Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm in the Mood for...

When I first started reading fanfic I definitely gravitated to the mushy, romantic stories that were heavy on dialogue and introspection and easy on things like: complicated plots, exotic locales and...other characters.

After I had exhausted my supply of these type stories, I moved on to others, slowly allowing myself to appreciate a well-written action story that pitted Han and Leia against a common enemy and let them talk to other people and get out of the bedroom (or the Falcon).  I truly began to appreciate a light-hearted comedy as well.  Especially when I started to dabble in writing myself and found how truly hard writing comedy can be.

So, here I am.  Really almost exactly two years later and I began to look back on from whence I came and the circuitous trip I took to get here.  Lately I've been heavy on the action/adventure reading - perusing back through old favorites to relive the ones that I enjoyed the most.  Although, some days I can still feel like a good, old-fashioned love story and I'll head straight for one of my many 'trip to Bespin' (and other) favorites that I have accumulated over the past two years.

So I began to wonder if anyone else found themselves pigeon-holed in a genre of stories.  For instance, I totally ignored 'AU' stories when I first started reading but now have become very open to them.  Maybe it's because I had read everything else.  Or maybe it's because what is considered 'EU' has been done over and over and it's refreshing to see something new happen?  I don't know.  I just know that some of my most recent favorited stories have been very AU.

If you do find yourself with tunnel vision on your reading or writing, I would recommend that you broaden your horizons.  A really good writer can take your characters to places you hadn't thought possible and you can thoroughly enjoy the ride.  And just because you like a story doesn't mean you have to commit yourself to it.  For example, just because I might like a story where Han dies at the end (you know who you are), doesn't mean that that is the future/life that I see for these characters.  You know what I mean?

It's kinda like me reading the entire EU (again).  I'll read it.  I'll even enjoy some or most of it - okay maybe only some.  But it is NOT the future that I see for Han and Leia.  By no stretch of the imagination.  But that is probably an entirely different post...

Which brings me to another thing.  Don't limit yourself as a writer to only see something in one way or write just one type of story.  You may find yourself compelled as a writer to write different lives/endings for Han/Leia (or insert other characters here) as I think we touched on in a separate post.  The most infamous/easiest example of this, I think, would be to write a scenario where they DO do it on the way to Bespin and one in which they don't (if  you are like me and can't decide!).  It sort of takes the pressure off if you are trying to write this perfect story but can see it in different ways - just write both!  It's better than being frozen in indecision, believe me.

So, all of that being any of you guys have a 'type' of story that you prefer to read over another?  Do you find you write (or is easier to write) in that same genre?  I think that would be the case, but maybe not for some.

Finally, do you have any recommendations on stories that you have found that wasn't your normal 'type' and it ended up being one of your favorites?  Tell us what the story is/was and how you ended up reading it.

I'll start with two.

The first one is a comedy and I think I only read it because Zyra told me that it was worth the read.  It's called "Perfect Pairs" by GreatOne and it's on  I can't write comedy and it's not easy to make me laugh when I'm reading something.  This story made me laugh.  Out loud. 

The second one, I believe I read it while going page by page through the Corellian Embassy website stories.  I just reread it last week when I recommended it to someone, it's an action/comedy, it's called: "Resolutions" by Martha Wilson and it's got some UST in there, as well.  You can find it on Live Journal since the Corellian Embassy is no longer.

Please feel free to share the stories you've liked, even if you can't find them anymore - maybe somebody will know where they are!


  1. Oh, I'm pretty pigeonholed...I almost exclusively read (you guessed it) AUs! It doesn't have to be wildly, crazily AU, but for the longest time I just wasn't interested in anything that called itself 100% canon compliant. I like there to be a "what if..." premise of some sort. As long as there's something in there that challenges canon or at least puts an unexpected obstacle in front of my favorite characters, I'm not too picky with genre beyond that. Most of my very favorite stories have some of everything: a little romance, a little action, a little...I dunno, politics or mystery or musing on the nature of the Force or SOMETHING. Of course, if it's a shorter story I'm more willing to forgive it belonging strictly to a single genre.

