prettygeekycrafty said: Because I always want your thoughts on this topic...21. :)
I realize this is going to be shocking, but the thing is: I’m an h/c snob. NOT in the sense of “oh, is your grammar perfect? are your characterizations spot on?” because, honestly, fiction is subjective, so hey, maybe what one person sees is not what I see. Fine. Do I want grammar to be solid, and characterizations to make sense? YES. And I likely to click out of an h/c story if those things are not present? Double yes.
BUT. That’s not what bothers me about what I call the “contemporary h/c” in fandom.
Here’s the thing:
1. H/c isn’t a trope. It’s a genre. It HAS tropes within the genre, i.e., homeless!fic can be, hooker!fic, etc. Or cuddling for warmth, sick!fic. But h/c itself is an umbrella genre term, and it applies to emotional and physical h/c.
2. There’s a reason both letters “h” and “c” exist in the abbreviation for h/c. That’s because hurt is required for the emotional response of the comfort to work for those of us for whom it is our kink, and, wait for it, because comfort is required in response to the hurt. What’s more is: the two NEED to balance each other. So, if your character is driven over a mountainside and walks with a broken leg for five days without food, that’s FINE, but you’re gonna need to spend some time a) physically healing that person, and b) making sure they have some kind of support system through the trauma recovery. Alternatively, if you’re going to spend 20k rehabbing someone, you’d better have set up some serious trauma to begin with.
Sub-point to this: Some fic is just HURT fic. Some fic is just COMFORT fic. And that’s GREAT. Those are their own genres and plenty of people love them. But they’re not h/c. And these days, I see a TON of fics that are one or the other labeled h/c.
Look, for the most part, I’m live and let live in fandom? But in this instance, ur doing it objectively wrong. The genre is defined by the two letters that represent it, and both those elements need to exist in equal measure for it to be part of the genre.
(And yes, I do have tropes within h/c I much prefer to others. I do have squicks that override h/c, like, for instance, I won’t read mpreg to get h/c, b/c the basic premise doesn’t work for me emotionally, whereas, I will read badly written hookerfic if it has the right h/c approach all day, b/c I’m easy as fuck like that.)
3. When h/c is delivered correctly? It’s legitimately the one sublime aspect of my life. No lie, it is the ONLY thing that can get past the depression. Because it’s the ultimate wish fulfillment. Life is shitty. Things are broken all the time, we are broken, we’re left on our own, and honestly, nobody gives a shit. But in h/c? That’s just not true. Someone does care enough to stick around, to fight hir way through all the terror and pain. Things that are broken are patched—not fixed, not if it’s done right, because nothing is fixable—but patched, and there are scars, but some of the time, those scars don’t ache. H/c is the one thing in life, when done the way it’s supposed to, that pretends just right that things might be okay.
And that’s the most beautiful thing I know of.