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20 August 2009 @ 08:29 am
Reading SPN Fanfic  
I've found this is very hard for me to do. I don't read as much as I like, but I also have a hard time finding what I do like.

I'm a picky reader. I have been for a long time. When I first started reading SG-1 fic, I read anything I could get my hands on. I went nuts. But after years in the fandom, I started to filter what I read until by the end there were only a few authors and types of stories I could read.

This apparently has carried over into SPN fandom. I won't read Wincest or most OC fic, though I've read a couple OC fic from writers on my flist that I enjoyed. Mind you, most of the time I don't get a chance to read anything due to time constraints, and I barely can write anymore. But I try to sneak some in every now and then.

In addition to not reading Wincest and most OC fic, I tend to not read ship fic, unless it's someone I know, and I stay away from the heavy crack stuff, virtually all hurt/comfort since there tends to be too much smarm, and anything where I feel the characters are wildly OOC. Now, everyone has their own definition of what is in character and what isn't, so I don't claim to be the authority on this. I just don't find much fic that models how I see the characters, just like I'm sure some people have looked at my fic and have gone, um no. LOL

Smarm drives me most insane, I think, though I enjoy a good fic that has character development for both brothers and has them care for each other without reaching smarmy levels. I can't deal with excessive whumping, either, though I have a major soft spot for hurt!Dean with Sam trying to help him, yet again I wish to avoid smarm and want Dean to be proactive, too. I prefer canon, but I've read a couple of AUs that were great. I like humor, but prefer stuff that isn't silly. I think some charm/hex/spell fics are great, but if they are too cracky I tend to stop reading the fic. I hate deathfic.

Is it any wonder that I don't find anything to read when I am this picky? LOL

There are many great writers that write the above type of fic. Writers I think are talented. I just keep shying away from different "subgenres" in SPN fic.

There are always exceptions. If I am in a particular mood and feel like doing something different, I might read something that I normally don't. I've read fanfic here on my flist that I normally wouldn't touch at all - that's a testament how much I trust your writing and also how I value you as a friend - but overall there seems to be certain things I want and desire and I am so so finicky about them.

Of course, when I write I tend to break many of my no-no's as long as I feel I can stay within character. But again, what is in character and what isn't is subjective depending who you talk to.

What about you? What kinds of fic do you avoid? What kinds do you like?
Current Mood: moodymoody
Library Alterna-Chick ;): booksjedishadowolf on August 20th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)
I love AUs but I'm really picky about them. If Sam and/or Dean are vampires or werewolves or other kind of beastie the boys hunt, I usually won't read the story unless it's by one of the favored/trusted authors. Crossovers are great and ship stories are good too IF they're done well. Wincest is right out but I won't immediately dismiss other types of slash though it's a real hard sell as I just don't see that for these characters. With some fandoms, some characters I can totally see it but not SPN, it just doesn't fit for me.

What I find more than anything is that SPN has fantastic writers, and even when I'm picky about what to ready I can still find a great deal to enjoy.
Working for the Mandroid: Castiel Lightmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
See, I would be willing to give a fic where Sam or Dean had been transformed into something (vampire or werewolf or something), but I would have to really trust the writer. And I'd eventually want some fix, but in canon we know there isn't, so I get stuck LOL
I am never merry when I hear sweet music: SPN: mpreg wincest!paper_tzipporah on August 20th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Um, I read everything. Okay, well, not EVERYTHING. Honestly, SPN fandom has enough really good writers (no matter what genre) that I won't read anything with really BAD prose in SPN fandom, but I will in other, smaller fandoms, where there isn't as much well-written fic. But almost nothing squicks me, and I'll read fics that I KNOW aren't in my particular area of interest if I trust the writer, and sometimes I find that I really like whatever trope they're working in, and I'll go read more of it.

