?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
01 August 2006 @ 08:17 am
Is It UST?  
This isn't exactly meta, per se, but delves into some meta issues within the context of fanfic and writing. You can apply this to many fandoms, but I will be using SG-1 to illustrate my points.


I find UST (unresolved sexual tension) to be a term/phrase that is often misused and can be dangerous when labeling writing. Conversely, it can be helpful. So...what do you do?

UST has a foundation in the inherent chemistry between two characters, three characters, an ensemble cast, etc. Chemistry in general is the heart of most engrossing tv and writing. Without chemistry, the characters fall flat and we are less emotionally involved in their actions.

The thing with chemistry is that it can be interpreted and read in a number of ways, one of which is UST. While I am not saying that all chemistry translates into UST, all UST has its roots in chemistry.

Apparently, this can create a problem in the fanfic world. Someone who likes gen will tend to turn their backs on UST and label it a form of ship/slash. Or a fic that may have UST between Sam/Jack may be dismissed because of a dislike for that pairing.

However, there is a chance that the UST in the fic is not actually UST at all, and just chemistry. Could we be turning our backs on outstanding fiction because we perceive UST in a fic when really there's not? Are we dismissing fic that has amazing chemistry between characters because it's labeled as UST, but that UST can be read as either sexual or not? And are we, as writers, boxing ourselves into a corner when writing a fic that has chemistry between characters that could be read either way?

I'm a fan of labels. Really. I don't want to open a fic and get a surprise pairing inside. I don't want to read a fic that I thought was gen and find that it's really a Jack/Daniel slash fic in disguise or fic where Sam and Daniel are secretly angsting over their feelings for each other. Not when I tuned in for a gen fic. What I'm trying to say is, are we limiting ourselves with UST?

I would say the main draw to the show that many of us share is the amazing chemistry between the cast. Whether that cast for you consists of an original cast -- say Jack, Daniel, Sam and Teal'c -- or a change in cast -- say Jack, Sam, Teal'c, and Jonas. It could be Cameron, Sam, Teal'c, Vala, and Daniel. Landry. Hammond. Janet. Whatever. It's the chemistry between the characters added to a decent plot.

Whether your pairing is canon or not is irrelevant. There is no denying that in most shows there is chemistry between most of the characters. In the case of SG-1, I would argue there is chemistry between all of the characters. I really don't think you can deny the chemistry between Sam and Jack -- some may not see it as sexual chemistry, but there is some kind of chemistry between them, whatever it is. There is chemistry between Jack and Daniel, whatever it is. The same for Jack and Teal'c. Daniel and Teal'c. Sam and Daniel. Sam and Teal'c. And so on and so forth.

The show has given us several examples of chemistry. You can look to Need for Jack's caring for Daniel. You can look to The Fifth Race for Daniel's caring for Jack. Singularity is a good example for Daniel supporting Sam. Holiday can show Sam's caring for Daniel. Foothold is a nice example of Teal'c protecting Sam. Death Knell has a nice supportive scene at the end with Jack caring for Sam. Cor-ai had a passionate Jack fighting for Teal'c (along with the others). The list just doesn't end.

Chemistry isn't all hugs and cuddles, either. Chemistry takes on the form of anger, tension, need, conflict, pain, hurt, separation...the list goes on. We've had examples of this through a show like SG-1 between all the characters.

However, the former examples that I listed, the ones that show deep caring, commitment and love, are more often than not the examples people cite as showing UST. (Though, chemistry that involves feelings of anger, betrayal, sadness, pain, etc can also show UST.) The key is that we can read these scenes any number of ways. Some slashers feel the scenes in Need and The Fifth Race indicate UST and a sexual/romantic love between Jack and Daniel. While, at the same time, some people see Death Knell as Sam/Jack ship. Holiday is one of the eps trumped by the Sam/Daniel people. Foothold for the Sam/Teal'c crew. Yet, someone who does not support that pairing can just as easily see those scenes as friendship.

With such a spectrum and fluidity in the show itself, it's not unusual to find that in fanfic, too. When I read a fic, I expect there to be caring between all the characters, like I see on the show. I expect to see that spark, that chemistry between the characters, reflected in their own unique bonds.

For some, that is not the goal. Not all fic should reflect this attitude. If you are writing a slash fic about a perceived sexual relationship between Daniel and Teal'c, then you might not necessarily need Sam and Jack in your fic. If your fic only concentrates on two characters, one character, a side character...things change. Maybe you don't like a certain character and don't want to read fic that has that character in it. Or maybe your interest is solely in a pairing. Plus, there are times maybe that's all we want to read and think, "Oh, I'm in the mood for some Cam/Sam today..." It's a different dynamic. I'm not really speaking to those kinds of fics here.