    I write a lot of AUs too. :)

    I've become a little more interested in "missing scene" type stories though, and Han/Leia between ANH and ESB was one of the big reasons I started. There's still plenty of room for suspense there...we know where they end up EVENTUALLY, but three years is a long time and there are a lot of adventures and misadventures that could be worked in there.

    The one story I can think of off the top of my head that really wasn't my thing AT ALL...until I read it, and it was, is actually Luke/OC (I know!) and 100% canon compliant (believe it or not). It's called "Hearts are Meant To" and it's on Han/Leia by any means, but I usually don't like ANYONE with an OC... and for whatever reason, that one worked.

  2. It must be something in the water because I'm fixated in/on the exact same things you are. All of my 'ideas' that I talked about earlier, they are either missing moments for between ANH and ESB or other missing moments (mostly within ROTJ).

    I'll have to check out that story, lately Luke stories have grown on me. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I'll be honest and say I know for a fact that when I first found fanfic I definitely initially sought out entirely mushy/romantic stories - even better if there was sex in them. It was amazing to me that someone finally gave their love story some time and effort and we got to see so many things that we just couldn't see in the movies, so those were absolutely my targets for a while. I was already reading the EU, so I had enough "real" plots minus the mushy moments going on.

    Of course, after a while, all of that mush can get tiresome and let's face it, they're not a real "mushy" couple in the traditional sense. That's one of the reasons I love them, actually. Aside from that, well, I'll say that I'm not usually one to seek out AU stories and used to say I didn't like them, but that's kind of silly because honestly some of the best stories I've read are totally AU. Also, by default those stories usually have to be pretty epic and I have a short attention span and if I see a story is really, really long then it's tougher for me to really decide to take the time to read it. I know for a fact that this has caused me to miss out on some pretty good stuff.

    I tend to enjoy a lot of the lighter stuff, anything funnier. It's one of the reasons I've enjoyed so much of GreatOne's stuff. And while I'm ok with reading different possibilities of how things happened or turned out, I'll admit that I have a really hard time reading anything where they don't wind up together or one of them dies or whatever. That is not to say that I haven't read a couple of stories with those elements that weren't incredibly well done and enjoyable on some level to read, but for me, this is all a fun, fantasy escape and I don't want to finish reading it and they don't get to live happily ever after! Again, I've read stories like these that were well done, but it's tough to get me to start reading them in the first place.

    I actually don't seek out a lot of stuff between ANH and ESB like you guys as I tend to prefer stories where they're already together or at least post-ESB. I don't know why, as this can sometimes be the most interesting part of their relationship, but that's just always been how I've done things. And you'll notice that I've only written one story in that time period as well. And that one I JUST wrote.

    As a writer, well, I think a lot of my choices are just due to laziness. I don't know that I've ever had an idea really for an AU, but I don't know that I'm creative enough to go as far as I needed to go with it and create a whole new way things need to go. And those stories by nature almost HAVE to be pretty epic and I just can't imagine writing an epic story like that.

    And as for the EU, I obviously use elements of it, although I'd never go so far as to say their sons died and one turned Sith. But if I just want to write a story that takes place later on when they are already married with kids and it's not ABOUT them getting married and having kids, then it just seems easier to use Jacen, Jaina and Anakin because people understand already where they came from. Rather than me trying to explain who the heck Bail, Scott, Amanda and Han, Jr. are.

  4. Oh, and I also don't usually go for anything where one cheats on the other. Again, I get that there are stories that are very well done that include that, I'd just rather read something where whatever obstacles they face, they are in it together and wind up together. I do enjoy some action or some enemy that they are facing or anything else that makes the plot more interesting, but at its core, I still want the story to be about THEM.

