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Dagzar July 26th, 2011 8:41 AM

What do you love seeing in stories?
A sister thread to the Hate Thread. Here, we may discuss what is it that truly makes us geek out when reading fanfiction and what makes us come back for more.

The one thing that I love reading about is gray characters. I’m not talking specifically about anti-heroes, but all characters in a story. I want to see heroes with flaws and dark sides, and villains with redeeming qualities. I want the sides of good and evil to be blurred enough that that there you can’t label either good or evil; you can only call them sides.

Another thing that I enjoy, and this is limited to Pokemon fanfiction, is when there is ORIGINALITY in a journey fic. These days, journey fics are misshapen-looking plants in a desert, all shrivelled from the lack of water, and I just want to see someone take that plant and throw it into a river or something. Add new life, add something new to the poor brow-beaten genre! I don’t care about special starters and mysterious love interests. Change something about the journey itself, make it something I haven’t seen.

Bay Alexison July 26th, 2011 9:43 AM

I already mentioned this in the other thread and I'm most likely the only one that squee over this, but I love it when an author's take on a canon character is done wonderfully and not OOC. There are a lot of canon characters in Pokemon whether it be game, manga, anime (haters to the left :P ), or any other media that has potential if you take the time to study the character. I love original characters, but I also love canon characters just the same.

Astinus July 26th, 2011 10:03 AM

You're not alone, Bay! I agree with you. I do like seeing characters done well, whether it's canon characters written in-character or original characters written so that I care for them. That applies to human or Pokemon characters.

Speaking of canon characters, I particularly love fics that dive deeper into their personality or thoughts or what they do after the big adventure is over.

Mizan de la Plume Kuro July 26th, 2011 10:04 AM

The antithesis!
I am surprised that I didn't see this coming.

Like Bay, I've mentioned my preference in passing, but I am quite the lover of horror and all things gore. Not just things that go bump in the night, mind, but things that go bump in the night, hiss, and burst out of the floorboards and rip you apart in excruciatingly graphic detail.


Okay, that was disturbing, but you get the gist of my affinity towards gore.

Besides that, I also enjoy good, psychological and or political thrillers, the latter not really confined to fanfiction. I haven't yet found any good, political thrillers (plenty of psychological ones), but I do have one that's been in the works for a few years now. It's just that it's taken a back seat to my other pieces, so I haven't been able to work on it as much as I've wanted.

Anyway yeah, I could go on and on about things I love seeing, but let's leave the thread open for discussion.

Misheard Whisper July 26th, 2011 4:19 PM

I totally did see this thread coming, actually. XD I was gonna make it myself if it didn't spring up in another day or so.

Umm, well, what I like to see, other than the obvious - originality, journey fics that don't suck arse - pretty much includes the antithesis of everything I said in the other thread. While I don't tend to like angst fics because of reasons Jax and I have both stated, I find that fics dealing with depression and so on can be good to read, but I've yet to find one that actually treats the delicate subject matter right. I hold out hope, though.

I like to read fics about Champions. This is very Pokemon-specific of course, but I like to read them because they really explore what you do once you've become, well, 'the very best, like no-one ever was'. You reach the top of the ladder, and how do you keep climbing? Do you take a chance and jump? Do you fall off in disgrace? Do you take your leave, and go find a different ladder entirely to climb to the top of? These are the sorts of things I find fascinating. And I write what I like to read - hence Champion Game, Something Will Be Born, One Last Summer, and convalescence+convergence. *shrug*

As well as that, I like to see some love given to the Gym Leaders. Game Freak go out of their way to make each generation's batch of GLs a colourful, interesting bunch, but then they just leave it there! Gym Leaders are, in my opinion, the perfect balance. Some characters, like the NPCs you see around town, have tons of room for expansion, but give you nothing to build on. Others, like many of the anime characters, have plenty of places for you to start, but there's almost nowhere to go because they've filled most of it out already. Gym Leaders have so much to start with, but the games do almost nothing in exploring their backgrounds, personalities and families. What's the deal with Flannery and her grandfather? How did Elesa become the Gym Leader of this town, and also a model? How did the brash Lenora meet her shrinking violet of a husband and end up curating a museum? Where was Janine during Koga's tenure as Fuschia Gym Leader in Generation I? How did someone as young and timid as Jasmine get to be a Steel-type Gym Leader? Some of these things have been touched on and hinted at by canon, but I want to see the full story. I just find GLs fascinating.

JX Valentine July 26th, 2011 5:10 PM


Originally Posted by Bay Alexison (Post 6768398)
I already mentioned this in the other thread and I'm most likely the only one that squee over this, but I love it when an author's take on a canon character is done wonderfully and not OOC.


Seriously, this. I love it when people actually bother to do their homework and write a canon character in-character. It shows off a lot of creativity and care. I mean, all too many times, I've seen kids completely throw out characterization because "OMG IT'S FANFICTION" or "OMG I JUST WANT TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH MY MARY SUES" or "OMG IT'S ARTISTIC." But all that does is make the author seem intensely superficial because the characters are only the same in name and maybe design. As in, their personalities and backstories are chucked out, so who are they besides hand-puppets? It's a lot more interesting (and challenging, for that matter) to figure out who those characters are and work with their personalities, not throw them out. Preserve the characters to show how dedicated you are to them and bend your sense of creativity to figure out how to make a story interesting without violating who those people are. Doing that shows that you actually care for them on levels a lot deeper than "hurrdurr this character is hott."

