TV Tropes Org

Forums

search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [19]
1

How would you sink a ship..and control the backlash?:

Not talking about any actual pairings in any flame war in fandoms but how would you sink a ship if you were writing a work of fiction or your own universe/setting and two of the characters are being paired together by fans and you don't like their worldview? However, this causes a lot of backlash, which is inevitable. However, how would you contain it?

Bonus points if you manage to make both characters likable in the eyes of the fans in the end without one of them turning into The Scrappy(unless the plot states that one of them is supposed to be unlikable or do a Heel-Face Turn)

edited 3rd Feb '13 6:31:51 PM by xie323

 
Accelolita's Butler
Hmm.. This might be considered a weak, if not bad, way to control the backlash from Ship Sinking but, if I'm the writer, I would just write up an alternate non-canon route for that ship just to appease the shippers of the Fan-Preferred Couple.

But then again, shipping wars is the reason I don't like to focus on romance in my works. Whoever I pair the characters with, especially the main character, I'm basically screwed.

Hmm.. very good question. I would like to try that for a different story whenever I'm not in the mood for writing the story I am currently working on.

edited 3rd Feb '13 6:40:26 PM by judasmartel

 3 tsstevens, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 6:47:36 PM from Internet, Tasmania Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Researcher
I think one good way to do this is to create a new character, or bring in an existing one, and develop them into someone the fans would like. Make then a likeable person, look deep at the Mary Sue and Creator's Pet pages so you can avoid forcing this character onto the fans, maybe try and make them an Ensemble Darkhorse. What you're doing here is building up the character to be the love interest for one of the characters in the ship, by making a new character that fans would like, or drawing more focus on a character fans already like, when you write in how this character and one from the ship get together fans are not going to become as upset about it. They would want this character you have developed to be happy, they like the character, so of course listening to fan feedback and trying to cater to what they want is important but fans will be more accepting that you move the story how you want rather than what they want.

Of course try telling that to some shippers. *cough* Final Fantasy VII *cough*
The mark of a good story means not feeling like The Angry Video Game Nerd hearing it.
 4 Major Tom, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 8:37:17 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Shipping is one of those things I personally don't give a damn about from a fandom perspective.

If I had a fanbase running ships I'd be fine with it. The more they talk about my works the better (usually...) the situation is.

Of course when it comes to canonical relationships usually I plan those well in advance unless I make something better in a spur of the moment. I don't play to one sector of the shippers or another.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
Accelolita's Butler
So basically, to avoid or at least minimize the backlash from the Canon Ship, you only need to plan your romantic plots in advance?

 6 Major Tom, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 8:46:34 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Well if you want to avoid the fans trying to run the show or otherwise constrain your creativity.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 7 tsstevens, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 8:50:40 PM from Internet, Tasmania Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Researcher
It's always good to have a fair idea of where you want to take a story, though this can be hard for one off projects. One of the things with shipping is if you hadn't planned on it and it comes up you might think Sure, Why Not? This worked to great...well, to great effect when fans really wanted Garrus and Tali to be romance options, and BioWare agreed. On the other hand, you might not like to take your characters in that direction for one reason or another, and if you as a writer doesn't support a particular ship then really you're the writer, you need to control how much of an impact fans have on what you write. If you don't want to support a fan ship there's no rule saying you have to.

As far as whether planning things in advance helps, sure. You could always give subtle hints in your story on where it could lead, then of course they could be subverted, Double Subverted, however you think will work the best way.
The mark of a good story means not feeling like The Angry Video Game Nerd hearing it.
 8 Leradny, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 8:54:45 PM from Alameda, CA
You can't really control how the fandom reacts. All you can do is take their reactions into account as a form of criticism for creating the next installment.

 9 chihuahua 0, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 8:57:59 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
I'm in the same boat than Major Tom and Leradny, and I bet many other writers on this forum are too. You shouldn't be worrying about backlash. Don't obsess over backlash. It takes more than wrecking one romance to send a large number of your readers to abandon ship.

In fact, such action, along with similar ones, might yield benefits from fans generating buzz, which lead other people to find out about your work and check it out. One person out, two people in.

edited 3rd Feb '13 8:59:08 PM by chihuahua0

 10 judasmartel, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 9:44:44 PM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
In fact, shipping wars is one huge source of buzz for many popular franchises today.