    I did remember a couple of stories that I wouldn't think I'd like, but I did. These are "Important Information" and its sequel "My All" by FanOfHan on Honestly, if someone had told me in the most general terms what these stories were about, I probably wouldn't have read them. I started reading them without knowing and got totally sucked in. It is incredibly dramatic and sad and tragic and honestly there were times where I honestly felt that Han might be better off dead. But I was totally sucked in to the end. Those are the only ones off the top of my head I can think of that I really enjoyed even though they don't seem like something I would normally like.

  5. Yeah, I used to go for all the mushy sexy stuff when I first started reading, but I try to give most things a shot now. I still have a hard time with AU's, or at least the one's that I perceive as being really out there. Push's 'From a Certain Point of View' is epic though. Another short, kind of AU I liked was 'Fairytale Endings' by LASOS. And Digg's 'Children of the Future'...I avoided that one forever because the plot sounded really strange.

  6. I know I didn't expect to like "Children of the Future" and got totally sucked in.

    Another story I expected not to like due to the time travel issue was To Cast Away Stones which involves the trio going back in time to asassinate Anakin Skywalker before Order 66 happens.

    I don't mind reading AU stuff except that I never like stories where Han and Leia don't end up together or where one of them dies.

    otherwise I am fine reading things that are non-canon so long as they don't mess with the OT canon.

    And then as soon as I type this, I remember that one of my favorite stories has been The Other Half. It is exceptionally AU but I was utterly hooked. I don't remember where I read it or who wrote it but it started off with Leia and Luke captured by the Empire and placed on trial and sentenced to death. then the Emporer offers them a deal where Luke goes over to the dark side in exchange for their lives. Then the OT happens with roles reversed, Yoda comes to train Leia and so on.

    I think I like to write missing moments best and because of that I actually like these LEAST for reading because I have my own ideas. as long as I can remember I've been inventing scenes in my head to fill in gaps in movies or books, not just SW. it's just for Han and Leia I started writing them down.

  7. You guys are making me feel really bad about "Children of the Future" because I'm the one who wrote that summary! She asked me to, and now I feel personally responsible for lots of people NOT reading it because of that. I loved the idea of that one from the beginning, sort of Back to the Future-ish.

    This is another reason why people need to review more. Sometimes I think people are more likely to read stuff if there are lots of good reviews, but if people keep quiet, nobody is ever going to read anything!

  8. I feel like we've discussed this before, Zyra. I'm honestly not sure what kind of a summary you could have given it that would have made me want to read it!

    And I agree about reviewing. I know I tend to reach for a story that has more reviews. Although there's a handful of stories I've been meaning to leave feedback on but I keep putting off...way to go, me.

  9. I mostly go for the mush or comedy. Hung out in the M rated section on quite a bit (probably should be ashamed of that). =) Not sure I care if it's AU or not, but not big on things too dark or too sad. Like things with some hope.

    I haven't ready as much fanfic as others possibly, and being new, I have a bit of a backlog I'm sure. I like to look through what other's have marked as favorites and see what catches my eye.

    I wasn't sure I'd have much to mention in terms of fanfics that others haven't read, like Han vs Food and The Not Quite Love Letters. Both of them are laugh out loud hilarious. Really liked Children of the Future too. Really good. I found one today that was interesting, Love Stories or Five Things That Never Happened by LASOS. Most of them are pretty sad and one was rather odd, but the last one...well as a Han/Leia fan all I can say is darn, I wish I had thought of that! And wow!

  10. Speaking as a reader, definitely not a writer...I rarely click on a story that doesn't have my favorite pairing (in whatever fandom) and the word "romance" in the description. That being said, this does leave a lot of leeway for adventure, AU, character study etc. I love "first time" stories, but especially when there's a lot of exploration of the feelings on both sides. The "he doesn't think of me that way/she would never go for me" type of stuff. The story may or may not include the Big Event, but an M rating always helps. ;-)
    Sometimes I'm in the mood to wallow in angst, so a hurt/comfort or a character death leaving the other behind will do. Poor darlings, the things we put them through.

