This profile just keeps getting longer as I join more and more fandoms. To think that, at one point, I didn't have anything here at all, just my screen name.
Very recently, the fan-fics that I've been reading most often have been based on The Hunger Games books. I read all three books in about a week (beginning 3/29/12 and finishing up late on 4/4/12), and I was just as compelled to find out how it would all end (therefore, not able to put them down for hours and hours at a time, whenever work didn't interfere with my reading, of course :-) ) as I was with the books of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. This series was a little harder for me because of the darker, dystopian world that the characters were living in, but I still had to know how it would work out. I even intentionally read some spoilers online, in order to know whether Katniss and Peeta would end up together, just because things looked so bad for them for such a long while. (I'm an uncompromising Katniss/Peeta shipper, though I'd also like it if all of the other unattached characters found their soul-mates, too, of course. Everyone deserves that. Well, except for maybe the Careers. ;-) )
My most recent TV obsession is The Mentalist, followed closely by Covert Affairs. Regarding the former, I've only been watching it for a few months, but I still have developed an unhealthy attachment to the idea of Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon becoming a couple. I love Rigsby and Van Pelt together, too. Regarding the latter, I just watched Covert Affairs for the first time in late November (2011), and I'm hooked. I don't know if I'd be THIS into it if it weren't for the fun, close relationship involving Annie & Auggie. However, since I'm such a sucker for a love story (and am not sure how long the writers will make us wait for them to get together), I've been reading as many romantic fics involving them as possible. As I said, it's an obsession, and it makes me happy, so I don't care what anyone thinks.
After that, Bones is the next fandom in which I live and breathe. I'm a huge Booth/Brennan shipper, though I really like Hodgins/Angela, too. I also really like it when a fan-fic writer can nail Cam's "voice" and her sometimes flippant, sometimes empathetic manner. She seems to be difficult to write, and I'm impressed by those who can. Anyway, I'm all about characterization, romance, and humor. If someone can write these characters so well that I feel like Hart Hanson could have been the actual writer of this fic, then I'm sold. Some family fluff never hurts either (if it's well-written).
I've gone back and forth between reading only Twilight fics and then not reading any for months on end. Right now, I'm between Twilight stories, but that could easily change.
In regards to my non-fan-fic reading, I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter, Twilight, The Host, Stephanie Plum, and Thursday Next series. I also love Jane Austen (especially Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility) and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Those are my favorite books (as far as ones I can think of, at the moment). As far as non-fiction, Bill Bryson is my favorite author in that genre. A book series that I've read somewhat recently and enjoyed is the Argeneau Vampires series by Lynsay Sands. My favorite aspects of the Twilight Saga (namely, romance, family, and humor) are key ingredients in Sands's work. My enjoyment of that series led me to her backlist historical romances which also featured colorful, funny, interesting characters, and my dabbling in that sub-genre of romance fiction, in turn, led me to my current favorite author, Georgette Heyer. If you enjoy well-written, period-correct Regency or Georgian romances populated with secondary characters that are just as entertaining as the hero and heroine, you ought to check out her work. Another recent fave author in the Regency romance category is Julia Quinn. Wikipedia sums up her style well with the following evaluation: "[Quinn] considers herself a feminist and gives her heroines feminist qualities that are not necessarily true to the attitudes of the times her novels are set. Her books are noted for being full of humor, with sharp, witty dialogue. The novels are primarily character-driven, lacking the great external conflicts that many romance novels employ. One of her novels, When He was Wicked, was highly unusual for a romance novel, as the first four chapters actually describe the heroine in a happy marriage with someone who is not the hero, and then shows the death of the original husband and deals with the grief of both the heroine and hero before allowing the second love story to flourish." Her novels are a bit more racy than those of Georgette Heyer, but the compelling characters and the humor are what draw me in, personally.
But, as always, I digress . . .
How I got into fan-fiction
I started reading the Harry Potter series back when Prisoner of Azkaban was the newest JKR book available, but I didn't discover HP fan-fiction until shortly after Deathly Hallows was published. At the time, I was going through a minor mourning period because the realization had set in that we wouldn't be given any more books to read about these wonderful characters. Then (drumroll, please), I discovered fan-fiction and found that I could still read new adventures of the Trio and Ginny, even if JKR didn't write them herself. Thus developed a new way of spending most of my free time. ;-) I love humor, romance, and happy endings; action/adventure is fine if there is enough happy, supportive "friend" stuff going on. Also, fics about time spent at the Burrow rate high with me. Angst is very hard on me because I feel so much a part of what's going on in the story. I can only read angst if I have plenty of assurance from someone who knows that it will have a happy ending, one way or another. My favorite fics revolve around Harry, the Weasleys, and Hermione. AU is fine with me, but I prefer when it sticks to canon pairings. After I'd read quite a bit of HP fan-fiction, I decided to start checking out what fics were out there for the other books, TV series, and movies that I especially enjoy. This led me to...
