Things I Tend to Like in Fic
Angst. I like angst of the light to moderate variety. Emotional angst, like being worried about a loved one who's missing, is good. Or character death and the subsequent bereavement, which I suppose could be more than moderate angst. Or wipe-everyone-out apocalypses, which is definitely more than moderate angst. Perhaps it's better to say I just like angst. However, I generally prefer it when the characters aren't completely broken; I'd rather watch them bravely and stoically carrying on in the midst of their suffering. (I'm also less keen on guilt, as a general rule, although there are some exceptions.)
Apocafic. Not something I want to see all the time, but I like end-of-the-world stories. Ideally with at least a couple of survivors.
Alternate universes. I like AUs, but I mostly prefer the ones that have some parallels to canon. Fork in the road type stuff or alternate worlds where everyone still plays basically the same role like Steampunk!Mentalist. I'm less fond of high school-type AUs or ones where everyone works in a coffee shop or something. (The one exception to this is Detective Noir AUs. That's my bulletproof AU, where I love all the stories.)
Badasses So basically I fell in love with John Sheppard watching him single-handedly take on about fifty invading Genii soldiers and win, and some of my favourite moments on Person of Interest are when Reese gets to show off his skills. I love it when my characters can hold their own in a fight. I love it when Sheppard plays soldier with ground skills no one expects him to have, or Sam punches Ba'al and pulls off the rescue, or John Reese shows up to save the day. Basically, I love watching my characters win.
Character death. I wouldn't want to see it in every story, but I'm a sucker for stories about post-death grieving and moving on. Stories that end with heroic and tragic deaths are good too.
Competence. I really, really like reading about characters being good at what they do. I'm also a fan of adults who can carry out adult tasks with minimal fuss.
Crossovers. I love crossovers. Especially if one or more of the fandoms involved has a secret of some sort that they have to hide. Or that gets revealed. Either way. Or just learning about the other's reality (e.g., SGA people ending up on Galactica). Reaction shots, basically. I also enjoy crossover pairings, but I'm usually more interested in having characters from one fandom learn about the other than I am in PWP.
External POVs. I love seeing what people think of each other. I like seeing what the characters think of each other, and I like seeing what OCs think of the characters (and their relationships). What's Patrick Jane's relationship with the barista as his local coffee shop? What does Tim think of Raylan? What does Raylan think of Tim?
Family. I'm a sucker for stories that focus on family relationships, especially when those relationships are backgrounded in canon. I like warm, close, supportive families, and I like complex families where people care, but aren't always good at showing it. Things don't always have to be ultra-smooth and sometimes it takes people a bit of time to come around, and often there aren't villains, just different needs and different points of view, hopefully balanced out a bit by love and good intentions. And of course, sometimes there may not even be good intentions, particularly if a family is canonically abusive.
First times. First kiss, first date, first time sleeping together...but also first time flying or first time firing a gun or first time killing. All sorts of first time. I especially love that moment when two people realize that yes, the interest is mutual.
Friendship. Including hanging out, offering support, giving advice, sharing secrets, and helping each other with personal problems.
Happy endings. Also bittersweet endings. And hopeful endings.
Integrity. I have a major weakness for depictions of integrity. Characters who adhere to their principles and do the right thing even when it costs them. But thoughtfully and mindfully; not just blindly following rules for the sake of following rules.
Picking up minor (or major!) plot points and exploring them further. I like stories that continue minor plot points or relationships. I love Farscape stories where Katralla's daughter learns about her father or Stargate stories that look at what Amy Vandenberg told her friends after the reunion or how her visit to Colorado Springs went. That kind of thing.
Procedural realism. In my cop and military shows, I like it when there's a nod given to rules and regulations and how things really work. I don't know enough about most of these areas to catch minor mistakes, but I like at least the appearance that there's a larger organization and that most of the characters got where they are by abiding by the rules of that organization most of the time. Of course, if the show itself tends to ignore certain realities, then fic can follow suit. Bring on the two-hour DNA processing!
Romance. I'm a romantic at heart. I don't like a lot of schmoop, with extravagant pet names and overly cute professions of affection, but I like some traditional romance. Wining and dining and understated but heartfelt declarations of love.
Secrets and revelations. I love the reaction shots when people learn other people's secrets. What friends think when a character comes out. What families thought when the Stargate program was declassified. Even minor secrets, like Rodney finding out that John comes from money, make me happy.
Slice of life. I like looking at what the characters daily lives look like. What their homes are like and where they shop and how they get along with their neighbours. Especially in fandoms where that kind of thing isn't generally shown.