  11. I don't think there's any shame in occasionally looking exclusively for M rated stories. I'd be willing to bet that every single person who reads this blog has done just that at times.

    You're right, we do put them through a lot. I have a problem with doing awful things to Han that I probably need some help for!

  12. Hey! I've been reading this blog for a while, and absolutely loving it. This is the first time I have commented because... Well, I couldn't work out how, For a teenager I am really bad with computers :)

    I hardly ever read a story that does not contain Han/Leia. Occasionally, I like to read some of the Rogue Squadron stuff (Mostly when I'm out of Han/Leia and I need some extreme humor). When I first started reading Fanfiction a few months ago, I tended to like all of the missing moments or ESB onwards stuff. I need to stop saying 'stuff'. Now, I'm more into pre ESB suff - i mean, fics :) I tend not to go for character death, and am picky about AU.

    Speaking of AU, I just read an amazing AU story... called 'The Other Half". Actually, I was reading it for the first time and had it open in another tab when I saw Julz's comment about it. The Force does work in mysterious ways, doesn't it? It's on

  13. Wait, why did the google just make me type in "Penic" before it would let me publish that comment? What the... I thought it said something else at first, LOL

  14. Hmm.... google has a dirty mind. Maybe it was a test to see how many people just automatically go with the other word you thought you saw there :)

    I'm glad you worked out how to comment! I have trouble sometimes with different browsers, I can't comment on firefox (it endlessly asks me which account I want to post under no matter how many times I sign in) but internet explorer works fine, always.

    I think I need to start reading some of the longer stuff I've been putting off. I've just got a short attention span. I'm glad you guys are recommending some stuff!

  15. LOL about the weird google words, GoldDragon. I swear some days it picks these almost-words just to toy with me. I think we had a whole conversation thread once on here about how my new favorite not-a-word-but-should-be was "oinkier".

    I loved The Other Half and I usually hate AU that messes with the OT. it just grabbed me and sucked me in. I especially loved the fact that by the time I got to Anakin Skywalker asking Han Solo what his intentions were toward his daughter, I never even blinked. The scene was TOTALLY plausible. Plus rereading it for the first time in a long while, I think this story is the one that gave me my earliest impression of Rieeken as a father figure to Leia and sort of on Han's side. which has clearly stuck.

    and Zyra, don't feel bad about Children of the Future. it wasn't the summary that turned me off, it was the premise of time travel which I tend to shy away from because people think time travel is a license to make the characters do things that are totally out of character. and of course time travel gives folks an excuse to rewrite canon and although I don't much care if you rewrote the entire prequel trilogy, you don't mess with the OT in my mind.

    so anyway don't feel bad, Z - your summary probably is what dragged me in to check it out in the first place.

    I've already mentioned The Other Half and To Cast Away Stones as two totally AU stories that I loved despite their not being of the genre I usually prefer, which is missing moments from the OT.

    Two of my favorites in that category are both Sue Zahn's: Into the Fire and Mergers and Aquisitions.

    I will have to go check my ff favorites list and see if there's anything else that I liked that I am not remembering off the top of my head.

  16. I like all the recommendations. I feel like I have all sorts of 'new' fanfic to read on my ToDo list and that has happened in a long time!

  17. I guess I should probably feel less bad considering she has over 200 reviews on that story. Obviously a few people read it!

    I kind of like the idea of time travel in a Star Wars story as it gives you a lot of fun possibilities to play with. And fortuntely/unfortunately all this talk about it has given me an idea for one. I've really only come across two that I can think of though where it was involved. Obviously COtF, and there was another one by GreatOne where Han kept having to go back and try several times to make things better to fix his future (I think the bad future the EU gave them!) I enjoyed that one, too. I can't think of any other time travel ones I've come across.

