No, I’m not talking about your intended couples! I’m talking about every character with every character. Shipping is a borderless, lawless land.
So you’re going to have to be tread carefully. It might not be something you’re actively thinking about, but you should, analice your characters and their relationships and how that is going to be read online.
Found a potencial ship? Cool.
Do you want that ship to exist? No. Okay then, this is where things get complicated.
First and foremost, you don’t really have a say, I’m about to make some suggestions to try and stop it… but fandoms be fandoms and ships happen. You’ll need to be mentally prepared for that. But in the meantime, let’s work on some ways to hopefully draw attention away.
1.- First and most effective, if you plan to get one of the character’s together with somebody else later, start hinting very early on. Hopefully this’ll get people shipping your intended relationship as a pose to the potential one.
2.- Make the relationship clearer. Good sentences that are less obvious than, “you’re like a sibling to me!” could be “you remind me… (insert other character with clearly no romantic potential)”.
3.- Have the idea of one of the characters being in a relationship be bought up and the other character react very positively. Usually when a creator intends for two character’s to be together, this kind of thing will cause sadness, hesitance or uncertainty in character b. Show them being like, “oh, wow, yeah, they’d be a great couple!” it’ll hopefully send a clear message and throw readers off.
4.- If you don’t want the ship to happen because it’s not even the right sexuality for one of the characters, have them speak openly about their sexuality! Or have them speak privately about it, as long as the readers hears it. You could literally have them sit in their room and think about it, you’re a writer, you can write what you want.
And those are my four tips for today! Like I said, be ready for ships to happen anyway, people literally ship siblings there really is no borders. But, it’s still worth keeping in mind, especially when you don’t want your readers to be let down later on.