sloppy sweater

I am, however, going to subvert that prompt.

Friends, the Kitten(tm) is seriously into Wensleydale cheese. She mugged me just now and ran off with a chunk. My cat mugged me.

Yesterday's poll has "voyeurism" edging out "sleepy/unconscious" by a single vote, with the others also-ran. You all are either indifferent or want Giles in charge, so I will obligingly write one or the other of those two with Xander in charge. Nyah.

Have joined the masses and purchased a season pass to Dr Horrible from the iTMS. Haven't watched it yet, because it's still downloading. Mr P and I are in the middle of watching Death Note, which is about a million times better than the other animes we've tried. Except Trigun, which we loved and will be watching more of. Also, sometime soon need to write up a description of my first month going to the gym and working out intensely. Not right now.

Today I was thinking about my fanfic reading strategies and how they've changed.

Obviously I am a genre-hopping multi-shipper with a maniacal focus on one character. I'll read Giles with anybody, and probably would try writing him with anybody, though my own favorite pairings have settled out as Buffy, Xander, and Ethan. My decision to read or not read something is never based on slash-vs-het-vs-gen, or even on the ships advertised. It is always based on the name of the writer, or if I don't know the writer already, on the first paragraph of the story. I am more likely to persist through badness with my favorite ships, but these days I'm back-button-happy even for those. I find myself far more able to cope with rocky prose than with bad characterization or cliched situations. Rocky prose can be fixed by working with an editor; lack of imagination can rarely be.

Tell me, friends! How does this work for you? What's your strategy?
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Rocky Prose means they haven't taken the time to try to get it right-- I'm too busy to suffer through for long. But I do suffer through some of it, but we always see others' faults more clearly than our own, and I'm getting to the place where I can see-- "Yeah-- I do this too. And Now I see how it bugs the crap out of my readers. I have to stop this."

That's what I do. For what it's worth.
Rocky prose can also be a signal for "new writer". Depends on the nature of the rockiness, I guess. It's always good to have sympathy for your readers! It's what leads us to treat them well when we write.
Death Note is great, maybe the best anim I've seen in a long time.

Giles is the only reason I read fanfic (can I adopt your "genre-hopping multi-shipper with a maniacal focus on one character"?), I tried other fandoms and it didn't work, even with good writers.
I can read Giles with nearly everybody (except Willow and Angel) as long as the story and the characters are convincing. Even if the Giles described by the author is not one of my possibilities (and many Giles cohabit in my head), I will follow if he is credible. And plot, I can't tell how much I need plot.
If the story is well-written, it's a wonderful bonus : I don't use English in my everyday life and it mainly remains for me a literary language. Thus, I really appreciate the beauty and the clarity of one's prose; a rocky one disturbs me.
And the fic needs to be in English. Tried one in French once and it didn't sound right, although the characters were good.

I choose my fics depending on the writer, the pairing, the reccing or my mood of the day.
Sometimes a character or a show grabs us and zoom! we're off. I've known about fanfic for twenty years, and I've read off and on in Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Harry Potter before this. But it took Rupert Giles to ignite my inner fan for real. Now that the habit's started I think I'll venture into writing more Holmes and more Doctor Who, but I have a lot more to say about Giles.

Writing fiction requires you to juggle a lot of balls. The more you keep in the air, the more levels there are in which you can satisfy the reader. Character, plot, language, allusion, symbolism, tension and its release, emotional catharsis-- so many balls in motion!
Is language the orange and heavy ball that keeps falling down on my toes every time I try to put it in the air with the others balls?
And eventually bring them all down one by one on my head until I passed out from the failed attempts at fanfiction ?
Must be. Only a orange ball can be that evil.
Whimsy is my strategy. I read almost anything by almost anyone, providing I'm in the mood for the pairing/genre. I can put up with an awful lot sometimes, and other times, I cannot. Mostly, I try to read works by the flist no matter what my mood, cause I like to be supportive of my friends (something I know I've failed miserably at this summer). And I don't care how wonderful some writers are, if they act like arrogant asses who think their shit don't stink, I avoid them like the plague. This is fan fiction, folks. And there is no greater sin than hubris. Well, except murder, of course. And rape. And touching children in inappropriate ways. Okay, there are a lot of sins greater than hubris, but not when it comes to writing crap on the internet.

Edited at 2008-07-19 12:05 pm (UTC)
We're here to have fun! I do find myself with the urge to rant about fic sometimes, though. My prohibition on "ministrations" is the tip of the iceberg. I can also rant about Geological Sex (shafts and depths and caves) and about Diluvial Sex (floods engulfing via gushing). Then I tell myself to chill out and write some more myself.
Death Note is definitely good, although not one of my top favorites. Are you watching in Japanese? I'd generally suggest watching in Japanese, unless you watch Cowboy Bebop.