But in a standard, teamesque type of story, where all the characters play a role, you're undeniably going to hit that chemistry that is present if it's a well-written story. That chemistry is going to slip into the conversations and actions between Jack and Daniel, Jack and Sam, Jack and Teal'c, etc.

Here's the problem. If an author wants you to know, yes read this chemistry as sexual, a label is slapped on that says UST. If a writer doesn't feel it is sexual, no label of UST. However, some writers don't like to be bound by an either/or attitude and are open to people interpreting their characters' chemistry as platonic or sexual. To slap a label saying UST doesn't reflect the nature of the story.

And yes, I am one of those people ;)

However, by labeling a story gen -- a story that tries to show chemistry between all the characters -- you run the risk of an outcry in the fandom over mislabeling. Some people will say that you're trying to sneak ship or slash into gen story. And sometimes people do, both consciously and subconsciously. But I think it's fair to say that there are a lot of writers out there that are open to people walking away with whatever view they want. If someone reads a story of mine that is gen and walks out of it thinking, "wow I saw something between Daniel and Teal'c" and I never intended that in the first place, I'm okay with that. And it has happened. I'm okay with people seeing ship when it's not there, slash when it's not there. And frankly, I try to write my gen in a way where people can see whatever they want, just like we do in the show.

But like I said, there's always a risk. You can't please everyone. And there will always be someone that doesn't agree with your views. There are fics where this doesn't apply -- full out ship and slash, for example. Also, there are times when a definite UST label is needed and others when gen is more than appropriate. It's a fine line, though.

My concern is that we might be missing some very good fic out there. Fic that might be perceived as Sam/Jack, but really just has some great chemistry between the characters and has a great plot. Or, a fic that might be perceived as Jack/Daniel which actually is just a story that can be read either way, again with a great plot. And that goes for Sam/Daniel, Daniel/Janet, Cameron/Teal'c, Jonas/Sam, even interactions between minor characters and original characters...you name the combination.

I wonder what are your thoughts on this? Again, I used SG-1 as an example but it can be applied to any show, despite whether the show contains canon pairings or not.
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
sela21k: Stargate 45sela21k on August 1st, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm, that's a lot to think about so early in the morning. :D

Well, IMHO, one fic writer's UST is another one's friendship. When it comes to labeling I tend to bow to what the writer of the fic is trying to get across even if I don't altogether see it. It could be what passes for UST for them is merely a close friendship to me but as it's their original piece I have to respect how they see their own work. The writer has the right to say what his/her work is and if I disagree with that, then I know what to respect when I read their work. That includes deliberate mislabeling although I so far haven't seen any of that.

I think thing would probably work a lot easier if there were a fan fiction terms and abbreviations dictionary / glossary that we could point to and say, "This is what UST is." It would also help when you're trying to introduce a newbie to the world of fan fiction. UST, OTP, OC, Angst, Whump, het, gen, slash, HC - there are times when I get confused and I write this stuff! :D

Good post for discussion.
Working for the Mandroid: Patternsmoonshayde on August 1st, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
When it comes to labeling I tend to bow to what the writer of the fic is trying to get across even if I don't altogether see it.

Oh, and I'm not arguing against that. Because I feel the same way. I just wonder if sometimes some authors slap on a UST label because they are afraid of mislabeling. And I'm sure there are some authors that feel they need to try to fit into an "either/or" category and chose UST when really they could have their fic read either way.

For example, I'm not likely to read a Sam/Jack fic. I'm not very interested in them as a pairing. But I like the friendship between them. And I am sure there has to be some stories out there that have chemistry between them that can be read as either UST or friendship. Only, I wouldn't know because I tend to stay away from that pairing. Those fics that straddle that fine line really could go either way. Some authors might have intended it that way but feel forced to pick a side.

And that could be said for Jack/Janet, Sam/Teal'c, whoever.

It's just something I've been thinking about ;)
(no subject) - sela21k on August 1st, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nialla: Passion for Readingnialla42 on August 1st, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
I think the dividing line for me is whether the relationship in the fic (or the show itself) includes stuff like "longing looks" or one character thinking of a romanticized view of the other -- describing their beautiful blue eyes or shining blond(e) hair, etc.

Things like that place it on the shippy or slashy ends of the spectrum for me, even if nothing's played out on the page.

