I'll keep this short and simple because I'm incredibly lazy.
I've been reading fanfiction of various fandoms since my freshman year of high school (over a decade now). I've very little patience for poorly written, overly angsty pieces of fiction, not in the books I read, not in the world of fanfiction. Sappy romances don't usually appeal to me, unless they have an abundance of amazing plot, characterizations, and drama or action to back them up. People in real life do NOT fall in love over night. Nor should people in fiction fall in love so easily or readily either. I will read virtually any pairing if it's done well, with m/m, f/f, m/f, everyone/everyone, whatever fits in the context of the plot. My predilections normally lean toward T or M rated fanfics on this site because I like the darkness found within them.
I don't write. Never have and never will. My imagination, grammar, and vocabulary aren't grand enough to produce anything I myself would be willing to read, let alone anyone else.
Erm, I'll fill the rest of this space later. Maybe.
My top 5 favorite pieces of Harry Potter fanfiction of all time:
5. Midnight in the Owlery by The Treacle Tart. Hands down the best post-war Snape/Lupin fic I've come across. What makes it so brilliant exactly? The utter lack of outside influence. There's no judging from other people, no concerns about it being right or wrong, it's simply a story about two lonely people from a time gone past who find each other when they need the connection the most.
4. Eclipse by Mijan. This is one of the few multi chapter stories I go back to and reread at least once a year. I like the slow change in Draco, from angry child wanting to please his father and get revenge on his sworn enemy to eventual savior. Normally I don't like stories where people are just running, trying to escape for chapters on end, but with Eclipse it works. The characterizations make it worth the monotony of the setting.
3. Secrets by Vorabiza. It doesn't seem plausible or canon to me for Draco to show up with his own child at Harry's door, but the way the story unfolds is uniquely Vorabiza. Something about the way she writes dialogue draws me in and doesn't let me go. There are loads of fluffy, OOC moments and yet I love this story to pieces.
2. If You Are Prepared by Cybele. I've got a bit of a weakness for Snape, one I've had since the very first book. His snarky attitude, his disdain for virtually everything, his dark past, it's all the little things that make him completely irresistible. While normally I do not care for Harry/Severus pairings in the least, this fic has a bit of an edge to it that comes largely from the PoV shifts between Harry and Severus, and it just works so damn well!
1. Oscillate Wildly by Marks. I have read this more times than I can accurately recall. My first reading of the summary left me bored and confused. Why would anyone want to write Harry's entire life as an elaborate dream? Because it makes for an incredible mind fuck is why. It brings to mind all sorts of questions on the way the subconscious works and how we perceive reality. How do you know if the life you're living isn't just the product of a really complicated drug or fantasy? What if something severe enough occurred and you awoke to a world that wasn't the one you'd mentally grown up in? Which would be real and which false? Harry's alternating between the worlds and his ultimate decision left me numb for hours.