Tropes. That's a whole separate list right there.
Vulnerability. Mostly emotional vulnerability. I like those moments when someone has to make themselves vulnerable--by admitting to love or fear or a secret--and then the person they're talking to comes through for them.
Things I mostly don't read or am very, very picky about:
Incest. Mpreg. Romantic relationships that feature major power imbalances (including chain-of-command issues, A/B/O, and D/s). Plots based on misunderstandings, especially when those misunderstandings could be cleared up with a simple conversation. Stories that leave one or more of the main characters with permanent mental or physical disabilities they didn't have in canon. Gender-bending. Stories where characters do uncharacteristically stupid things in service of the plot. Self-destruction. Social embarrassment. Humiliation. Excessive schmoop from normally reserved characters. Character bashing. Treating jealousy or possessiveness as a good thing.
(It's not that I never read the things on the list; while there are some I avoid, there are also others where I'm just picky about how they're done.)
Favourite Fandoms, Characters, and Pairings
This is largely a list of shows I've requested in various exchanges, rather than a comprehensive list of every show I've watched and loved. If you want a more complete list of shows I watch, check out my profile and my interests.
When it comes to pairings, I'm easily led by canon. If a show pushes a pairing on me, 99% of the time I will embrace it. Even when I like other pairings, those are usually in addition to the canon pairings, not instead of them.
I also typically like major characters more or less as they're portrayed in canon. Which isn't to say they can't learn and grow and change in a story, but as a general rule, I'm not looking for things like genderswap (unless it's temporary) or major changes in their background that made them into a completely different person. (Sexual orientation is a separate matter for me--there are lots of characters who I can see as bi or otherwise flexible in their orientation.) This isn't to say I'll never read those stories or that there aren't a few premises I really enjoy, but I'm kind of picky about how it's done. I'm much more flexible on supporting characters who I didn't request, however, so if you want to play around with their backgrounds and gender and characterizations, go for it.
Battle Creek - Milt is my favourite here, all mystery and competence and good intentions. And I love Russ too, with his cynicism and quick wits and not-so-secret heart of gold. And Guziewicz and Font and Holly. Roughly in that order. Most of the time. I like Russ/Holly a lot--all that gentle, obvious, cautious dancing around each other for the entire season--which is perhaps why I'm not a big Milt/Russ shipper, although the hug in "Stockholm" came close to winning me over, and I'll read it if it's well done.
Battlestar Galactica - Lee and Laura are my favourite characters. I love their early relationship, when he tutors her on the military and she mentors him on politics, and I love Lee's tendency to take principled stands, even if the show sometimes throws that away later on. I also liked Lee and Romo's dynamic, which had some similarities. For pairings, I'm fairly flexible, except for preferring characters be within ten years or so of each others' ages (unless one of them is immortal/exceptionally long-lived). I like the canon pairings. I like Kara/Sam more than Lee/Dee, but I love Dee on her own. I like Lee/Kara too, sometimes. I loved Laura/Bill until they threw away all of their responsibilities to the Fleet away in the later seasons. I sometimes enjoy Sam/Lee, and think that Kara/Lee/Sam would have been awesome. And I think Hela/Athena are lovely.
Being Human US - Aidan is my favourite character and Nora is second, but I love all of them. Especially in season three, when both Josh and Sally have come so far in learning how to live in the world they've been thrust into while still holding on to their principles. I also adore Kat, and I loved Aidan and Kat together, and I think Kat absolutely made the right decision to break up with Aidan when she did. I liked Aidan's relationships with Henry and Kenny too, and I'm sad those ended the way they did.
The Collector - This is one of those obscure Canadian shows that no one's seen, which is really too bad because it just calls out for fanfic, with all its flashbacks and gaps and interesting ideas. There was so much left unfinished at the end of the show that needs to be addressed. And lots of crossover potential, with all of Morgan's secrets. Also, I wanted to see them actually do something with Morgan/Maya.
Criminal Minds - I love all of the characters, but I love Emily and Hotch the most. And then Rossi and Garcia and JJ. I'm really pretty much a straight-up gen fan, at least within the team. Canon pairings are great, however, and so are crossover 'ships.
Due South - Fraser/Kowalski is my OTP, but I'm open to a little multi-shipping. Fraser/Smithbauer is interesting and I like seeing explorations of Ray Kowalski's marriage to Stella. I don't ship Fraser/Vecchio at all, but I adore their deep and abiding friendship. I'm also partial to Diefenbaker and Welsh and Elaine. And one day I'd like to see a UST-free Fraser & Thatcher story in which they make a totally awesome team or have each others' backs completely. Because I think they could be professionally fabulous if they could get past their personal issues.