The cast of SG-1 used to have a great team chemistry, but now, not so much. I would love to have read some fics exploring Jack's mentoring of Sam to be in command in the future, but we never really got that on the show, instead getting UST that's tainted Sam (and Jack, to some extent) to this day for me.
Working for the Mandroid: Hushmoonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
I think the dividing line for me is whether the relationship in the fic (or the show itself) includes stuff like "longing looks" or one character thinking of a romanticized view of the other -- describing their beautiful blue eyes or shining blond(e) hair, etc.

I think that's a good way to describe it. I would actually not have a problem with a fic that had Sam and Jack caring about each other -- I am not as tainted as you it seems ;) But if it included language like the above, then no.

That goes for slash, too. I really don't like reading a team fic that has obvious shippy tones or obvious slashy tones. I know people have different opinions on this, but when I go for gen team fic, I want gen team fic.
(no subject) - nialla42 on August 2nd, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nialla42 on August 2nd, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mish: SG-1 Team but Orangeyhsapiens on August 1st, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I'll have to think on this some more because I don't really see this distinction as difficult. For me, it's entirely how the writer presents the motivations of the characters, not how I could interpret the scene.

I expect something labeled "UST" to involve at least one character expressing sexual inclination towards another, either in thought or words. I expect that the tension plays an important role in the story plot- or characterization-wise. (Otherwise, why have it?) I expect that there will, in fact, be no resolution to these sexual desires. If it's open to interpretation, I think of it as "team."

Let's say that "Need" was a fanfic. As seen on screen, I'd call it "team." Could be friendship, could be slash, could be Jack being a good team leader. If Jack, however, had begun to think about how soft Daniel's hair was or how lucky Shyla had been to bed Daniel, it would be UST. If Daniel turned in his arms and they started making out? Slash.

But I'll have to think more on the line you're drawing because I think I'm missing your nuance. I know that fics don't always neatly fit categories, especially when you get outside the usual lines of het or slash, which are often romances revolving around a favorite pairing.
Working for the Mandroid: Familymoonshayde on August 1st, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
*sigh* It's why I don't post often. I never seem to make any sense.

I guess what I mean is with such a hypersensitivity in the fandom over labeling and ship/slash, maybe people reading gen or team fic might be missing out on a good story that at it's core if gen and team fic but has a label of UST because the author felt pressed to used the label.
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 1st, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sela21k on August 1st, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - betacandy on August 2nd, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 3rd, 2006 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - betacandy on August 3rd, 2006 02:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - betacandy on August 2nd, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 12:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: Greenmoonshayde on August 1st, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
That is how I imagine UST. If there is intent at romantic/sexual subtext or if there are character thoughts that reflect the same.

Yet, at the same time, I wonder how many fics might be labeled UST but might not really be filled with UST because either the author felt pressured to use the label or might have a different definition of what UST is.

You know how hypersensitive the fandom, any fandom, can be.
(no subject) - superbadgirl on August 1st, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
kamelion: friendsleenys on August 1st, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
Have to speak fom my own meager experience here...

I rarely see a UST label on any fic. I enjoy chemistry between characters, and if someone wants to read more into that, then that is their own POV, and nothing can be done about it. I think all this constant labeling of fics actually steers opinion, and ruins surprises. Regular fiction isn't labled past the general genre.

I approve of labels for genre only. I don't even like mentioning the possibility of a character death, because it advertises what you've written and takes away a large part of the drama. If you know such and such is going to die, why read it? Let's advertise everything in a label-summary, "the team goes to this planet and does this thing and it's wrong and as a result such and such dies and everyone mourns for him/her." Well thanks, fine, no need to read the fic now.

Anyway, to me, UST is impossible to accurately label. If the tension is unresolved, does that mean is exists but neither party is willing to admit it? Does that mean exists only in the reader's mind? Does that mean they want to do it but physically can't? And isn't all sexual tension unresolved, hence the tension bit? Several of my gen-fics can be read as pre-slash, because of the chemistry. I've been told as such. Never got in trouble for it. And as a result became acquainted to the new "bring your own ship" idea. Which leaves me with an image of someone standing at the docks, waiting.

My opinion is, write it, label it with as little as possible to preserve a sense of spontaneity and surprise, and screw the masses that pitch a bitch over it.

Kam
Ael L. Boltmartyfan on August 1st, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
Personally I've never understood the label of pre-slash. It's either slash or it isn't. If it's before any slashy sex happens, it's either gen (because they haven't "noticed" each other yet) or one-sided UST, which should still count as slash. Why bother having a "pre-slash" label? (Not trying to be abrasive, I really do want to know.)
(no subject) - leenys on August 2nd, 2006 12:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - martyfan on August 2nd, 2006 12:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 2nd, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nialla42 on August 2nd, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 2nd, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 3rd, 2006 01:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 3rd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 08:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 3rd, 2006 01:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 09:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 2nd, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - leenys on August 3rd, 2006 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 3rd, 2006 02:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 3rd, 2006 02:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 09:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
Destina: rome pullo vorenus ustdestina on August 1st, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Very interesting post! I haven't used a UST label on a story since I wrote in X-Files, and that was, uh, 10 years ago, where the UST was canon. The only story where it might have applied in SG-1 was Ciphers, and I labeled it both gen and pre-slash rather than UST, and let people see it as they may. *g*

As for the accuracy of the label, Mulder/Scully was my benchmark, and I don't see UST in non-canon pairings, generally. It's an issue of objective, I guess; UST I see on the screen, but it's a visual thing that's deliberately written in for and/or played by the actors, not something I objectively see in written text. UST is not necessarily subtext, and vice versa; slash subtext I see because I want to see it, and not because it's created for me. Does that make sense? Clearly I need more caffeine. *g*
Working for the Mandroid: Corporalmoonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
I'm all for labels. But I swear, fandom labels confuse me at times! ;)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 09:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rowan Darkstar: Team - 2001rowan_d on August 1st, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, nice post. I've really wrestled with this label myself, and I think it DOES often become a catch-all. One of my most often mentioned (by my readers) Sam/Daniel fics, I wrote as a friendship hurt/comfort story, yet the majority of readers see it as obvious UST and read it entirely with potential 'ship in mind. Another of my Sam/Janet stories was written mainly as friendship, and I really struggled with how to label it, because I felt if I labelled it UST (or pre-Slash) it would alienate the non-femslashers, yet I felt there was a lot there the femslash folk would enjoy, and I knew the UST label would open it up to that whole audience. In the end I labelled it as "friendship, can be seen as UST if you wish" and the Sam/Janet fans wrote back saying "ya think?!???" while the friendship fans said, "Oh, no, this is just purely a portrait of a beautiful friendship". So...meeenhh.

I have always had issues labelling my Sam/Jack fic, because, to me, Sam/Jack UST is canon. Whether you think they really have deep feelings of devotion to one another is up for interpretation, but the fact that (particularly during various eras of the show) Sam and Jack flirt and tease is just blatently THERE in canon. So, to me, writing a team fic with Sam/Jack UST is writing in canon, and you should be able to label that gen, as long as it never GOES anywhere. But I find that any hint of Sam/Jack 'shippiness in a gen fic (even when it is nothing more than you would see on screen on a Friday night) will get you potentially burned at the stake. So, I have never written anything labelled gen fic, because when I write the team, I refuse to ignore the canon flirtatious chemistry between Sam and Jack. And if you label it "friendship", you lose the 'shipper readers who think you're somehow opposed to UST.:S

So, yes, you have a very good point, but I have no idea what to do about it.:D

Myself, I do end up labelling a lot of Sam/Jack fic UST that probably shouldn't be. I would prefer to restrict it to fic in which there is obvious physical chemistry, brushes against skin, focus on Sam's scent when Jack passes, etc., and not have to label it such if Sam's beaten up and scared and wants Jack to hold her for a while, more than she wants the rest of the team. I don't think that should have to be UST, just becaue they share a hurt/comfort connection. Then again, if it were Daniel, I would say "hug her" and with Jack it's always "hold her", so maybe that's my answer right there.;)

I'll shut up now before I lose your original point altogether.:D
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
I do disagree that Sam/Jack UST is gen. I know that if read a story where I was just looking for something team and I came across a fic that was heavy-handed on the Sam/Jack UST, I'd be upset. And that would be the same for any pairing. Heck, I'd get testy if I was reading a fic that was gen and sounded like a team adventure and turned out to be mostly Daniel/Sha're. Not because I don't like them. But despite the fact they are canon, when I sit down to read a good gen fic with a team focus, I expect it to be as much.

But I do think there are grey areas, too. Some people might consider just the fact that Sam and Jack are in the same scene to be UST or shippy. Or if the two characters make a joke to be shippy or UST. I don't really agree with that. Just like I don't see a hug between Jack and Daniel or Teal'c and Daniel or whoever to be slashy.