  • How else did you get to know about the Harry Potter franchise if not for its premise considered to be the most loathed among religious zealots, and the Ginny/Harry/Hermione or Lily/James/Snape shipping wars?
  • No Twilight discussion is complete without the Edward/Bella/Jacob shipping wars.
  • And let's not get too big, how about the Aang/Katara/Zuko shipping wars?
  • Naruto is a massive shipping war spanning for a few years now.

edited 3rd Feb '13 9:49:59 PM by judasmartel

 11 Major Tom, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 9:48:48 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ That's why you just let them happen and run with your own plans. Keep your plans in the dark for them and they'll just keep speculating until canon confirms one way or another.

You can be aware of the shipping wars when writing such plans, hell you can even tease or play with it. Just don't let it dominate your thinking. "X/Y is the most popular ship in the fandom but I planned for Y/Z! Maybe I should change?" is not a good way to write. At least anything not shallow that is.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 12 Tehpillowstar, Sun, 3rd Feb '13 11:40:46 PM from the Land of Pillows and Stars Relationship Status: Hugging my pillow
Soft and fluffy
By laughing manically at their despair.

TROLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

"Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." -R. W. Raymond
 13 JHM, Mon, 4th Feb '13 2:20:02 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up] Um, what he said.

But really, I really wouldn't care who the fans might imagine boinking who; I would probably ignore them anyway, so what reason would I have to care in the first place? The exception to this might be something really reprehensible, but the likelihood of such pairings not only being taken seriously but being popular (assuming that this thing gets any notoriety in the first place) is exceedingly unlikely.

Although I must admit that the prospect of Linus/Nathalie fanfiction crosses so many lines so many times that I can't help but be amused at the notion.

P.S. [down] What he said, too.

edited 4th Feb '13 5:34:30 AM by JHM

Easily entertained
If people are shipping, it means they're emotionally invested. If they're emotionally invested, I'm happy. I see no reason to go out of my way to demolish the ships a fandom brews in-story, no matter how squicky or out of character. Partially because I'm big on Death of the Author, and partially because the weirdest shippers (those wont to ignore Incompatible Orientation and over-interpret Foe Yay) are usually a vocal minority not worth legitimizing within the story they warp. I do reserve the right to troll my fandom out-of-universe, however.

edited 4th Feb '13 4:00:26 AM by KillerClowns

 15 Tiamatty, Mon, 4th Feb '13 3:09:55 PM Relationship Status: Brony
Bieber My Balls
I agree with the "who gives a damn" set. However, more seriously, if you want to sink a ship, I think the best way might be to make it clear why they wouldn't work as a couple. Or give them a friendship that's more interesting than if they were a couple.

Sadly, I've yet to encounter this situation. The only person to tell me they ship any of my characters was a yaoi fan saying she ships two of my male characters. However, if I do end up in this situation, my reaction would probably depend on my mood. I might either make it clear in the text that the characters have no romantic interest in each other, or if I'm feeling trollish, I might tease it for a little while first.
Personally, I wouldn't really care who the fans ship with who (Even in potentially weird combinations, as long as they care about the characters, I don't mind) I might make a Fandom Nod or two to touch on it, but I wouldn't explicitly ruin a ship forever. Then again, if it's a ship that makes absolutely no sense at all or such and it has a completely serious fan following, I'd probably make an exception and perhaps make a particuarly brutal Fandom Nod Ship Sinking double whammy... I plan on being a Trolling Creator to a certain extent

Personally, I wouldn't really care who the fans ship with who (Even in potentially weird combinations, as long as they care about the characters, I don't mind) I might make a Fandom Nod or two to touch on it, but I wouldn't explicitly ruin a ship forever. Then again, if it's a ship that makes absolutely no sense at all or such and it has a completely serious fan following, I'd probably make an exception and perhaps make a particuarly brutal Fandom Nod Ship Sinking double whammy... I plan on being a Trolling Creator to a certain extent

 18 JHM, Tue, 5th Feb '13 9:21:42 AM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
While I find the practice of making direct nods to fandom dubious, I think it that would be amusing to see a writer respond to a fan-favoured non-canon by killing the fan favourite of the pair, having the survivor grieve with clear erotic longing... and then having that character rebound by hooking up with the least popular character in the story, all the while giving excellent in-story justification for each event.

I have a pretty highly developed appreciation for pure bastardry.
 19 Oh So Into Cats, Tue, 5th Feb '13 9:27:01 AM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
I don't see why one would do any of this. Shippers gonna ship. When I do indulge in shipping, it's often with characters who have never even met. Nobody really cares that they don't hook up in the source material. This is what fanfiction is for.
"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 19
1


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy