Discussion Post - Shipping

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.

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?


  1. I'm one of those people who will ship any one together regardless if they don't end up being with them in the end. For example in Throne Of Glass I shipped Dorian and Celaena so hardly that I held a grudge over Chaol her other love interest for the rest of the series!
    Naomi @The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

  2. Great post! Whether I ship a couple or not is very influential in my liking or not liking of the book. There are definitely times I ship characters that don't end together and that hurts. But when my ship sails, man, my heart. You described it pretty perfect, it's like being in those moments with the couple.
    I'm really scared for the last book in the White Hot Kiss trilogy by Jennifer L Armentrout because she let the fans vote on who the MC will end up with. I will honestly throw the book if it isn't Roth. And I will probably have a hard time finishing the book as well. It is what it is.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  3. I do ship once in a great while. But not as much as others. Mostly shipping is done between me and whoever I like, like Daryl on the Walking Dead. Great post!

  4. Shipping is definitely a 'modern' idea lol. But perfect for us romantics!!

  5. What a fun post, Missie! I recently had to explain shipping to one of my sisters- I should've just sent her this link lol. Right now my favorite ships are Captain Swan from Once Upon a Time, Jamie and Vee from Doon, and Jamie and Claire from Outlander. :)

  6. Great post Missie!
    I've always been a huge shipper-whether it's a couple from a book or a tv show.Sometimes I really get involved in the couples I ship.And sometimes I end up shipping non canon couples and it's complete agony!

  7. I'm not a major shipper, but every now and then I really enjoy the romance in a book. I'm more likely to get worked up when I dislike a romance (particularly when it doesn't seem to make sense for the characters/story/etc.).

  8. THIS POST IS SO, SO ACCURATE. While I don't ship romances as much as the next avid reader, when I'm invested in a romance I'm completely into it. I think my main ships are definitely Percy & Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series and Bryce and Juli from Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ♥

  9. Awesome post! The first book I shipped might be from the lesser known work of Richelle Mead, her Georgina Kincaid series. Which about a succubus who falls for Seth Mortenstern, a nerdy author whose work she loves, and of course she cannot be with cuz she's devour his soul. It's amazing, I immediately connected with their relationship from the first time they met, and it took my months to read the last book because I didn't want it to end. He's also my first true book boyfriend.

  10. I'm currently reading Eleanor & Park (YES I KNOW WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG) and I've been experiencing all of this so intensely, more than I have with characters in a while. Especially "The Firsts." These moments are so emotionally charged and I can just hear them being like OMGOMGOMG in their heads. It's amazing.

    There's also the opposite situation where the relationship between characters just doesn't make sense to me and I'm like WTF the whole time and all of this weird stuff is being forced on me. And then I can't enjoy the book as much as I want because I'm so blinded by the weirdness of the relationship.

    Luckily I'm a frequent shipper!

  11. I love this breakdown of what makes you ship characters! It's so true!

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  13. This list was actually greatly helpful to me as a writer, navigating relationships in my WIP! Thanks for that. :D


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.