Gaelicspirit (gaelicspirit) wrote,

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There goes my hero...

It's the hiatus. Which means I am writing. And I am so happy about that, I can't even tell you. Also? I've decided what my resolution for 2011 is going to be. And it involves writing.

But before I go there? I seek your opinions on a matter near and dear to (some of) our hearts: wounded heroes.

I recently received a couple of reviews via email for my last two stories, Heroes for Ghosts and Sense, from a fellow SPN fanfic writer who has been extremely prolific, having posted over 300 fanfics, many of those stories having gathered a fair number of reviews. Through that, I surmise that she's rather well respected as a SPN writer (on -- I don't think she's on LJ). Whenever she reviews me, I tend to be both surprised and pleased that she took the time. In addition to reviewing the story, however, she also offers writing/storytelling critiques and I try to find what I can use within those critiques, because I'm one of those that takes to heart what anyone says about my writing. And while some constructive criticism will help me grow as a writer, others are simply one person's opinion and I have to remember that.

Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, in her review for Heroes for Ghosts, she put this:

I've always given you some grief about Dean being the hero of all your stories and a fairly indestructible one at that. But this story kinda borne up for me the idea that Dean has such a need to be part of things, which he says himself, that he ends up endangering others, too.

Okay, so this got me thinking. I make no qualms about Dean being my hero -- he's the main reason I watch (the brotherhood coming in second and the storyline creating the trifecta). Thinking about that, I looked back at my stories and came to the following conclusions:

1) Dean is always wounded in one way or another (and it appears I have a penchant for shoulder and rib wounds)
2) Sam is usually forced to rescue Dean and/or protect Dean at some point
3) Dean, while wounded, has to step up and defeat the baddie and/or save his brother
4) Sam is wounded, but it's generally more minor than Dean's or he's mended before the climax of the story


Well, the truth is...I like to read stories (and watch shows) where my favorite guy gets bloody and struggles through the pain to defeat the bad guy.  I do want a story—something that makes the pain make sense—but I also want to indulge in the interesting phenomenon of the secret thrill that comes from bashing my hero(es) to bits. It's not simply the pain that curls my toes, though, it's watching my hero fight through it, battle against it, and emerge, victorious and even more heroic on the other side. And in order to do that...he kinda has to some ways...indestructible.

I know I'm not alone in this -- it's been a topic of conversation of many of us at different times. It's even been the topic of one of Moki's fanfic blog entries.

But that reviewer's comment had me wondering if I take too much advantage of the fact that this is fiction -- and fiction in the supernatural genre at that where you can get away with more than, well, pretty much any other genre. It's fun to write these stories and it's fun to hurt my hero the way I do because I know exactly how I'm going to save him -- and it's the saving part that makes the pain worthwhile to me. But...her comment does give me a small amount of pause because of the aforementioned new year's resolution.

By December 31, 2011, I am going to finish a draft of my original story, Gone. I have it plotted, planned, outlined, and almost completely researched. I have some outstanding items I haven't fully investigated yet because I need to get there first in the story. You've maybe heard of NaNoWriMo? Where you commit to writing 50,000 words in a month? Well, I don't have trouble writing a lot of words; I have trouble writing my story. It's so much easier (for me) to write fanfic. And, like I said, it's fun.

I don't expect writing my original fic to not be fun...just not the same kind of fun. Because in my original fic, I can't heal my hero with Holy Water. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to bloody him in some way and force him to fight through it to emerge changed (for the better) on the other side. That's what I've discovered after 30ish stories: I really like the wounded hero. To write him, to read him. And I have a hero of my own that I want to haul through that fire.

So, my question for you (see? I told you there would be one) is this: in the genre of Supernatural fanfic, what constitutes too much for you when it comes to the indestructible hero? I know there are fetishes out there -- attractions to torture for the sake of torture -- but I'm talking about in a regular, GEN story, do you think there's such a thing as...too much hero?

Meaning, whether we're talking hurt!Dean or limp!Sam, do you ever get bored of the struggle?

I ask mostly out of curiosity and but also partly because I'm currently writing what may be my last multi-chapter SPN fanfic for a little while. Until I get my draft of the original story done. And this fanfic will follow what turns out is my M.O. And I have to wonder if...well, you might get bored.

Like I said, I know most of us are on the hurt/comfort bandwagon together. I'm just curious about where your seat is on the wagon: up toward the front where if it's not survivable in real life it's over the top, regardless of the genre; back toward the rear where anything goes as long as the heroes are healed; or somewhere in the middle.

Talk to me, Goose.

Tags: fanfic, original fic, writing
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