Mar. 17th, 2009

taffimai: (Jack/Ianto Cuddles by twistedlogic_)
Some background: A significant number of Torchwood authors are currently posting a few hundred words a day of longer stories. This has the effect of making their stories into huge sprawling epics which, when cross-posted all over the place, EAT MY FLIST. Beyond the effect on my friendslist, I find that the teeny tiny parts make it very difficult for me to get into the story and make my reading experience feel choppy and disjointed.

This weekend the mods at one of the Torchwood communities asked that authors please try to post more substantial parts. This caused moaning and wringing of hands and leaving of the community and standing up for their principles and general wankiness.

All of it inspired me to make this post.

Here are the things I look at when deciding whether to read a story, more or less in order of importance:

1) The characters. Is my OTC in the story? Currently, this means Jack Harkness.
2) The author. Is it an author I know and whose work I generally enjoy? If it's a writer I trust with my time, I will always give their work a chance.
3) The summary. Does it look especially interesting or look like it might hit any of my bullet proof fic kinks? For example, if the story is Jack hurt/comfort or my OT3 or Jack/Suzie I will nearly always read it.
4) The header formatting. Does it contain all the standard information? Does it use a standard format, with no strange colors, bolded content, etc. Are there grammatical or spelling errors? I have found that a writer who understands fandom conventions and/or has researched them is far more likely to produce high-quality work. And of course, a well-formatted header usually means that the story will be formatted in such a way that it is readable. I don't think I need to explain the grammar and spelling criteria.
5) The beta reader: Is the author using a beta? Is it a beta with whom I am familiar and whose taste level I trust?
6) The word count: Is the word count appropriate to the type of story/formatting? If it is described as a drabble, it is 100 words? If it is listed as a story chapter, is it at least 1,000 words?
7) The number of parts: Is the total number of parts listed? Is it reasonable? With some notable exceptions, I have found that higher quality stories tend to have a number of parts that is below twenty and that the better writers usually know how many parts the story will be. Even if it changes during posting to accommodate changes, the fact that the author is willing to put a total chapter count on a story implies the existence of a story draft or a detailed outline.
8) The graphics: Do the icon and story header (if applicable) show good taste?

Please understand, I do not expect writers to cater to my tastes or other readers to use the above criteria to determine whether to click on a cut tag. This is just how I make my decisions. I'm curious whether other people do this and if so if their standards are similar.
taffimai: (Push It by iconimicon)
I was curious ...

[Poll #1367085]
taffimai: (Push It by iconimicon)
Okay, it looks like the travel tips are a go. I'll start outlining and posting bits and pieces. Anything in particular anyone wants covered first?

Also, I was in the airport today and was trying to figure out why people were wearing sparkly green necklaces. Then I figured it out. Then I realized that I am wearing a green shirt! Total coincidence or my subconscious at work, what do you think?

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