I admit I’m a hopeless romantic. I love the idea of love and characters in shows/movies/books falling in love with each other. Regardless of how I think happy endings apply in real life (they don’t as far as I’m concerned), I absolutely love hoping/praying/seeing characters get together.
Whether it’s Michael and Fiona from Burn Notice, Marshall and Mary from In Plain Sight, Gibbs and Abby from NCIS, James Bond and Moneypenny, I’m just fascinated by the process of falling in love. Maybe it’s because I write romance, but I get hung up on the looks that linger, the first touch that rests a moment longer than is customary, the hug that seems a slightly less than platonic. Just a hint of UST (unresolved sexual tension) and I am hit. Like the Lusitania.
I don’t want it easy, either. I want real odds. Involved with other people, but the looks and touches linger; choosing their career over romance because they know no other way to be; emotionally fractured almost beyond repair, those are the kind of conflicts that keep me hanging on every glance and sigh.
I’m pretty sure that’s what drives me, and a lot of other people, to fanfic. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. It’s the audience’s response to what they see onscreen or on the page, a loving homage, if you will. It’s difficult to write, too, though not in the same way as creating a story whole cloth. Staying within the framework set forth by the writers, keeping the characterizations accurate even as the storylines are wholly fresh, it’s very cool to see when it’s done well, and sometimes hard to turn away from like a train wreck when it’s horrible. But when it’s good…
It’s addictive. I find one and I tend to run down the entirety of their work, just to get one more hit. There are some talented voices out there putting their work out for the same reasons we all write, only for free. It’s not meant as anything but a loving addition of wishful thinking.
And isn’t that the soul of romance, really?