And the thing is, I do NOT write what I read. In SPN fandom, I read TONS of Wincest, I read RPS, I read crazy amounts of smut, and really long epics that screw with canon or go completely AU. But I write canon-friendly gen fic with almost no OCs, although I HAVE been dying to write a Dean-got-Cassie-pregnant fic where she ends up dead a few years later and the boys end up raising Dean's spawn that she'd never told them about (with, you know, fairly good reason -- would you want your kids exposed to the Winchester brand of danger? it's scary enough raising kids without having shit like demons to worry about).

That said, I do tend to gravitate (both reading and writing) toward Dean-whumping, as long as Dean stays in character (you know, mouthy and charming and completely devoted to his brother's welfare). And I'm actually kind of fussy about what Wincest I'll read. Initially, I avoided Wincest entirely (since, you know, incest is NOT MY THING), but I was sucked in by a couple really good writers that I follow in multiple fandoms, and it was all downhill from there. And, I mean, even when I write future fic for SPN (um, just for crossovers, actually, since I did kind of start writing an epic SPN/Earth: Final Conflict crossover where Sam and Dean investigate new and exciting hauntings, now with aliens!), I don't ship either of the boys with anyone else (I mean, beyond the occasional mention of casual sex with someone they met on the road), although Dean is totally going to hit on Renee Palmer when they meet. She won't be interested. It's going to be awesome. At least two people will totally read this, BTW, so I'm not just writing this for myself, since I know only about five people ever watched Earth: Final Conflict.

Edited at 2009-08-20 01:50 pm (UTC)
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I am never merry when I hear sweet music: SPN: not exactly Vonnegutpaper_tzipporah on August 20th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
I am writing it! It's just going to take a while, because I don't have much in the way of a plot yet. Also, I have no idea where to post it, since I put finished fics on my Dreamwidth journal (jamtart.dreamwidth.org) but I don't interact with any of the SPN communities there or on LJ.

But it is being written, I swear. The prologue is third person limited from Cassie's POV, but I think I'm writing the rest of the fic in third person limited from Sam's POV, which is something new and different for me -- I have a LOT of trouble getting into Sam's head. I mostly write third person limited from Dean's POV (or Bela's, since I write a lot of Bela-centric fic because BELA IS TOTALLY AWESOME WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE HER?).

But anyway. Yes. Kid fic. I'm also trying to avoid writing the kid as annoyingly cute. I just want her to be a kid, you know? No psychic powers, no demonic interference, no angelic possession. But she's a toddler when Cassie dies, so there's a certain amount of cuteness that's unavoidable. But also a certain amount of crying and fussy eating and a tendency to put dirt in her mouth (I am anticipating a LOLtastic scene in a graveyard at some point, in which Sam is totally grossed out and Dean gleefully lists all the things Sammy stuck in his mouth when he was the kid's age).

...I'm going to stop talking about the fic and actually, you know, work on it now.
Working for the Mandroid: Carside SamDeanmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Weren't you going to write a Bela in Hell fic? I remember that you talked about it and I was curious about it. It piqued my interest even though I don't like Bela (sorry!).
I am never merry when I hear sweet music: SPN: Bela has secretspaper_tzipporah on August 20th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I wrote that! It's on my dreamwidth. It's, uh, the only actual post. Everything else is still in progress, including the sequel. I prefer not to post fics until they're done. WIPs drive me insane.
Working for the Mandroid: Focusedmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
You did? I must have missed that or forgotten. Then again, I sort of have nothing to do with Dreamwidth. So if you announced it on LJ I might have blinked and missed it.
(no subject) - paper_tzipporah on August 20th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Working for the Mandroid: brothers (winchester)moonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Funny how that works. I tend not to read what I write. I'm totally in love with my wing!fic universe, but tend to steer clear of wing!fic in fandom, even though I'm sure it's fabulous. I also don't read much in way of AU's, but I'm working on one, though it's not exactly an AU.

I guess what matters most to me is canon, casefic, and characterization.

