As a lot of you work in libraries or schools, I'm sure many of you are familiar with Nancy Pearl and have probably read this article
. I find her concept, The Rule of Four, very interesting and probably the best advice I've ever had to help me find a good book to read.
I also think this can apply to fanfiction. So I am wondering, oh dear fandom, what draws you
to a good fic. Is it the story, characters, setting, or language?
Now, obviously, there is some draw to all of us for the characters, but I don't think it is as strong of one as we might think. I mean, sure, the guys always look like Jared/Sam and Jensen/Dean, but I've read plenty of good stories where the physical form is the only connection between canon and the fandom piece.
I think for me personally it is mostly 'story'. I think. Although I find myself drawn to great characters and interesting settings. I find it hard to pin down. The only thing I am sure of is that it isn't Language. The language can be beautiful, but if the story is boring and I don't like the characters then I'll click back in two seconds flat.
Maybe y'all can help me figure it out?
Let's take Dictionary for a Dead Language
I, like most of fandom, adored this.
Why? Is it that Dean is written in such a fascinating way i can't stop reading? Sure. Is it that the bleak work they are in has captured my imagination completely? ..maybe? Is it I know that surely this can't be the life Dean will live and I read every new paragraph to see how things develop. Somewhat.
For this story I would say that characterization is vitally important.
But then what about the QB 'Verse
? Which I continue to flail
about. Yes, the characters are well written and interesting, but I am massively in love with the story and setting of this 'verse. I bite my nails scrolling down for every new paragraph. I want to be *there*, on the gridiron. .. er. well, watching it. LOL, those boys would crush me dead in half a second!
So I am wondering if Ms. Pearl's theories are correct, but maybe they fluctuate depending up on the reader's mood? Or perhaps I am liking the same things in not just these two stories, but in all stories and I just don't recognize it. I don't know, do you?
What do y'all think?