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Back February 5th, 2005 Forward

lizbee's post yesterday re recs and mandysbitch's post today got me thinking. While the BSO team is making its confessions to the Internet, I might as well admit that I'm the slacker of the group and contribute only a handful of stories for each update, mostly because I don't read as much as fic now as I might have in the past.

I make a concentrated effort to not rec the same people over and over again, but it happens because time is limited and it's easier to read a 'known' quantity than an unknown one. More confession time: if you're a close friend of mine, I tend to set the bar a little higher because I don't want people to say, "Oh she's only reccing that story because they're friends." I also try not to rec the same person in consecutive updates -- I can always get the story the next time around unless one of the other BSOers beats me to it.

I follow the three-paragraph rule when it comes to fic. The author has three paragraphs to make me buy into the story, the characters, understand what's going on, etc. If that doesn't happen, then I move on. It goes without saying if the fic isn't mostly grammatically correct (I won't quibble about misplaced commas) or spell-checked, I don't even make it past the first paragraph.

I tend to rec fics that take me by surprise, whether it's in their ideas, their execution or characterizations. I like fics that make good use of language, but in a clear and coherent way, and a big plus is if I can close my eyes and 'hear' the characters speaking. And there also has to be some sort of plot or character change/development -- something I can latch on to. I like PWPs and vignettes as much as the next person, but I need it to be one of those 'epiphany moment' stories -- either on my part or that of the character. My decision is made for me when I finish the story and instead of moving to the next page, I hit 'File -> Save'; if I'm giving up real estate on my hard drive for a fic, that's when it officially makes my rec list.

On a totally different note, thomasina75 has written a very good analysis of the Harm/Mac relationship here.

Back February 5th, 2005 Forward