’Shipping. Would you? Do you? Will you?
’Shipping. It’s no longer just for packages and cargo. In fact, I’m sure it’s been around as long as fiction has been written. To ’ship is to dream about / talk about / write about relationships between fictional characters who either appear in the same show/movie/book but do not (or may not yet) have a romantic relationship or who are from different stories but we’d like to see them together. And, from what I surmise from the research I did when writing Turnabout’s Fair Play, most of the online fanfic world is comprised of ’ship stories.For example: Penelope and Morgan in Criminal Minds, Emma and August (or Emma and Graham) in Once Upon a Time, Castle and Beckett from Castle, Sue and Jack from Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye, Jo and Laurie in Little Women, Dorothy and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, the Doctor and (name one of his sidekicks) from Dr. Who, and so on.
I personally ’ship all the time with characters in my favorite TV shows and movies. The first time Rosalee appeared on GRIMM, I wanted her and Monroe to get together. (They’re so popular now, they have their own ’ship portmanteau: Monrosalee. I also ’shipped Juliet and Sawyer in LOST long before they actually got together, and one of my biggest wishes for the series finale was to see them get back together. In fact, LOST generated many of these, including Charlie and Claire, Hurley and Libby, and Daniel and Charlotte.
I’ve done something similar to ’shipping with a few of my books, as well . . . from my desire to see certain secondary characters in shows/movies I watch step into the limelight and have their own romances. For example, part of the inspiration for George Laurence in Stand-In Groom came from my desire to see the character of Methos in the Highlander TV show have a happily ever after ending to his story arc. The entire Ransome trilogy came about because I fell in love with Lieutenant William Bush (as portrayed by the inimitable Paul McGann) in the last four Hornblower movies. I wasn’t actually ’shipping either of those characters—I wasn’t writing pure fanfic using existing characters; I was taking what I loved about each of those characters (and the actors portraying them) and making them into something of my own creation. But it started out as my figuring out what kind of heroine would be “good enough” for the characters of someone else’s creation I’d fallen “in love” with.
Recently, I posted this on my Facebook Page:
I’m currently reading Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell). And I pulled it up on Netflix last night and watched the first part (as always, Andrew Davies did a masterful job of bringing the author’s original words to the screenplay). And a thought struck me. I like Lady Harriet (played by Rosamund Pike) in W&D. And I love Mortimer Lightwood (played by Dominic Mafham) in Our Mutual Friend. I think I’m starting to ’ship the two of them. Maybe I’ll just have to write something to bring these two characters together!
Will I ever write it? In my own round-about way, I might—as those two characters could serve as the templates on which I build characters (and a storyline) of my very own.
Do you ’ship? What are some of your favorite characters to ’ship? Would you ever (or do you) write ’ship fanfic? Would/do you read ’ship fanfic?