SPN/Earth Final Conflict? (I never watched that show so I don't know how it would overlap.)
I am never merry when I hear sweet music: EFC: shakarava makes Liam SPESHULpaper_tzipporah on August 20th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
Um, Earth: Final Conflict aired for five years in the late '90s to early naughts. It was sci-fi on network TV, a Roddenberry concept resurrected by Majel and gutted by producers after the end of the first season. The show was set in the not-too-distant future, on Earth, with the premise that an alien race called the Taelons (they are blue and glowy and have evolved to the point where they are mostly energy?) arrived a couple years ago (I think that they should have arrived last year, actually, to fit the show's not-too-distant future timeline). The Taelons presented themselves as benevolent saviors, ending war and hunger and all sorts of diseases with their advanced technology -- no child goes to bed hungry anymore, stuff like that. But not everyone believes that the Taelons' motives are purely altruistic, and there's a Liberation/Resistance movement (the name changes) to find out what the Taelons really want (it turns out they want lab rats to help solve their fertility problems as they have evolved so far they can no longer procreate, and footsoldiers for their war against another alien race, the Jaridians).

Anyway, there's lots of intrigue, no one trusts anyone else, and they replaced the lead character at the end of season one with a magical alien hybrid baby named Liam who grows up in a few hours and takes over leadership of the Resistance while also working for the Taelons and making friends with one of them who might not actually be evil. But Liam's alien father dies and then his human mother dies and then his other (human) father (IT IS SO RIDICULOUS), Ronald Sandoval, who doesn't know about him, might be evil, but Liam saves his life anyway, even though his father tries to kill him sometimes. It's ridiculously awesome, and I have a HUGE thing for fics where Sandoval finds out that Liam is his son and they have a touching reconciliation and Sandoval is very sorry about all those times he tried to kill his son. Not that I ever wrote a couple of those fics when I was 14 or so. Not at all.

Anyway, my crossover fic neatly skips over the whole apocalypse thing, assumes Sam and Dean survive, mostly intact, with the Earth also making it through okay, but merges with Earth: Final Conflict to have the Taelons arriving while Sam and Dean are busy with the whole demons/apocalypse/Lucifer thing. So they don't really pay attention to what's going on with the aliens at first, and it's not really their area anyway, so they don't really care. But then they end up involved with the Resistance because of a haunting of some sort (the Taelons perform creepy experiments, so there are all sorts of weird deaths happening).

Honestly, half the appeal of this fic for me is writing Dean's reactions to Taelon technology. Because you know Sam would LOVE it, Sam would be all, it's ORGANIC (it is, they GROW BUILDINGS), and try to install an organic stereo in the Impala, which Dean then blames for EVERY PROBLEM IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE.

Also, Sandoval is being haunted by the ghost of Liam's mother, Siobhan Beckett, but he think he's just hallucinating because of the Taelon cyber-viral implant he has in his head that breaks down sometimes and almost kills him. But she's totally haunting him. For kicks.
Invisible Friendel1ie on August 20th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
I think I have three lists.

Stuff I won't miss - most of these are authors I trust to deliver the same characters that are in my head. The majority of these write gen based, canon based, case fic or tags. I'm a sucker for whump as long as it doesn't deepen into torture and the guys still bitch up a storm.

Stuff I won't touch - most Wincest, all Sam/Ruby especially if it's Ruby 1, all Dean/Castiel, all Boy/Girl romance, all married with kids, all death fics, quite a few WeeChester fics, all smarm, most gender swap for sex/groping, most "Sam/Dean gets turned into a cat/dog/pony" and I don't read RPF or RPS at all - probably a few more I can't think of right now. This isn't to say there are great stories out there with these subjects, but I have a limited amount of time to read and find something I want to read, so stories tagged thus get bypassed.

