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07 January 2009 @ 09:31 pm
likes and dislikes in fanfic  
Because I keep signing up for exchanges and I like it when my assigned person has one of these, so I figured I'd help out whoever gets assigned me. Also, because I'm not a 'shipper' and I feel I should try and pin down what it is that pulls me towards a story.

So.

Dear Person Who Is Writing A Story For Me,

Firstly, you're writing a story for me, so I'm going to be all kinds of happy and appreciative. Secondly, you're bothering to stalk my journal and find out what I like, above and beyond any request I made, and effort like that is just wonderful. Thank you, so very much.

Sometimes I think I must be easy to write for, because I'm really not fussy. I just love a good story.

I'm not a 'shipper': when it comes to fic exchanges the part where you're supposed to list some pairings is actually really hard for me. I usually just write down a few pairings I fancy reading right now or haven't read in a while. I can guarantee you that by the time the exchange is posted I will have forgotten what pairings I requested.

I will say that I don't tend to read femmeslash, although I have read some, and I don't like incest portrayed as a good thing – so as something that isn't meant to make me feel uncomfortable – unless it's as part of a threesome with the third person being unrelated to the other two (because there has to be a 'get out of jail free' card for two Weasley brothers in a threesome *grins*). If it's meant to make me uncomfortable then that's fine. The same goes for Umbridge/anyone. Other than that, feel free to write whatever pairing/s you feel comfortable with.

Any rating, be that for intimacy or violence, is fine; any length goes; genfic is as wonderful as romance; either stories with strong canon compliance or stories that are fantastically AU (Alternate Universe) are great; stories about any and all characters, from the main to the overlooked minors, are loved.  I like surprises.  *grins*

I've read non-con torture fics, apocalyptic fics, etc, but I tend not to read too many really dark stories or stories with a lot of heavy 'kinks' in them, because too much of that all at once can depress a person, but I have some and do enjoy them. If in doubt, just tread lightly with the dark/angst and the kinks.

But if I 'love a good story' I have to say what I think 'a good story' is, right?

For me a good story is one that makes me believe in the premise. If a character that died in canon is still alive, how is that possible and why did it happen? And I don't want to be told in a long piece of exposition at the start to 'catch me up'; I want to be shown. Throw me in at the deep end or introduce me to the idea gently, but show me. If Cedric is still alive refer to that scar where he hit his head against a gravestone when Pettigrew's curse failed, or maybe Cedric being alive is all part of some great mystery in your plot. If Harry and Draco are in love, show me how they got there, or show me the little things that prove it.

And please have them be in character. If your story is fantastically AU or something has happened to change a character, that isn't a problem. But again with the 'please show me'.

And that is it. A good story for me is something where you tell me something and you make me believe it. Drag me into this world you've made.

Something I do love, that makes dragging me in easier, are the little things. Details from canon, such as Wash's famous three overhead switches or Ron's missing fingernails, or details that you make up yourself like that Hermione can't cook or the bottom button on Mal's shirt is becoming unravelled. (It's the little things that build a world.)

Some things that don't necessarily make a good story but that I'm fond of include:
- any opportunity where lots of characters get to interact with each other, such as a full crew meal on Serenity, a Weasley family dinner, a staff meeting
- witty dialogue, fun dialogue (like sarcasm or scoring points of each other), moments of humour
- when I read dark or angst I like it when they end with a ray of hope, however small or just merely implied

And some things I dislike are:
- poor spelling and grammar, because it gets in the way of understanding the story
- long paragraphs or chunks of text without breaks, because they make my eyes go square when I'm reading on a computer screen
- perfection, because life isn't perfect. (It's the little things again. Even if two people in love there might be something they do that aggravates the other, or that would be horrible to the rest of the world but that their partner loves.)

The main thing, though, is that if you enjoy what you're writing then you're more likely to make me believe in it. Writing should be fun, and if you're writing for me I really hope you have fun doing it. :o)

Thank you and have fun,
inkvoices
 
 
feeling: contemplativecontemplative