When I was writing/producing DIAGNOSIS MURDER, I was surprised to discover that the show had a devoted fan following, and not just among people receiving social security. I was even more surprised to discover there were fans who particularly liked seeing one of the major characters get hurt… and then get comforted by the other worried characters. They particularly enjoy watching Steve get shot, beaten, and otherwise abused…and then see his Dad filled with concern about his injured son, who is preferably recuperating in as little clothing as possible. These viewers call themselves “hurt/comfort” fans and, since the cancellation of the series, they have written scores of fanfic where Steve gets abused real good and then is passionately weeped over by everybody else (or so I’ve heard, judging by the chatter I used to read on the PAX discussion forums). To be honest, the pleasure these fans get from seeing Steve in pain kind of gives me the creeps. Maybe when you read this note to me, posted on, about my book THE SHOOTING SCRIPT, you’ll understand why…

I have read a few more chapters. I just finished the part where Mark was injured and shot at and Steve wants Mark to go to the hospital.

I don’t know quite how to put this. I’m tired of reading about Mark getting hurt. In two books Mark has been hurt. I’d like to be able to read a DM book that has some Steve hurt/comfort in it. And I don’t mean he’s upset because Mark, Jesse or someone else is hurt. I mean Steve hurt himself, and Mark having to worry about Steve for a change…

Steve Hurt/Comfort Fan
Steve Angst Fan
Steve and Mark Relationship Fan
Steve and Ellen Fan

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Hurt/Comfort”

  1. One of the more nerve-wracking things about fanfic is the endless number of categories they put on stories. (That was not an intentional rhyme.)
    Mary Sue (or for men, Marty Stu, the more macho version)
    Slash – much reviled and rightfully so
    Crossover – Two or more series
    PWP – or “Plot? What plot?” (Usually pornographic)
    The nightmare begins anew in January when fans of the old Battlestar Galactica and the new one begin mixing the two series, creating new slash relationships, maybe have hurt/comfort stories where Starbuck “nurses” Col. Tigh through yet another hangover, and the inevitable BG/Trek, BG/Star Wars, BG/Andromeda, etc. etc. crossovers.
    See why I started doing this for real? Bookstores, magazines and webzines are nowhere near this specific. And no one will ever write Kepler slash stories. (Unless someone buys the television rights. Then I’ll just shut up and pay my mortgage off the checks.)

  2. You’d be amazed what people will write and what formulas come about, esp. because of the Internet.
    Wait until you run across character death.
    On second thought, you might want to avoid that one. Was never my favorite, but then I wrote more than I read, one more clue that fanfic was a colossal waste of time.

  3. I’ve seen hurt/confort talked about other places, in fact, I thought it was often what started a slash relationship.
    Those kind of notes are just strange. Mark is the main character. And there are four characters to share page time even then.
    Something happens in two books and this person is tired of it? What if there’s a murder in book four? Will they be tired of that as well?

  4. We’re an odd bunch. But it’s not the actual pain and suffering we want to see. It’s not like we’re a bunch of psychopaths that are just too pussy to go out and inflict pain on someone ourselves. The thing that attracts so many to the hurt/comfort, is the love and caring that these people show for the injured party. So many people out there are very lonely and don’t have very close loving families. So to watch it on T.V. or read it in a book, it makes them feel almost as if they are part of that family. I don’t think I’m explaining it too well, but that’s the gist of it.

  5. I don’t think that DM is perfect fandom for Hurt/Comfort. There is no real pain on the show, therefore, there can’t be real comfort. There is nothing real, just mindless formulaic entertainment.


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