Stuff I'll try (especially if I've seen a good rec) - pretty much the first two paragraphs of everything that isn't on list number 2 or those on list 2 marked 'most/few' but written by someone who's usually on list 1. Then I have my lovely BACK button and a slew of stuff on list number 1 to keep me happy. :))

Edited to add: - ooh I knew I'd forget something - add parental incest to list 2

Edited at 2009-08-20 02:17 pm (UTC)
Working for the Mandroid: Dean Rebelmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Can I just say that I love your answer? It's so ordered! Organized! Structured! Me, I just blab.

I think I pretty mirror your thoughts here. (Oh I really hate fic where Sam or Dean get turned into a pony or a fish or something.) Sometimes I break the rules and write stuff I say I hate, but it's often because I'm trying to prove to myself that I can do it without disgusting myself. (I'm having fun with my wing!fic even though I would never read it in fandom.) But for the most part, everything you've listed I stay away from.

My biggest love is a good fic about Sam and Dean, funny, but creepy, angsty, but with some hope. I like solid characterization and a good plot.
Invisible Friendel1ie on August 20th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)

Oh I'm not that organized, as you can see I put in quite a lot of exceptions in list 2... Hee! I think most things that fall in list 3 come down to something about the story and writing that just grabs my attention and then it's all rule books out the window! So I expect that's how it is with writing, even something that doesn't as a rule interest you can suddenly grab you creatively and you just have to go with it.

The best thing about SPN writing is it's diversity and right now everybody seems to take great care in labelling things as much as they can so you know what to expect. Still the personal aspect of reading on journals as opposed to archives also has it's own quality problems and can make things harder to find quickly. The newsletter and genre/rec comms do a great job though.
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Working for the Mandroid: Cutie Pie (Dean)moonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
I also find S4 depressing, though S3 fic doesn't bother me so much. Then again, I really liked the trepidation that came with Dean's deal coming to a close.

I think I read like 2 future fics and I decided it wasn't for me. I'm interested in the brothers in the here and now.

Yeah I don't do J2 either.
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: boys in dinersuperbadgirl on August 20th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking about this, sorta. I tend not to read much SPN at all, and I was asserting that I don't read in the fandom I write in ... but that wasn't true for SG-1 at all. There's just too damned much to wade through in SPN, and much of it holds very little interest to me, if I'm going to be honest. I don't do Sam/Dean. I don't do Dean/Castiel. I don't do Castiel at all, really. I don't like kid!fic despite currently writing a kid!fic (er, lol?). MPREG - just say no. Wings are bad. Fics not in the right tense for my enjoyment are a biggie. Enough with the abusive childhood resurfacing, fandom. I love Dean, but I frankly get annoyed by how MUCH there is focused solely on him and the Sam stories tend to be too ... well, as biased as the Dean stories always seem to be. Why can't more people find a freaking balance? That's what I want. A nice, balanced gen casefic or tag or missing scene.

Yeah, it's probably best I steer mostly clear. I do intend on browsing the spn_summergen when I get a chance, but who knows when that'll be. I have no clue how people manage to write a shitload of fic and read a shitload of fic, TBH. There are only so many hours in the day. ;)
Working for the Mandroid: crossroadsmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
I think it's a time thing with with me. I'd love to read more fic, but with so little time on my hands and the fact I am a bubblehead lately with all the stress I have, if I'm going to read I want it to be exactly what I am looking for. Unfortunately, I am not psychic so...

Don't like Castiel at all? I like him. I prefer fic where he plays a supporting role, but I enjoy him. I won't touch the slash stuff, though. Not my cuppa.

I stay away from the kid!fics and the "change into animal of the week fics." I can't handle anything too dark. I'm stressed enough, but I don't like anything too silly.

Picky, picky, picky...

I like fics the most that have Sam and Dean doing something, though I find their characterization off most of the time in terms of what I look for. That's the biggest turnoff for me. Balanced fic is my fave, but as I do sway toward Dean more than Sam, I'm perfectly happy with a Dean heavy fic if it's good.