I started reading the first Twilight book on May 26, 2009, so that tells you how new I am to this fandom in the grand scheme of things (considering the first book was first published in 2005). I'd heard about this series a couple years beforehand from bookseller friends, but I didn't think that I had the stomach to read anything involving vampires. Then, on May 24, 2009, I watched the Twilight movie for the first time and decided that if I enjoyed the movie that much, then I'd probably adore the book series (and I did). New Moon was very hard for me to take (being afraid that Stephenie Meyer wouldn't give us the happy ending that I was desperate for), but I made it through the book. This fandom was where I spend most of my fan-fic time (that is, before I discovered The Host, Firefly, Castle, Bones, and Covert Affairs). As in HP, I am pro-canon pairings here, too. I love humor and Cullen family moments. I also love it when authors show each character's unique personality and their place in the Cullen family unit. Jacob is my least favorite character, but Breaking Dawn redeemed him for me. (Before that, I kept wanting to smack him and tell him to just shut up and back the heck off. Once he got his own "object of his affection" and stopped torturing Bella, I was able to like him a whole lot more.) Rosalie is my second-least-favorite, but I don't hate her when a compassionate fan-fic author explains her mean side in a logical way. When they are written well, Bella, Edward, Alice, Esme, Carlisle, and Emmett are my favorite characters (pretty much in that order). (One exception to this ranking of my character preferences is that Emmett can make a good story absolutely hilarious and also touching when he's written well, which doesn't always happen, of course. When it does, though...) I don't really have strong feelings for Jasper because I haven't really had a chance to get to know him as a character too much, because of Bella's limited interaction with him during most of the Saga. Again, with fan-fiction, he can be written well and in an interesting manner, or he can be flat or completely unrecognizable from canon, just like any character might be. I'm just not as invested in him as a character; he isn't a vital component of a fic for me (although he can seriously detract from an otherwise good fic if he's written in a glaringly awful way, of course). Again, AU is fine, as long as the fics stick to canon pairings. I don't mind All-Human fics on occasion when they're written well and focus on my favorite characters (i.e., Bella and the Cullens, rather than the wolves, for example). Again, canon pairings are a necessity for me here. I can't fathom Bella being romantically involved with Carlisle nor Jasper nor Emmett. Same goes for Bella (or Edward, for that matter) being involved with Alice, etc. You see where I'm going here. Strictly canon pairings for me in this fandom; no discussion. Sorry if that makes me seem intolerant, but with the family themes involving the Cullens, it makes it seem almost incestuous to start going other ways with these characters. But, enough about that topic. :-)
I try to read mostly just completed fics for a number of reasons. The primary one is probably that I'm impatient and have trouble waiting for new chapters to be posted. Going hand-in-hand with that, my short-term memory isn't the best for details, though that's what I love about reading, being immersed in a character's unique thoughts, feelings, and environment. It follows that I enjoy reading most when I can read in as uninterrupted of a fashion as possible because I'm not leaving that universe any more than necessary and don't have to try to re-group with what's going on in the fic with each new chapter posted. In the past, I've sometimes re-read all of the preceding chapters in a fic in order to get back into that fic's universe, but that can be extremely time-consuming and sometimes starts to make the fic seem not so new and fresh to me anymore, depending on how many times I've done so. So, being able to read as many chapters in a row as I have time for is one of the great things about trying to stick to completed fics and eliminates my feeling compelled to re-read the earlier chapters (unless I just want to). Finally, an important reason behind my preference for completed fics is that I know that they won't be abandoned once I'm sucked into the story-lines and eager to know how they will end. I know that Real Life is more important than fan-fiction and that priorities over how one's time is spent change, too. Also, sometimes an author's muse goes on a permanent vacation or the plot or characters can hit major snags that the author doesn't know how to fix. That being said, it does give a reader a secure feeling to know that the whole fic is right there, ready and waiting, when I have the time to get lost in it, like a book sitting on my shelves, waiting for me to pick it up and read it. (That is assuming that internet connections don't drop and website servers don't have issues that interfere with my fic reading, of course...)
Regarding fandoms in which I'm not actively involved on a regular basis but occasionally dabble in: I sometimes read fan-fiction involving The Host, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Firefly, Castle, Big Bang Theory, Pushing Daisies, New Girl, and the Thursday Next series. (I especially enjoy Thursday Next/Harry Potter crossovers, when I've happened to run across some.)
However, I spend most of my time in the Hunger Games, Mentalist, Covert Affairs, Bones, and Twilight universes, though I still dabble in HP fics, very occasionally. If a fic has a compelling premise and is well-written, how can you KEEP from reading it (even if you don't usually keep up with that fandom anymore)? ;-) Another thing you're probably thinking: that's a lot of different (and diverse) fandoms. I'm quirky, and I love interesting characters. What can I say? :-) Now that I've bored your pants off about myself (and overused the smiley-faces)... :-)
(Avatar is the work of bleeding_muse at LiveJournal.)
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