For as long as there has been fanfiction there has been slash. For those who are not familiar with fandoms and the terminology, slash is the term used for pairings of two characters of the same gender in a romantic and/or sexual relationship together. They are not usually written as homosexual by the original author.
Whether it is Captain Kirk and Mr Spock, who are commonly believed to be the original slashed characters, or the more modern Edward and Jacob of the Twilight series, it seems that with the advent of the internet slash fanfiction is here to stay.
My fandom is the Harry Potter fandom and slash stories about the characters are amongst the most popular online. I have written a number of them myself over the years and even though I have also written about characters in heterosexual relationships and stories that have no romance in them at all, it is the slash ones that retain their popularity after they have disappeared from the most recent updates pages of the archives at which they are stored. Which tells me that these seem to be the stories that people are searching for.
But why do we choose to pair up characters who are not originally written as a couple?
I decided to dig around in my fandom, but unfortunately for me, my favourite pairing (Remus Lupin and Sirius Black) has a large following of readers and writers who believe that their relationship is canon, albeit rather buried in the subtext. I am not one of those people, so I had to ask myself why I choose to write about the two men as a couple.
Remus was paired in canon with the unfortunately named Nymphadora Tonks. There are those who say that it is jealousy of Tonks that prompts fanfic writers to pair Remus up with another man, sometimes Harry, sometimes Snape, often Sirius. I can’t say that reasoning holds true for me. I actually advocated Remus/Tonks before they were an official couple in the series and have often enjoyed reading about them in fanfic. So, why don’t I write about that pairing?
To make a statement?
I don’t see writing slash fanfics as making any sort of a statement to advocate gay rights or anything like that. Maybe there are some who write for that reason, but I have never met them in my fandom. It certainly isn’t the reason I choose to write slash.
Two hot men are better than one?
Well, yes they are, but surely that can’t be the only reason I enjoy writing about my favourite pairing. And since Rowling outed one of her characters, why not write about him? Okay, I admit that I did write one short story about Dumbledore in his youth, but that was it. Even though there is substantially more evidence that this character is gay, including the words of the authoress herself, I choose to write about two men who aren’t.
The hot sex between two men is the appeal?
Well, it is definitely appealing, but not all of my stories have sex in them and they are as popular as some of my others. My most popular story about the pairing is ridiculously long and the characters don’t even hop into bed until somewhere after chapter 40. If it was just the sex then who the heck would read that far just for a few pages of porn? I wouldn’t. To my friends in the fandom I refer to myself as more of a plot-whore than anything else.
It can’t be the chance to write steamy man-on-man sex that makes me write about the pairing; if it was there would be far more sex in my fanfiction stories.
Bitter enemies becoming lovers?
Enemies who become lovers is always a popular idea in fanfiction. The idea of turning canon on its head and forcing the hero into bed with his nemesis doesn’t appeal to me in the least. But for some people this is an avenue of fanfiction that is almost as appealing as the one I have chosen.
The reason I write slash
Childhood friends. Betrayal. Reunion. Tragedy.
Playing in the Remus/Sirius sandbox opens a world of possibility for angst-filled stories and the chance to give the characters a happier ending than they were given in canon.
But why not pair them up with one of the female characters? And if there isn’t one available then make one up?
Well, making one up generally results in lots of accusations about Mary Sue’s and author inserts, but as a writer of original fiction as well as fanfiction I am sure that I am capable of producing a character that is neither of these fanfiction horrors.
Yet I don’t. I have never even attempted to pair either of them up with a female character. Instead I have taken their canon friendship and turned it into a romantic relationship for my own pleasure and that of my readers.
And I guess that I have my answer right there. I write slash fanfiction because I enjoy it and because I can.
Most importantly I write it because everyone deserves a happy ending, and what can be happier than two well-loved characters finding love together?
L.M. Brown’s latest release, Driving Me Crazy, is available now from Silver Publishing.
To Purchase: Liquid Silver Publishing
They say that people in love do crazy things. Brandon Walker can certainly relate.
Lusting after Lee Cooper, his sexy driving instructor, isn’t the most sensible reason for failing his driving test for the third time and when he discovers the damage he has inadvertently done to his instructor’s reputation and business, Brandon knows that he is on his last chance.
After persuading Lee to give him one final course of driving lessons Brandon makes it his priority to figure out if the spark he feels between them is one-sided or whether he can persuade his sexy instructor to move their lessons from the front seat of the car to the back.