I've poked around in spn_summergen. There were some pretty good fics there, though I don't have time to read them all and there are many that just aren't my thing. I'm sure they are well written and all. Just not my type of fic.
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: are you theresuperbadgirl on August 20th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
I don't mind Castiel, but I am seriously uninterested in his inner workings. I do not care about his turmoil. His turmoil is not why I watch the show. I have put him in stories, but nothing from his POV. I'll likely never do that. The same goes for Anna and Ruby and pretty much any other ancillary character, even Bobby. ;)

As for spn_summergen, yeah. Shoot, the fic I wrote wasn't my type of fic. I wasn't writing it for me. Heh heh.

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Working for the Mandroid: archaeologistmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I have to really be enamored by a show to read fanfic. I've only really broken down for two shows, and I barely read as it is.

Nothing snobby about liking good grammar and spelling. Sometimes it's horrible, heh :)
annj_g80: Harry Potter blubberannj_g80 on August 20th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with everything you're saying even though a little smarm once in a while doesn't hurt... at least not me :-)

And I usually don't have anything against deathfic. Written a few myself so who am I to judge but when the flow of a story as well as the words itself don't grip me within the first paragraph, I don't read on.

I'm pretty picky myself, huh?
Working for the Mandroid: Huntersmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
I know tons of people who like smarm. So you're in good company, LOL
kj_svala: bunny bookkj_svala on August 20th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
I don`t read RPS. I read only a few of those, writen by friends. But usually I stay away from this. Slash and wincest, no problem. Usually. The only fandoms I read slash are SPN and Stargate. In BSG or NCIS for example it just doesn`t work for me.

No idea why this is.

when I read slash/wincest, I don`t read it for the plot. I read naughty stuff, the dirtier the better.

so established relationship is not on top of my to read list also.

I don`t read crossover, and in SPN I don`t read fictions where John is abusive towards his sons. John is displayed as an a** most of the time, and this I don`t like.

what I read and love the most is Hurt/Comfort. If it makes sense that is, and doesn`t hurt just because it belongs to the h/h categorie. Although, from time to time, when I`m in the mood, I read H/C for the hurt`s sake. The meaner the better.

AU is also what I like, but nothing where they get transformed/cursed into something that they are not.

I love it when the fictions goes into the future, and tell what can happen. One of my all time favorites is the "Revelations" series by everfaithful.

And fictions where John is alive, or even better brought back to live in a way it makes sense.

lucky me one of my favorite writers tends to bring back John, this make me love her stories even more *g*

but basically, if I`m in the mood, I read everything, except what I listed under "do not read"
MegTDJ: SPN - Sam pondermeg_tdj on August 20th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that I don't like reading fanfic, LOL.

I love your stuff because you stay true to my view of the characters (and if you veer off course I can always shove you back on it :P), but anybody else... eeeeeehhhhh. I find the occasional fic that I enjoy, but I can't even say that there are SPN authors I trust aside from you. Maybe I'm completely oblivious to some good ones, I don't know. I'm just not interested in reading about geek!Sam or limp!Sam or little-boy!Sam or whiny!Sam or sex-crazed Sam or... well, any version of Dean, really. ;)

And that seems to be ALL PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT. Not to mention the potty mouths people give them, ugh. So I basically just avoid it altogether, and if there's a particular fic I want to see I either write it myself or badger convince you to write it for me. :)

Which is annoying, because I feel like I'm missing out on the full fandom experience. But hey, at least there's a majorly AWESOME fanvid community in SPN fandom. I get hooked on those instead. ;)
Working for the Mandroid: Anna (SPN)moonshayde on August 20th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that I don't like reading fanfic, LOL.

Aw! That is sad! I do like reading fanfic, but I think I've created impossible standards. I couldn't even pass my litmus test LOL

I have a feeling you're going to shove me eventually, but until then I am going to remain ignorant.

