blagi: (Gadget)
[personal profile] blagi

So earlier I was thinking about how I've been a hurt/comfort fangirl ever since I was a kid and didn't even know what it was. All I knew was that I loved making up stories in my head where one character was sick or hurt or emo and needed hugs and cuddles from their best friends or siblings. Chip&Dale, Mario, The Littl' Bits, Archie comics, The Brady Bunch, even the freakin' MAGIC SCHOOL BUS.

I've read essays on H/C. Most fans of the genre are into the "hurt" aspect. "Whump", they call it. Seeing the characters put through the wringer, the sympathy aroused by their suffering.

Me? I've always been more into the "comfort" aspect. While I can definitely dig well-done angst and suffering, to me that was just a building block for getting to the hugs and reassurance and affection that would soon follow. I just liked thinking about my favorite characters being affectionate with each other. And I still do.

I'm just a sucker for affection, I think. I'm not the most affectionate person in the world in real life, but when it comes to fictional characters I just can't get enough. One of my favorite ways to fall asleep is to imagine my favorite sibling or friend pairs sharing a warm hug, or an OTP snuggling. I just spent almost $30 on two ball-jointed wooden mannequins so I can use them to learn how to draw embraces better. Whether it's for comfort or romance or celebration, I simply can't get enough. I'm just a sap.

I've never quite gotten the appeal of H/C that's more hurt than comfort. If it's supposed to be a tragic fic that's one thing, but when an author claims it's H/C with a happy ending, only for it to turn out to be 95% hurt and 5% comfort at the very end, with paragraphs upon paragraphs of the character being put through the wringer and then in the end they make it home/get that kiss from their one true love/find their family/etc, "see, it's a happy ending, it's all wrapped up in a neat little package!"?

Some writers can definitely pull this off (can't think of any specifics at the moment, but there's exceptions to everything), but most of the time it comes off feeling like torture porn to me. An excuse to break the character. And while I do love angst, it's a genre that's all too easy to mess up. Angst can quickly turn into wangst if an author isn't careful.

Am I the only one who favors the comfort over the hurt in H/C? Probably not, but then again I rarely have deep discussions about hurt/comfort with other people. *shrug*

What are your thoughts on H/C?
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