or a knife-weilding sociopath or an erupting volcano or slavering hyenas or...er...what was I saying? Oh yeah. Silly! Yes! Silly to imply they're just working through their personal neuroses or mommy issues.

Me, I write h/c because it's fun. And because I write the kind of stories I want to read (action! adventure! explosions! judicious whumping!)

That said...heck yeah there are authors who seem bent on working out their mommy issues through fanfiction! But those fics are pretty easy to spot and avoid. (Hint: Is one of the characters sitting in a dark corner, contemplating suicide, weeping like a schoolgirl and crooning Nickelback lyrics?)

In closing, mad love to Bastet and all the other skilled whumpers out there. You've all been a pleasure to read.

mtee1958
January 27th, 2005, 11:15 AM
H/c stories are my favorite. There is the drama of the actual event -- the disaster and rescue. In between there is, hopefully, some well written, true to character emotion. This is the scene where your stoic hero lets his/her guard down. This is where we the reader/viewer see the emotional bond our beloved characters have toward each other. We all want to see how others view our favorite character and the best way to do this is to have that character be in peril.

As someone mentioned, most of the time our heroes are patched up and fine both mentally and physically by the time the commercial is over. We miss the emotional toll. "38 Minutes" gave us the emotion and the drama.

You know the character isn't going to die (ok, they may ascend!), so you feel safe in the trauma he/she is experiencing. Daniel Jackson has been whumped so many times because he is/was the vulnerable character. The Jack/Daniel dynamic was strong in the beginning and the only way stoic Jack would get emotional would be if Daniel got hurt. Let the fics begin and they did. Sheppard is our hero. In this case you want to see how much the team relies on him and how he remains heroic even injured or in peril.

And to be shallow, we would all love to have Daniel and Shep in our arms comforting them during their crisis! ;)