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Submitted on
May 15, 2012
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Why I Thumb My Nose at Shipping

Journal Entry: Tue May 15, 2012, 1:56 PM


"[W]hy do you hate "shipping?" What makes it so uncreative?"

This question was put to me in a recent thread in the devART literature forums. I wrote a rather comprehensive answer to that question, and now for the sake of posterity I am posting it in a journal to save myself the hassle of writing it over and over again. The next time this subject comes up, answering will be as easy and linking them here:


While it's one thing to build on the Ship Teases of the original writers (I get just as frustrated by Will They or Won't They? moments as anyone else, and I can see where someone might want to pick up where they think a writer let them down), it's another matter all together to just slap two random characters together because you think they look "hot together."

Love is an extremely personal thing. You can't just fall in love with anyone. A person's attractions, both sexual and emotional, are a huge part of their psychological makeup. Being in love is more than just rainbows and roses 24/7. It's a merger of two souls, and even the most compatible people have their points where things don't quite match up, and work has to be done to bridge those chasms. And when you disregard the deeper, more realistic aspects of love, it shows you don't really understand the emotion at all.

Falling in love is like building a jigsaw puzzle and finding two pieces that go side by side. Shipping ignores all this and crams two pieces together, regardless of their matching up or not. It throws characterization out the window. For serious storytelling, a fictional character has to be treated as realistically as a flesh and blood human being, otherwise they're not a character at all, they're a sock puppet. How would you feel if someone wrote a story depicting you in a relationship with someone with whom you're not compatible? With a family member? With someone you hate!?

I treat fan fiction with the same seriousness as original stories. Even Shakespeare wrote "fan fiction." The only difference is that you're working with characters created by someone else and not ones of your own creation. When that is the case, you must be extra careful to treat the characters with respect, because you're only borrowing them. How would you feel if you wrote a story about two best friends who are like brothers to each other, poured your heart and soul into it and eventually got it published... and then a few years later found a story some kid wrote with those two blood-brothers having sex?

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:iconbluetabbycat:
Bluetabbycat Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well said, that man! I feel the same way. :3

I generally dislike how people tend to sexualize *any* kind of relationship. Can't two guys be really good friends (or enemies?) without having it away in the bushes every five minutes? And is it just me, or is that when you try to explain this to someone that "ships", they tend to get really uppity and accuse you of being homophobic?
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:iconjzlobo:
JZLobo Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's not just you, unfortunately.
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:iconlindahoyland:
Very well said.
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:iconjzlobo:
JZLobo Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
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:iconultimamage578:
I think you should read this. [link]

Because it is way better than the stuff you've written here.
Reply
:iconstylenoir:
Well done J-Z-Belexes, you've just alienated at least 75% of your users, created "Fan-Fact" from "fan-fiction" and then created anger amongst the DA community. All from one ridiculous idea and a righteous ground.

If you "treat fan fiction with the same seriousness as original stories" how about having freedom of speech. Which is possibly somewhat important.

Personal opinions and personal ideals should not enter into decisions within a society or community, that's called a dictatorship.
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:iconaeirmid:
Aeirmid Jun 17, 2012   Digital Artist
I know how frustrating it can be to feel like your voice is not being heard or your speech is being stymied! But, if you really think about it for a moment, that is not what ^J-Z-Belexes is doing. Quite to the contrary, he is setting parameters, or abiding by parameters that have already been set, that will enable him to give a voice to the very best and most creative pieces the community has to offer-- which, after all, is what a Daily Deviation award is all about. So, again, your Fan Fiction CV is protecting the integrity of the gallery by only allowing that which fits those parameters to be featured as a Daily Deviation. There are other places, I am sure, where non-canonical fiction can be submitted, such as the Romance gallery, so there is no reason for anyone to feel stifled or silenced.
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:iconavi17:
I completely agree with you that he is not stifling anyone's freedom of speech- I'm not really sure how that got into this in the first place. Most of us who are protesting this know that he isn't trying to tell us what we can and cannot write. The problem is that he is making rules for what does and does not qualify as "the very best and most creative pieces" based not on quality, like in other media, but on content, and is choosing to completely exclude a massive portion of the fanfic work on here from even being considered because it contains something he happens not to like. The photography CVs don't say, "Photos of flowers are a big no-no, completely regardless of their quality, because I happen not to like photos of flowers and think they're uncreative. Therefore, you can't even submit them." That would be ridiculous. So why is this rule okay? He can't be "protecting the integrity of the gallery" by adhering to certain parameters when said parameters are set by him and based solely on his personal opinions and biases.

Not trying to start any sort of argument with you or anything, I just wanted to let you know what the problem that most of us actually have with this is, since I think the strange accusation about freedom of speech distracted from the real issue.
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:iconalexandrasalas:
alexandrasalas Jun 17, 2012   Digital Artist
The fact that he would not feature certain types of Fan Fiction has nothing to do with freedom of speech. He's not forcing the whole Fan Fiction Community to NOT write what they want. He's just choosing not to feature non-canonical shipping fics.
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:iconstylenoir:
J-Z-Belexes You're not dA staff, you are a dA volunteer there is a colossal difference. You are infringing on dA member's free speech.

Rupert Murdoch isn't "obliged" to put right wing biased content on his front page and features, but he does, and that's 50% of the reason he is currently being investigated by the Leveson Inquiry.

Ring any bells to someone else we're currently talking about?
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