The device of hurt/comfort has been around fandom since before the Internet, probably before zines. I think that in a lot of ways it's a dual payoff for the reader in that there's action and conflict, and then there's a platform for the characters to bond and grow closer together.Oddly enough for me, writing hurt/comfort is easy. What I really have a hard time writing is conflict for the characters, especially conflict that will hurt the characters emotionally or cause division between characters. I want things to be happy and good for the characters, and then I remind myself that if there's no conflict, there's no story.Which do you find easier to write: hurt/comfort or emotional/interpersonal conflicts? Do you have problems writing either?
Hurt/comfort is the old standby when you want to get your pair together, or if you want to set up some sort of conflict/resolution. It's so easy for me to get burnt out on these types of fics, though. I've been trying to avoid using the device in my own fic, especially the big AU I've been working on. I also notice it's bigger in some fandoms than in others. When I was involved in the Xena fandom, literally every other fic was hurt/comfort. Oh noes, Xena, you abandoned me to go to Chin. Now I betray you! Now I die. Now you follow me to the Afterlife and bring me back! Now with the hugs and flowery makeup sex. w00t!
I always question what's real about the relation when it's based on life or death decisions. I can't give perfect endings, but I'll try to give the ending that feels right for the characters and the story, which usually does not involve flowery makeup sex! :P Alas.
Everything of yours that I've read has rung true to me. I was never given the impression that you'd compromised your characters to make them do something I didn't think they'd do under the same set of circumstances. Hurt/comfort scenes within a larger body of work don't bother me near as much as one-shot fics that are h/c for the sake of h/c. And flowery makeup sex is always awesome! :D
If only my real life trails could be solved with hurt/comfort. ;)
The comedy comes easy for me, but so does the darker emotions. I remember writing Fathers & Sons and thinking "these people are fucked up." and in the next sentence Mel was cracking wise about something. It felt odd going from one extreme to another, but then I remembered that this was how Mel dealt with conflict and pain.
I don't know. I've done angstier stuff as well as fluffy and/or comedic stuff. I just try to write what seems interesting to me and for the characters.
Hurt/comfort has to mean something to the story before I'll do it. It has to add to the struggle the characters are already engaged in, and I don't want it there as a means to solve their problems. I want the characters to deal with whatever they are conflicted over before the hurt/comfort comes into things. I want them more than halfway to healing before I abuse them physically.Hurt/comfort for the sake of hurt/comfort is a major turn off for me. If it's done to keep characters together, I'm always going to question if they'll stay together based on a decision made during an emotional moment.
I want the characters to deal with whatever they are conflicted over before the hurt/comfort comes into things. I want them more than halfway to healing before I abuse them physically.Yes.Hurt/comfort for the sake of hurt/comfort is a major turn off for me.And yes! We do love to abuse our playthings, eh? ;)
If the characters are striving toward dealing with their problems, I can do or accept hurt/comfort within the story. When I think about it, I've left a lot of things unresolved with characters simply because in reality, I couldn't see things being perfect and resolved. I tried not to leave major plot threads unresolved, but a lot of what I've written in fandoms within my journal deals with struggle in very imperfect worlds.
One of the reasons I'm not more prolific as a writer is because if I'm not careful, _everything_ I write ends up h/c. That's why prompts work so well for me because they give me another focus.