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Fan Preferred Couple definition rewrite suggestion

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Nazetrime from Some obscure French suburb Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Mar 20th 2019 at 10:42:03 AM

Right off the bat, I should mention that this topic is part of a project in which I want to keep the discussion about the intended current definition of Fan-Preferred Couple and the discussion about an eventual trope actually covering the fandomís overall favorite couple (including the possible expansion of Fan-Preferred Couple into such a trope that has been suggested in the past) separate.

Iíve chosen to start with just the rewrite of Fan-Preferred Coupleís current definition for ease of managment reasons, but Iím willing to start the other discussion in another thread sooner rather than later if someone wants to contribute to that aspect.

The following draft is a mix of a rewrite of the current definition of Fan-Preferred Couple, suggestions from the old Fan Preffered Couple TRS thread I happened to like, and a couple things I decided to throw in. Itís here to get feedback and hopefully enhanced into being good enough to replace the current definition. Content starts under the line.


Yay! Alice and Bob are finally having their Relationship Upgrade and becoming an Official Couple!

Wait a second, you actually like Alice and Charlieís dynamic better, and have actually been expecting them to get that Relationship Upgrade. After a quick sweep on the various platforms for the thoughts of other fans, it turns out youíre not alone. And when numbers are tallied, it also turns out that team "Alice and Charlie" is much bigger than team "Alice and Bob", despite the fact that the latter was the one the creator was going for all along.

The phenomenon unfolding here is a specific variation of Better Than Canon in which the fandomís favorite pairing for a given character is different from the one that the creator intends to happen. While some creators have made this happen on purpose on occasion, other known guilty parties are a Romantic False Lead that is better liked than the characterís final romantic partner, Relationship Writing Fumble, plain old Shipping Goggles or many people thinking the Crack Pairing is actually kind of cute. In some rare cases, the work may continue for long enough to see Alice break up with Bob and end up with Charlie, which is incidentally the only way a pairing can be both a Fan-Preferred Couple and an Official Couple at different points of time. Otherwise, Alice and Charlie are simply never happening, at least in Canon.

In the best-case scenario, fans begrudgingly accept that Alice and Bob are the Official Couple and have their desire to have Alice and Charlie be together live entirely in their fanwork. On the other end of the scale, fans may decide to completely disregard the fact that Alice and Bob ever got together. The existence those extremes makes the Official Couple and the Fan-Preferred Couple prime material for Ship-to-Ship Combat and Bob a choice target for Die for Our Ship. A peaceful middle ground may manifest as Alice, Bob and Charlie being a One True Threesome. The creatorís reaction, meanwhile, can range from Author's Saving Throw to Writer Revolt.

    Read before adding an example 

The previous definition has led to a lot of misuse, so here is a reminder of what examples need to qualify for Fan-Preferred Couple:

  1. There must be an Official Couple that would have to be broken up to make the Fan-Preferred Couple happen. As a reminder, Official Coupleís page states that such couples need to get together and acknowledge their feelings in Canon.

  2. The Fan-Preferred Couple must be visibly more popular than the Official Couple.

  3. More than one Fan-Preferred Couple for any given character can be listed, but make sure they all respect both rule 1 and rule 2 according to whichever measuring scale the entry is based on.

  4. Give specifics, but keep them short and to the point. Lapsing into speculation of what in canon set this reaction off is all right, but don't give us a plot summary.

Edited by Nazetrime on Mar 20th 2019 at 6:54:25 PM

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