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I thought I might list out some of my favorite essays on the subject of H/C. I find it interesting to read others' thoughts about a genre I adore.

To start, there's... Hurt/Comfort: a Confession and a Celebration by Renae- A nice, personal essay explaining in great detail what it is about h/c that appeals to Renae. Several different fandoms and examples are used to paint the picture. I found myself nodding a lot while reading this. I read it for the first time years ago but it's timeless.

Theories on Why People Write Hurt/Comfort Fic by [livejournal.com profile] thelana- A very nice listing that include many/most of the reasons people write h/c. I certainly fit into most of these categories! LOL

We Always Hurt the Ones We Love by Lucy Gillam- Similarly, this essay poses possible theories (3 of them, in lovely detail) about why people enjoy writing h/c.

RE: Hurt-Comfort and reader crushes- This is a follow-up sort of post/thread but I enjoyed it enough to make a note to revisit and re-read it. Regarding the Harry Potter fandom specifically, the author looks at various characters and reasons readers write them into h/c situations (or not) and if that might be why readers/writers enjoy the characters so much.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Characters by Lucy Gillam- This time, Lucy looks at the sorts of h/c which don't work for her. She looks at several examples from different fandoms and hits on a lot of points I've thought of as well (such as the practically unrealistic repeated, violent hurting of a character, or the extent of the extreme hurt). This is certainly very subjective, but it's definitely the sort of thing that makes you think about what you do and don't like in h/c.

On the Borderline by Shomere- Short but meaningful article which brings up the brilliant point about how often h/c and slash walk hand in hand... but that relationship should not necessarily be implied or expected or analyzed (unless you're reading my stuff and then even gen h/c can easily come out as slash- LOL!)

The Origin, History, and Correct Definition and Use of the Fannish Term "Smarm" by Kitty- Similarly, this longer essay addresses the term "smarm" and its relationship (accurate and perceived) with the terms "slash" and "hurt/comfort". This was a very interesting read for me.

Why Does Obi-Wan Get All the Pain in TPM H/C Fic? by Alias Solo- I very much enjoy this essay, because I write far more hurt!Obi than hurt!Qui (maybe 80:20?). Personally, I think the appeal to me is that I'm such a Ewan fangirl and (as the younger and less experienced) I see him being the weaker and needing his master to take care of him in a traditional padawan & master situation. But I do adore Qui and I love hurt!Qui even more, so this essay made me think a lot about the M/A list and the collection of fics in the online fandom.

Last and least is A Writer's Life: Hurt/Comfort by Lee Goldberg- An interesting POV from a writer of TV show tie-in novels who has a brush with a hurt/comfort fan. I tend to disagree with Goldberg... which is sad because I love Monk and would gladly buy Goldberg's books if he wasn't such a jerk sometimes about fanfic and people who read/write fanfic. Anyway, I thought this was still worth noting here.
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