So now for full disclosure. I'm going to try my best to express what drew me to these fandoms and the characters and what I look forward to when I read fanfiction. I love het stories and gen, not so much interest in slash.
Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern
This series was really my first love of scifi/fantasy, a genre I adore most for its heroic narratives. I read it when I was in middle school and I completely fell for it. I recently revisited this 'verse by rereading the first novel, Dragonflight, and I was struck by how much I adore Lessa. This is her story to me and I adore her complexity and uniqueness. She's a character forged in fire. She's not your typical heroine. She's not a heroine actually. She's quite simply a hero. No need to qualify her role by her sex. Because she refuses to let her sex dictate what she can and can't do. I also love how F'lar recognizes and appreciates the strength in Lessa even as he tries to assert dominance. I love their interaction--how they each vie for control and ultimately learn they work best as partners. As for romance, partners who don't need to constantly verbalize their love and connection, but instead show it through action--that's my jam. More please. More always. And finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't share how much I adore the dragon/rider relationship. The mental connection, the unconditional love and admiration and loyalty. I love Ramoth and Mnementh, how they're wholly themselves even as they serve as extensions of Lessa and F'lar.
The Good Wife
This show is one of my favorites for its complex female cast, but most especially for Kalinda. You might be noticing that I have a thing for strong, independent women and yep, you'd be right. It's Kalinda who stole my heart and turned my avid interest into fangirlish love with this sequence:
I'm fascinated by Kalinda. She's smart and she refuses to be belittled. She'll play the seductive game to get inside a place she needs to search for evidence, but she doesn't get played herself. She's aware of the game, always, and she even tries to mentor Alicia and help her navigate it. I'm intrigued by the mystery surrounding her. By her emotional distance from people. I want to know more. I want to understand her. But I already love her for her poise, her unflappable nature, her control, and her refusal to be ashamed. I love how she embraces her rage. How she's calculating and ambitious, but she's still moral. She plays the game by her own rules and she makes me want to sit up and clap every time she's onscreen. Kalinda Motherfuckin' Sharma.
(This might be a good time to note that swearing is welcome--if a character would swear in that moment, then they're gonna swear. Whatever's right for the character and right for the story.)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
It's been a long time since I saw this performed (I'm also incredibly fond of the movie starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor!), but I adore Maggie and Brick. Their relationship is twisted and hurtful, their marriage is at the breaking point, Brick's drinking himself to death and diving into self-destructive behavior, and he keeps pushing Maggie away, but he still stands up for her to his family. There's loyalty there. There's affection underneath all that conflict. And that's what attracts me to them. These characters dysfunction is the story. The dysfunction of their marriage (wrought by Brick's repressed homosexuality and mourning for his dead friend, Skipper). The dysfunction of this rich well-to-do Southern family (Big Daddy looms over Brick and Maggie's relationship, he defines their world and rules the setting of the play). Brick is so goddamned bleak and Maggie's so desperate to win him back--she'll lie, cheat and steal to win him back, but did she ever really have him?
Justice League Unlimited (Cartoon)
I love heroes (and heroic narratives), strong women, and complex characters, so it won't surprise you that I'm most interested in Batman (for his darkness) and Wonder Woman (for her strength). There isn't a particular story that resonates for me when I think of these two. What I enjoy most is how their characters clash. They each have strong codes, but their methods and how they approach their mission are different. When I think of Batman, I think of a mask in the shadows lurking. When I think of Wonder Woman, I think of a face framed in sunlight, her shoulders straight and her head held high. He hides behind a symbol where she refuses to. He masks his princely wealth and status while hers is embedded in her bones, her carriage, in the way she approaches the world. I feel like there was so much potential to see them clash and fight (verbally, physically). I want to see them change each other, breach each other's emotional walls (they're both so alone), and work together. I want them to connect. To dance. To shake each other's worlds.
I hope sharing what interests me about these fandoms and characters helps you. Know your audience, right? I also hope these don't constrain you because I don't want what I enjoy to unnecessarily limit your story.
Now I'll talk a little bit about what I look for in a story. I want the characters to be true to themselves (also, feel free to include other supporting characters! My listed characters are who I'd love the story to focus on, but that's by no means meant as exclusive). Characterization and character interaction are of paramount interest to me. I also want a story to be meaningful. The sky's the limit on what the characters can do as long as it's earned. You could open the story with the characters having sex (or trying to have sex and failing) and I'd be on board as long as it was grounded in reality for the characters. Plotty or character-based: both work for me. I love humor, but I think with these fandoms the characters are calling for more dramatic inspection also. I'll mention again that I love it when characters are connected on a deep level, but don't obviously vocalize it. I don't go for over-the-top romantic declarations. Okay, sure, Maggie might ferociously declare she loves Brick, but there's defiance and desperation and an underlying hopelessness there that Brick questions and ultimately rejects. I don't embrace easy, cliched love. Give me real, complicated connection where there are no easy answers.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I hope it helps. Please know that I'll love whatever you write for my rare fandom and above all THANK YOU!