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The Pairing Function

Discussion in 'FanFic Discussion' started by Seyllian, May 22, 2017.

  1. Seyllian

    Seyllian Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    Do you guys believe in using the pairing function to tag your characters as a couple for stories on fanfiction.net?

    I personally don't as I find the practice to take away from the plot and intrigue of the story. If I want people to read my story I don't want it to be simply because Harry is with [insert desired female]. Moreover, by just telling everyone who Harry will end up with completely destroys any doubts that they might not be compatible!

    I have taken the approach of actually only tagging Harry in my stories not wanting the potential romance to spoil the surprise. However, I know this makes it harder for people that love a particular pairing to discover a story, but I find it to be more in line with my values as a reader which I extend to my writing.

    What do you guys think? Is this too extreme?
     
  2. T3t

    T3t Purple Beast of DLP Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I agree with the principle; spoilers are generally undesirable. It does have the costs you mentioned, but if you don't care about mass-appeal, small downside.
     
  3. vlad

    vlad Seventh Year Prestige

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    As long as you don't bait and switch readers, the only downside is lost readers who don't find it. in which case, it's nobody's business but yours what you decide, no harm no foul.
     
  4. Toujourss Pur

    Toujourss Pur First Year

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    I also agree and, actually, I'd rather no other characters were featured besides Harry if the information about their importance to the story is not in the summary. Sometimes it doesn't spoil anything, but other times it's too obvious what's going to happen when the author just hints something will happen to a not mentioned character and then there's only one more character in the list. It depends on the summary, really.

    The only downside is less people could find the story.
     
  5. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    If you'll forgive a slightly pedantic point, this isn't necessarily true; just because you put a relationship into a story doesn't always mean it works out, even leaving aside things like Harry breaking up with Ginny at the end of HBP for her own good.

    At the end of the day though, it's pretty inconsequential either way. I'd guess that any fic where romance is the focus will have both characters introduced or at least mentioned by the end of chapter one, and nine times out of ten you know they're going to get together eventually anyway; tagging the pairing is hardly a spoiler under those circumstances. In a non-romance fic, chances are it's not going to be important enough to worry about either way.

    On a slightly related note, pairing tags are infinitely preferable to the stream of consciousness tags telling you every plot beat, trigger warning and fetish involved in the fic that you get on AO3 - I've seen stories where the tags are longer than the story itself.