  18. Which one by Great One is that Zyra?

  19. The one I was talking about there was Kaleidoscope of Illusions. But when I was looking for the name of it I got reminded of another one of her stories that involves time travel, called Alterations. Basically the Emperor (I think, or it might've just been someone really evil) goes back in time to kill Han as a boy so he isn't there to save anyone when he grows up. In the "present" he's sick and dying because of this so Luke and Leia have to go back and save him and Leia interacts with Han when he was a very young boy on the streets and it's all very sweet and sad at the same time. Now I kind of want to read that one again...

  20. To change the subject for a minute, where do you get the profic quotes from? They're hilarious!

  21. Quotes are from or from us just reading the books :) There are a whole bunch of quotes on there but also on the home page there is always a quote of the day.

  22. can I send in profic quotes from whatever I'm reading?

  23. That is a wonderful idea, since I've been running low and have been repeating quotes lately! Send away!!

  24. I'm on it. you have your "tabbies", I'm highlighter girl. :-)

  25. Love today's profic quote by the way.

  26. Hmmm... I have to say I agree about Children of the Future. It's AMAZING...but it took me awhile to get around to reading it, and if it wasn't for the fact that people whose opinions I tend to trust were raving about it, I might never have given it a shot at all.

    And it really has nothing to do with Diggs' writing or with Zyra's description! It's just that...well, time travel and fanfiction kind of have a bad name when they go together. A lot of writers use time travel as a license to write things that just DON'T MAKE SENSE. Time travel stories kind of fall into the same category as...hmmm, Luke and/or Anakin with an OFC! (I suppose there might be Han/OFC or Leia/OMC fics out there but it really seems to be a big deal with Luke and Anakin) or, this isn't Star Wars but "American Student Transfers to Hogwarts!" or back when I was into Phantom of the Opera "the phantom finds out he has a child and does a complete 360as far as all the murdering and threatening and hiding in the basement goes" or...well, every fandom has those cliches.

    And, at least for all of the instances I mentioned above, I can think of at least one story that DID manage to be awesome despite sounding like it was probably going to be another awful cliche. It's unfortunate that the authors of those stories have a much tougher sell than the rest of us, through no real fault of their own.

    I'm glad I DID find Children of the Future though. Recs are a wonderful thing! :)

  27. Glad you liked it, hikari no tsubasa. It is really good.

    I started to read Kaleidoscope of Illusions. I' m liking it so far, but who wouldn't love a story about Han and hearing how much he loves Leia. Awesome.

    I jumped ahead in profic and reading Shadows of Mindor. Liking it so far too.

  28. I bookmarked Kaleidoscope of Illusions to read when I have a chance, it sounds pretty good.

    hikari no tsubasa - I totally agree about time travel and fanfic, I said almost exactly the same thing you did about it giving people a license to go crazy :-) too funny, great minds must think alike. and I also read the reviews first and gave CotF a shot because so many people whose opinions I usually agree with seemed to like it.

  29. (I just stumbled onto this post.)

    I was a lot like you - I went from the mushy stories to action/plotty Han/Leia, before moving onto a few different fandoms and now I'm very much back on a Star Wars kick.

    I decided to branch out and look first on for something that caught my eye in any category and I found this amazing, very dark plotty AU in which Luke was sent to the Organas instead of Leia was found by the Emperor at an early age. It's called "Empire's Son" by blank101. It starts off focusing on Han and Luke, but Leia features in eventually and the Han/Leia definitely does not disappoint. It's extremely intelligent and an unerringly believable portrayal of the Trio under very different circumstances. Also features many side characters plus a lot of Vader, the Emperor, and Obi-Wan. I'd very much recommend it, but I'll have to mention for those who are sensitive to such things that there are some pretty graphic scenes of emotional and physical violence, so prepare for that.

    Anyhow, I just found this blog tonight and I've been enjoying myself reading through the entry backlog - nice to find this little corner of the internet here. :)

  30. Welcome, orhowfar. Enjoy, you've got a lot of catching up to do!