So today I've been thinking about what makes me read certain fics and what makes me click the back button on my browser, and why sometimes going back to a fic you loved makes you frown and say, 'huh, you know, I don't actually want to read this fic now.'
I'm going to talk about my thoughts, so if anyone feels they disagree, I'm not dissing you or your favourite pairing or type of fic or whatever, and please feel free to comment and discuss. I don't get to do this sort of thing any more, eyeballs are pretty cut and dried when it comes to your own inner monologue :D
For instance, then, after rereading The Mirror of Maybe
up-to-date - which is a very good Harry/Snape fic, by the way, if you haven't read it, and it's worth a try even if you're not a fan of the pairing, which I wasn't before this - I've been looking for Harry/Snape fic to read and basically being picky about it.
I am willing to read this
but not willing to read other fics (I, of course, don't tag fics I don't like, so I don't have one to put here just yet. Maybe if I find one later I'll fill in the blank.) If I'm reading Harry/Snape, it can't be fluffy, or really particularly light at all, because it just DOESN'T WORK. It has to be hard, and painful, and twisted but right at the same time. Something has to go wrong for it to go right for them as a pairing. (That said, The Mirror of Maybe doesn't exactly fit these criteria. But it has other things going for it, and Midnight Blue makes the pairing work. So I'm perfectly happy to read any of it I can get my greasy mitts on. I wish she updated more than once a year. I kid you not.)
Take Heroes fandom - I'm only willing to read Nathan/Peter, at least at the moment. Why? Because they're the characters I'm interested in, and because they have so much screen chemistry it makes my teeth ache. I love the other characters - in fact, there is not one I'd out and out get rid of - but I don't actually want to know about their sex lives. I do
want to know more about Nathan and Peter's dynamic, because there is so much there under the surface, hidden from plain sight, that I feel like I'm picking up on. There are too many characters for an individual rundown, but my immediate thoughts - Hiro is too cute for me to want to consider his sex life, and the person Claire has the most chemistry with is Peter, but not in the same incestuous they-could-actually-go-there way that Peter has chemistry with Nathan. And that's fine, because she's pretty awesome all on her own. (Well, truth be told, I wrote a Nathan/Claire/Peter smutlet for the Heroes Pornathon a while back. So basically I'm good at breaking my own rules.) Again though, for me Heroes is not a fluffy fandom. It doesn't really work for me in fic. While there are probably even fics I've tagged that are sort of fluffy, it's not what I'm looking for.
I suppose what I'm really saying is that, with fanfic, I need to feel like it fits with the show or books or whatever before I can be comfortable enough to immerse myself in it. Stargate Atlantis fandom can get away with the most outrageous crack, because there is no limit on the crazy you can inflict there. (Though I seem to have gone off SGA fic lately. No idea why.) Supernatural - yes, crack, but not really fluff. (Sam and Dean are another pair that are so wound up in one another that fic really has to make sense to me before I'll read it, because their dynamic is so set in my head. I can imagine them killing for one another and not batting an eyelid, time and time again, and that's not fluffy. It's heartrending and breathtaking when it's done right, but it's never fluffy.)
I won't even go into the topics of grammar and spelling for now, as I suspect Sam is coming to pick me up to drag me out to Carnibar for the evening. Maybe I'll come back and expand this later. Until then :D