Double points if that canon character you're using is a random side character, and you still get their characterization right. No, saying "Pokémon doesn't give characters much in the way of personality" is not an excuse. The writers gave us enough to work with, and anyone who uses this as an argument is immensely lazy.

Also, interesting original characters. Characters in general, really, if they're actually deep and human and do interesting things besides talk, have sex, and/or angst a lot. Characters that make sense and struggle. Characters that aren't exactly Chosen Ones destined to save the world but somehow caught up with the entire storm that is the plot. Characters who aren't over-the-top angsty/cutesy/macho/whatever or stereotypical in any particular way. It's hard to describe in words, but I love it when characters are actually good.

Plot's a big factor too. As I've said on the other thread, I loathe bandwagon fic, but if it's clear that your fic brings some new and interesting ideas to the table, I'm all for it. More than that, I gravitate more towards plots that excite me. Like I didn't say on the other thread, spending paragraphs to describe a set of curtains is not going to thrill me. Building up suspense for reasons I can clearly see and leading into a plot where characters actually do things (that make sense) will.

And of course, formatting. Superficial, yes, but with the number of fics that have murdered my eyes, I'll happily sit down to read anything that doesn't give me a headache when I try to tackle it.


anime (haters to the left :P ),
Thank you!

Scourge of Nemo July 26th, 2011 10:19 PM

I like to see characters who make bad decisions. Not stupid decisions, where you're just sitting there slamming your head against a desk because "Really, who in their right mind does that?" is the only coherent sentence you can get out. The sort of bad decisions that make sense, are good for bad reasons (or bad for good reasons), and are kinda silly but perfectly reasonable and, bottom line, human. I like characters who I can like despite of or dislike because of their choices. And characters who are still recognizably "good guys" who do the "right thing" when it comes to the places that matter, but still have that tinge of human error that shows up in ways that don't cause plot-dominating accidents. Little things. Mistakes. And whatnot.

That's a lot of what "non-Mary Sue" and "realistic" characters come down to. I find, though, that writers don't often have the guts to write characters who make non big-plot-pointy mistakes. So when you stumble across 'em... 'skinda a sign. XD

Dragonite Ernston July 30th, 2011 6:43 AM

I'm personally a WAFF-o-phile. (*gets glares from everybody*) Especially because half of the time I can poke some hearty fun at it.

But besides that, there's nothing specifically that I really like in general. It all depends on how you treat it.

matt0044 August 4th, 2011 12:27 PM

I'll say what I said in the "hate" thread: I can get into Journey fics if they can be original while also staying true to the story. Like adding stories to the plot like a TV show with a linear storyline and some stand alone stories. Also, making the battle interesting and relevant to the fic's plot and overall awesome.

I also like when the author uses cliches in a good and sorta different way. Like how Kusaka make Black of PokeSpe a hotblooded shonen type character who's also surprisingly smart, especially when his Munna eats his dreams to clear his head. In that sense, he's pretty cool.

Subsonic August 4th, 2011 1:13 PM

I like it when the author of the fan fiction make some chemistry between a canon character and an OC in romance. Lately, there have been horrible romance stories between characters just for the heck of it and the authors don't even bother to build chemistry or any type of bond. It's like they go from being random strangers and few chapters later they are already in love. What ever happened to friendship? I also love it when an author doesn't use "soul mates" as an excuse for two characters to fall for each other. >.>

I also like it when it is obvious that the author has done their research. There are times when the creative license is okay to be used, but there are limitations. The research tells me that the author actually does love to write and has respect for the subject they are writing about.

Dragonite Ernston August 5th, 2011 11:48 AM


Originally Posted by matt0044 (Post 6784730)
I'll say what I said in the "hate" thread: I can get into Journey fics if they can be original while also staying true to the story. Like adding stories to the plot like a TV show with a linear storyline and some stand alone stories. Also, making the battle interesting and relevant to the fic's plot and overall awesome.

I'll be honest with all of you guys, staying true to the story is far from being a requirement when I personally read a fic. If they can be original and not stick to canon, it's not a problem for me. Sometimes, the result is even better. [This doesn't apply to canon characters, of course. >_>]

Fuyu August 6th, 2011 6:38 AM

I love character development. I almost can always figure out the way a story goes from start to finish not even halfway through. Despite that, I love going through a story and seeing the characters be fleshed out, pulled through the wringer, challenged, cared for, grown, and changed through a story. It could be any character, the old guy across the street or the friend of the protagonist or even the antagonist for all I care. I like the way the worlds are grey and people screw up and I like the way a plot develops the character. Whenever you succeed in that, hooray for you.

I also kind of like a fic that can express friendship and romance at the same time (my god impossible I know) but I can dream.

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