Many readers can’t help but pair up — or “ship” — certain characters that they read about in a book. The author may never had intended the two characters to be together (or, in some cases, even be in the same place in more than a couple of scenes), but readers nevertheless find a way to explain why Person A and Person B should be together. Many, like Dido’s song, “will go down with this ship” when it comes to their favorite pairings.
Take J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series for example. You have the fans who agree with the canon pairings of Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione. Then there are those who believe that Harry and Hermione should have gotten together, or even Harry and Draco. Each pairing has their own theories as to why the pairing should have happened.
I’m not one who reads romance novels. Love triangles, unless done extremely well, annoy the hell out of me. It irks me when problems in a plot seem to be solved the instant the main characters gets in a relationship. However, I’m not immune to creating ships.
It seems to be second nature for most of us. While reading a book, we want to escape to another world for a while, to imagine what it’s like to be in a place with magic, knights, talking animals, whatever. We root for our favorite characters to win, to be happy, and finding love just seems to be part of the whole package.
In a way, shipping characters brings the book’s world to life all the more than just the author’s wonderful words. Creating one’s own pairing enables the world to live on even after the book is closed. Wondering what kind of life your favorite pairing have together after the book’s events promotes creativity, imagination, ideas.
As writers, isn’t promoting different thoughts an underlying goal of everything we write?
Do you have an OTP, or one true pairing?