So I appreciate that you do label your fic as such. Even if you don't agree with it, I think it just suits the nature of this fandom well. For other shows, like the X-Files, I feel there is a different set of rules. Each show has them.
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nialla42 on August 2nd, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aurora_novarum on August 2nd, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aurora_novarum on August 2nd, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 4th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aurora_novarum on August 2nd, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aurora_novarum on August 2nd, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 3rd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rowan_d on August 2nd, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 3rd, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
aizjanikaaizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
Could we be turning our backs on outstanding fiction because we perceive UST in a fic when really there's not?

I would. Whether the author intended it or not, if I perceive it in the fic, I'd find it to be a huge turn-off. I'd probably not finish the story. It's not anything bad or anything against the author, but it's just something I don't like and wouldn't read. It'd be like me eating mushrooms. There's just no good reason for me to eat them, so I won't--not even if they're free or covered in chocolate.

What I mean is, if the best ever Jack/Daniel fic has even a hint of perceived Jack/Sam UST in it, I'm outta there. I mean this with no disrespect towards any author. I love that people can write whatever they want and explain things away in ways that make sense to them and even fulfill their own fantasies through fic writing. I just also know what I'm willing to read, and I can't even force myself to read stuff I don't like any more. The older I get, the harder it is. I used to finish every book I started no matter what. Now? I have a zillion books around that I've started and never finished. It's all a matter of taste to me. Some people like chocolate, some vanilla. There's room for everyone. *g*

I'd feel the same about a gen fic or a team fic, though I really tend to avoid those types of fics as much as possible because I don't enjoy them.

I really don't think you can deny the chemistry between Sam and Jack

I can. *bg* That's one interpretation, but I don't see it. I see that they have as a sort of anti-chemistry--about as far from chemistry as you can get. In later years, when the writers started trying to write (orchestrate) chemistry between them, instead they came off all awkward and bizarre in a way that I find truly disturbing and squicky.
aizjanikaaizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 06:26 am (UTC)
I'll be honest, though, I have never seen UST between Jack and Daniel on the show either. I've seen chemistry between them--something that made me think "These two guys mean more to each other than is apparent from the things they say." It can be fun to interpret as UST, but I see it as just that--an interpretation.

I have no problem with shippers doing the same with Sam/Jack, but I don't believe that it’s canon on the show, that I must see it, or, in your phrasing above *g*, that it can't be denied. *g* I think it can be denied. *bg*

When I saw them together in scenes even in the early seasons, I only thought, "He's beginning to respect her as a fellow officer." Later I thought, "They are colleagues that have absolutely nothing in common and can't even carry on a conversation about anything personal the way that normal people would who have been working together for X number of years."

In Death Knell (and I would add Metamorphosis) those Jack/Sam moments came off as extremely false and forced to me. In Metamorphosis, especially, when Jack told her to rest, he didn't hold out his arms and say, "Lean on me." It was just bizarre that she did so. There had been nothing between them up to that point to indicate they'd ever had that type of intimacy or working relationship or any type of relationship. It just felt...awkward and weird and forced. Death Knell was almost as bad.

What episode was it that Jack and Sam had a phone conversation? That just seemed to be like this huge neon sign saying, "See? They do talk about personal things! And they know each other so well!" It felt false because there had never been anything between them up to that point to indicate that they ever had those types of conversations and everything to indicate that they didn't. Sam sounded strained instead of easy and Jack/RDA sounded off to me.

But like I said, there's always a risk. You can't please everyone.

I would never say anything to an author about this, because everyone's mileage on this may vary, but if I read what seemed like UST between Sam/Jack or Daniel/Vala or anyone else in a gen fic, I'd probably feel that the author didn't label it in order to trick people into reading it--people who wouldn't normally read that type of story. I'd never say anything to the author, though, because I respect that some authors want people to accept their work as a whole and not to prejudge it.

Even if it wasn't meant as a "trick," it would mean that the author and I didn't see eye-to-eye on the characters and thus I'd perceive the characters to be acting out of character in a gen fic. There's nothing wrong with that, but that would be my indication that this wasn't an author I wanted to read. And I don't mean that in a bad or mean way. There are plenty of authors out there who write great stories that I don't read because their type of story doesn't appeal to me. I have no expectation that any authors are writing with me in mind. *g*
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hsapiens on August 2nd, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - moonshayde on August 2nd, 2006 10:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aizjanika on August 2nd, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
betacandy: daniel eloquencebetacandy on August 2nd, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Great discussion. I sincerely hope all of my gen stories are overflowing with chemistry. I only write SG-1, and I don't shy away from writing the affection and occasional playfulness that I see as part of Jack and Sam, early on, before there was any question of on-screen UST.

I dealt with the whole mess by writing up a disclaimer I can point people to in the event I have complaints.