Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans of two people, either real-life celebrities or fictional characters, for the two to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise. It is considered a general term for fans' emotional involvement with the ongoing development of a relationship in a work of fiction. Shipping often takes the form of creative works, including fan fiction and fan art, most often published on the internet.
Discussion Post - Shipping
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Shipping can be one of the most important parts of a story and can easily ruin a well-written plot. If we cannot relate to the characters and feel “shipped” by their relationship, we distance ourselves from the story and built a wall that does not allow us to fall into the story.
When I read, I am often one of two places. Either I am outside the story, reading and observing or I am inside the story, feeling the relationship and characters to my depths. The times I am inside a book create a longing for the story to never end and a huge book hangover when it is finished. I am sure for general readers, this doesn’t happen or make sense. But I know that in the book blogging community, there are numerous individuals that feel the same way I do. A perfect shipping can create a book that will stick with you through time. It envelopes you and becomes part of your soul. There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that perfectly sums up how I feel, “I am a product of endless books.” The books that have drawn me inside have helped shape the person that I am today."
Now, back to shipping. What makes the “perfect” shipping? What draws me to the relationships, either friendship or romance, let’s use All the Bright Places as an example:
Peeked interest – I love that meet-cute scenario that gives the characters a start. Finch and Violet meet while contemplating suicide. That is pretty intense. They are quickly interested in what the other person is about. It is like meeting someone who loves your favorite obscure band or starts quoting your favorite classic.
Attraction – whether it be friendship or a romance, you are attracted to the person. Like a satellite, you want to spend time with them and experience life with them. Finch is so drawn to Violet that he creates a Facebook page just to friend her and find out more about her. Come on, admit it, you have stalked someone on social media because you were attracted to the persona you saw. You thought they would make an awesome friend, or something more.
Shared Interests – any relationship goes nowhere if you don’t share any common interests. In the case of Violet and Finch, they both are fairly tragic. It seems odd, but it works. They find all these little scenarios where they share the same interest, like book quotes or post-it notes. There is that little glimmer in your eye when you realize that you are not alone. It draws you to a relationship and to go with the shipping metaphor – helps the relationship float.
Seeing Potential – One of the best things about shipping is the way you look through the other person’s eyes. Both Violet and Finch see themselves as broken, but neither Violet or Finch see each other that way. Finch sees how talented and beautiful Violet is, he constantly pushes her to brave her fears and take chances. He forces her to get into a car and to write for their project because he believes in her. Violet doesn’t see Finch for the darkness he feels inside himself, or for the broken and abused family. Finch, to Violet, is smart, generous, talented and funny. He has potential that he hasn’t unlocked. That drive to be better, to want more to strive for more is what shipping is all about. It is human nature at its best.
The Firsts – The best shipping, especially with romantic relationships, is the first. When Finch and Violet finally kiss, you have so much slow burn energy pent up that it comes bursting out. I love how Finch states that he can just not wait any longer. He needs to kiss her, touch her, be close. The best shipping is when you are so caught up in the story that you get to feel that fresh new excitement of the characters advancing their relationship. It is fresh, new and exciting and you are happily immersed in the story, cheering Violet and Finch on.
What causes you to ship characters? Who do you ship over? Or wish you could ship with?