And thanks. I'm always glad that you enjoy my characterization. Of course, I get some major help with that so maybe you should thank her, too ;)

But! But...don't like any version of Dean?! Be still my heart! You wound me. Poor Dean!

In fanfic, I don't like it when Dean's made too...hmm. Like overdone on the pop culture references? He doesn't do it every sentence. And I agree with limp!Sam and so on and so forth. I keep bumping into Sam that is either too dark for my tastes or who is a woobie.

But like I said, I am uber picky.

But hey, at least there's a majorly AWESOME fanvid community in SPN fandom. I get hooked on those instead. ;)

At least you have that, then. So you are enjoying fandom. Just a different section of it :)
MegTDJ: SPN - Sam lightmeg_tdj on August 20th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling you're going to shove me eventually, but until then I am going to remain ignorant.

*in Alistair voice* You have not disappointed me so far. ;)

Of course, I get some major help with that so maybe you should thank her, too ;)

Really? Do point me in her direction. :P

But! But...don't like any version of Dean?! Be still my heart! You wound me. Poor Dean!

Pffft... I didn't say I don't LIKE any version of Dean, I said I'm not particularly interested in READING Dean. But then, I'm not particularly interested in watching Dean vids either, yet there's one right now (a crossover with One Tree Hill, no less) that I can't get enough of, so... just depends on the story, I guess! If I'm going to read a Dean fic, it needs to be nice and angsty and have as little shallow!Dean as possible while also not making him uncharacteristically perfect. Which I find is rare. ;)

But YES to the overuse of pop culture. Most writers either don't give him enough or give him too much. A nice balance is a must.

And yeah, Sam is always either too dark or too light. A nice toasty brown is best. ;)

So you are enjoying fandom. Just a different section of it :)

Most definitely! I stay away from the R-rated vids (I can't believe how many people manage to depict Sam and Dean having sex... *shudder*), but there are thousands of really awesome ones that stick to SPN footage and therefore can't stray TOO far from canon, and there's something very comforting about that. ;)
Working for the Mandroid: Dean Graveyardmoonshayde on August 20th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
And yes to the potty mouths. I lost it this week with one that was every other sentence. I had to quit.
MegTDJ: SPN - Sam/Ruby KC shocked appalledmeg_tdj on August 20th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Ugh. They don't even use the TV-friendly swears that often!
got-no-strings: rideDeangot_no_strings on August 21st, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
I totally agree with your reasons = which is why I dont read SPN fics.

The overload of crack, wank, incest, Dean/Castiel? puhleeze! if it was Anna that got Dean out of Hell and Cas were in her place the haterz would still shout death to the female.
Just no. I'll stick to canon. (but crossing over SPN with BTVS has caught my interest - Slayer/hunter sounds hawt!)
And yeah I'll assume 96% of SPN fics have the brothers OOC, it can't be avoided since its fangirls that write them, I find guys can write women better like Joss Whedon has some of the most strong females characters on his shows but women writing guys tend to make them less manly.
And the whole reallife shipping = just stupid. So I gather nowadays people can't be friends without people assuming they're bonking, and that is just sad. I wonder if my family think I'm having cyber sex with my flist?

At least you're trying to read in this crazed wankdom. I'll give you that.
     Mandya_phoenixdragon on August 22nd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
I'm rather picky myself - and yes, after reading for years in the 'Gate fandom, I started filtering what I do and don't read and save in the SPN fandom - though that happened gradually. At first there just weren't that many writers - shoot there was barely a fandom, lol! But after awhile it got kinda flooded!

I stick mostly to Dark!Fic - just about any kind! The only type I really object to is when they take the boys too far out of character.

*hugs you*

BTW...want good GenFic? Read Mirrordance at FF.net!! I fangirl her HARD core!! he writing makes me want to weep it kicks so much ass!! I suggest reading Underworld if you can! SO DAMNED GOOD!!