Firefly - I'm mostly a fan of gen and canon relationships (Zoë/Wash!), but I'll read other stuff. Mal/Inara, sure. Other things, if it's a good story. I'm not really a fan of Mal/Simon, and I won't read River/Simon. I'm often uncomfortable with River being paired with anyone, unless it's an older, more stable version of River.
Flashpoint - Spike, Dean, Sam, Greg, and Jules are my favourites, but I love them all and I like all of the canon relationships, including the ones that didn't get much exploration in canon (e.g., Spike/Natalie), although I have a hankering to read just one AU story where Sam hooks up with Spike instead of Jules. I also like Dean Parker, and I'd love to see some post-series fic about how things work out for him.
Forever Knight - My favourites are Nick and Janette, and in the old school terminology, I'm an Immortal Beloved (i.e., I ship Nick/Janette). I'm also a Bright Knightie in the sense that I don't want Nick to give up on his attempts to live ethically and return to indiscriminate slaughter, but I have a fondness for immortality, and so really, I'd like him to find a way to keep that without killing. I love other characters too--Schanke and Nat and Tracy and Vachon and Urs and all of the captains, and I'll happily read about any of them. I'll also read other pairings. Nick/Urs or Nick/Vachon or Tracy/Vachon if you can get around the vampire/mortal angle. I'm fairly flexible here. However, my preference for keeping Nick on the bright side and my dislike of power imbalances in romantic relationships pretty much excludes Nick/Lacroix, and I'm not a big Nick/Natalie shipper.
Justified - I love Raylan and I'm fascinated by Boyd and I wish they'd give us more on Tim and Rachel. As far as pairings go, I love Boyd/Ava, I've read some excellent Raylan/Tim, and I will never object to canon pairings or gen. I'd also love to see gen on the relationship between Raylan and Loretta.
Life - I love Charlie, and the way he's chosen to be a good person despite all that's happened to him. I generally like the canon pairings on this show. I'm not really a 'shipper outside of those, although I do have a soft spot for Charlie/Connie, which is a pairing that doesn't get much attention. I love all the gen combinations, though. Charlie and Ted. Charlie and Bobby. Charlie and Connie. Charlie and his father. Charlie and Olivia. Charlie and Dani.
The Mentalist - I love all the characters, especially Jane and Lisbon and Hightower and Cho. For pairings, I occasionally read Jane/Lisbon and mostly read gen or canon pairings.
Murdoch Mysteries - I enjoy all of the characters on this show, but--as I am easily swayed by canon--my favourites are Detective Murdoch and Doctor Ogden. And James Pendrick, for some reason. I love Murdoch and Ogden's similarities in interests and careful courtship. I have issues with the way Ogden made decisions about their relationship based on what she thought was best for Murdoch without really consulting him on the matter and I'm really not sure how they're going to proceed after season five, but I'm rooting for them, although I don't need them to get together to be content with the show.
Sleepy Hollow - I love both Abbie and Crane. I'm not really shipping them yet, although I'm sure at some point I'll read some ship fic. I love their friendship, and Crane learning about the 21st century, and Abbie's mentor relationship with Sheriff Corbin.
Stargate - So much love for all of the characters! My favourites are Sam, Cam, Vala, and Carolyn on SG-1, John, Jennifer, Lorne, and Radek on SGA, and Camile, Greer, TJ, and Eli on SGU, but there's no one I hate, and I'll read almost anything gen if it's done well.
I love lots of Stargate pairings too. My all-time favourite OTP is John/Cam. I also love Cam/Sam, Cam/Carolyn, Sam/Carolyn, Ronon/Jennifer, Matthew/Chloe, and Greer/Park. I'll read other stuff too, sometimes: Cam/Vala, Sam/Jack, John/Vala, John/Sam, John/Elizabeth, John/Teyla, Ronon/Amelia, Cam/Daniel, and John/Lorne (when John isn't Lorne's CO). Or rare stuff like Cam/Jolan or Cam/Amy. Pairings I usually don't read include Cam/Teal'c, Jack/Daniel, and John/Rodney.
Supernatural - I'm a Dean girl, even though I think my sympathies ought to lie with Sam. I also love Bobby and Jo and Ellen and Pamela and Mary. I don't read Wincest. I read some Dean/Castiel, and I used to read more back in season four. I love gen. And canon pairings. And crossover pairings. Dean can be crossed with a lot of people.
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