What sort of things do you look for in a Star Trek fan fic?
Does it really matter if it's TOS, TNG, DS9, Voy, or ENT?
Do you prefer original characters, or established series characters?
Action packed or heavy dialogue?
A short story 5 to 10 pages, a medium story 10 to 20 pages, or a long story 20 pages and up?
Do you want romance in your fan fics?
I prefer all characters from the series, since trying to memorize and familiarize myself with new characters is difficult.
I don't really care which series it is about.
I like long stories, heavy on dialogue and personality. That's my preference, what about yours? What really makes you wanna read a fan fic, and enjoy it?
I've only read one ENT story, and the only reason I did that is because the main character was Porthos the dog. He's the only character in that series I actually like.
I've read very little DS9 fanfic, but the one I recall most clearly was a Garak/Bashir slashfic. It was rather graphic, but not as graphic (or tasteless) as the Uhura/Scotty story I read after...
Most of the stories I currently follow on fanfiction.net are Voyager stories. There's a Trek BBS member, Alpha Flyer
, who writes the most amazing Tom Paris stories. They take place post-"Endgame" and I am absolutely hooked
And there's an author, scifiromance
, who has managed to make Chakotay/Seven stories entertaining and addictive (her longest work is currently up to 84 chapters).
I'm not much for TNG fanfic, but again, I have to recommend "Starfleet Academy Blues" - about Tasha Yar's years at the Academy.
I get most of my TOS fanfic fix from the print fanzines and the stories that have been posted online that used to be available only in the print zines.
What I ask of fanfic is that the canon characters be true to their established traits, and original characters be consistent with themselves (and not Mary/Marty Sues). Dialogue must be appropriate, no 20th/21st century slang, inappropriate profanity unless it's an established character trait, and I HATE technobabble. Part of science fiction is SCIENCE, and it's not inappropriate to actually do a bit of research
to know what you're talking about instead of relying on the Trek equivalent of "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow...".
I like a good mix of action and dialogue. Romance is okay as long as it's not too mushy or explicit (that said, I make an exception for the excellent Valjiir stories). Stories that consist of blocks of dialogue where the author doesn't make it clear which character is speaking just drives me up the wall.
As for length... whatever the story's natural length is.
One thing more: If the story contains too many spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, punctuation mistakes, or if the characters' dialogue is all mixed up in the same paragraph, I'll know that the author is too lazy to proofread (or to ask someone else to proofread). There are probably stories I've passed up that would have been entertaining, but I just couldn't make myself tolerate the technical shortcomings. Yes, I know that most fanfic writers are not professional. But there is such a thing as taking pride in one's work, especially work that has a potential audience of millions.