But Darker Than Black and Ouran High School Host Club are still the ones to watch, regardless of legality and netflixability! O:)

There's also something engrossing about watching anime "live," as it comes out in Japan and is first fansubbed. It sinks its hooks in a little deeper that way.

Regarding fanfic -- I always come back to Harry Potter for fic, because there are so many high-quality fics there, and I can easily find them. I have certain characters and pairings I prefer, although I'll read rarer pairings if the mood strikes. I find that I don't much care for shortfic any more -- I seek out the 10,000+ word fics and WIP's from authors I trust. But then, I've always been WIP-girl. Adds an element of anticipation and risk. *g*
We've been watching in Japanese, yes! It reminds me how much of the language I've forgotten. (A few years ago Mr P & I took some business Japanese classes together. The adventures of Tanaka-san at his kaisha!) I'll check out the two you mentioned once we've chugged through the stack of DVDs we have.

The sheer size of the Harry Potter fandom means there's a lot of good stuff to read. Sturgeon's Law can't be avoided, but when you're looking at 10% of zillions of fics, you're looking at a nice satisfying stack of reading. Buffy fandom is big in comparison with my older (reading-only) fandoms, but it's small in comparison.
Tanaka... oh man, don't tell me that's where youtube's very own Ken Tanaka took his name?! That would be too funny.

But that's awesome that you know some Japanese! I started taking an evening class last year, but I got interrupted by my year of awfulness. I wonder if I will try again this year or not.

Maybe someday I will find a fandom to fulfill my fic needs besides HP. Actually, sleepy Giles with Xander in charge is sounding pretty good. *shifty eyes* *has a sleep kink*
I think Tanaka-san is a joke for nihongo no gakusei the way "the pen of the gardener's aunt is sur le table" is a joke for French students.

It's a fun language, I thought. The grammar is way different from Western languages. I have completely forgotten all my vocab, though. Bleah.

Yay sleep kinks! I hope I hit it with this one.
I was actually thinking about this yesterday. I was a pretty serious SS/HG shipper in Potterdom, and mostly because of the quality of fics that were available in the ship rather than any particular loyalty to the pairing. Ashwinder is a nice, centralized archive with a rigorous screening process and I discovered early on that no matter how much I enjoyed a pairing, if the author couldn't keep their tenses straight or remember the difference between to, two and too, I'd get too distracted to continue the story in the right frame of mind - no matter how creative the premise was. That being said... I have noticed overall that there seems to be less slavish devotion to the Beta concept in the Buffyverse - but then, I'd say stylisticly the genre might allow it more so than the HP verse which is riddled with unusual words and high fantasy - the kind of self that naturally gives itself over to truly abysmal parody. I'm more tolerant of grammatical errors in the Buffy fic I've read if the story is good, but I still wonder why such obviously talented authors wouldn't have someone look the story over before posting. Most only make a few small mistakes if any, but those few mistakes can throw off the emotional impact of an important paragraph or entire scene.

Also kink. You gals are far pervier than any other verse I've read. ; )
The Potter fandom seems culturally different from the Whedonverse fandoms to me. It has its own traditions and obsessions. For example, it's way more concerned about specifying exact "canon compliance" than the Buffyverse fandom is. But then, BtVS canon has been closed for several years now, and we've all had time to explore the usual corners of canon. AUs are more common over here.

There are times when I'm reading something technically perfect but dead inside, and feeling unsatisfied by the story. Then I encounter something rocky but with this energy in it, these ideas spilling over despite the fact that the writer is obvious a first-timer, or not entirely in control of her sentences, or whatever. And then I get excited despite the flaws. An unstoppable story wins for me over perfect prose. (Though obviously I'm most happy and most satisfied on all levels when I get the two together.) I'm not sure a sense of what fiction is can be taught, but I am sure that better prose mechanics can be.
That's certainly true, and lord knows writing fic had a big impact on my writing ability. I guess, my own experiences with what you're talking about are primarily in potterdom where new writers are burned for fuel regularly. Most of the stories that feature clever ideas that transcend the rocky prose are abandoned after a few chapters by the authors who have the creativity beaten out of them by mods and BNFs. I can't think of too many finished fics that are like that.

cliched situations--

What cliched situations do you avoid? [/idle curiosity] ;-)
One that gives me Teh Rage(tm) is songfic, or any "Giles sings to insert-character-here and they realize their true feelings (tm)". One tried-and-annoying one is Giles singing at the Espresso Pump with groupies, in any scenario that implies it's something other than open mic night at the local coffee shop.

But since I'm on a campaign to write every cliched situation there is and turn them all into my own toys, obviously I'd better write this one. No, wait, I have already. I need never write songfic again! Nor will I ever read it again.

Don't get me started on Ripper as multiple personality fragment.