In my spare time I have done a lot of reading.
I am one of the judges on one of the competitions that is running at present. This is not the first time I have done it. When I originally offered it was because I read a lot of Spuffy I thought that it would be re-reading some of the stuff I had already read. I soon discovered this wasn't quite what I had to do! This set of reading involves 2 different catagories and includes -
1) W.I.P.'s ... And most of you know I don't like reading those!
2) Cross-overs ... one of which in a setting that I would not have chosen to read.
4) Stories from 3 on my f-list!!!!!
5) Stories I had already read and (fortunately) loved, as I know have to re-read to note upon the specific points of the set category.
6) Stories from a web site I never even look at!
So I have 16 Spuffy stories to read ... on the way back here, from Mum and Dad's, it made me start to think about what I like about Spuffy stories. For those writers that I am writing, let me assure you that this is not what I am "marking" ... these have just stimulated my brain ... scary thought!
So - What do I like about Spuffy stories.
This is really going to be a bit of a ramble and in no particular order ... just as I think about it.
I do like a happy ending! However I do also enjoy canon - so read Season 5 with Buffy's death, as well as Season 7 and Spike's death. Still I suppose it was this that got me into LJ! I had written a post-BTVS story and needed a beta - and thus found LJ.
I enjoy good plot twists - maybe that is why I love the time travel fics and baby fics.
I do like some of the ficlets and an occasional PWP - but basically I prefer stories where their feelings are explored. In doing so I have read some amazing epics, but also some stunning drabbles.
Further to that, although I like a happy ending, I don't like it when the plot twists too quickly for no real reason. I can accept unusual turns, but I like to have a reason for the 2 of them to be together.
They have a lot of inherant problems and it is good when at least some of these get explored. There are some great loop-holes that have allowed authors to get round these problems. However, I suppose because I love the consept of Eternal Love - I prefer tales where Buffy ends up immortal with a claim or as the slayer; rather than Spike having the Shanshu.
It's the same with The Scoobies and Joyce. I don't mind how the author plays their characters, but if there is to be support and hepl for them then it has to be for a reason, or after a series of events that has covered some time!
What I like to see in Spike -
I like to see him strong - mentally and physically. I love some of the fics where his age is used for him to have knowledge of languages etc.
Emotionally I love seeing that he is constant in his love. I like him to be there for Dru and Buffy (depending on the timing) ... and can cope with seeing him have his heart ripped apart by either of them - it just makes me want to hug him more!
I love some of the stories where his background is explored - and have read some great plot twists that have him involved with, or related to ,various people when he was human!
I like Spike both with and without his soul. I fell in love with him in season 7 as this was the first series I watched - but seeing his constant love is something, in this context, that is the important factor for me.
Buffy, on the other hand is easier for me to read. I like her character as it developes over the 7 years. She is strong - but her heart is too well protected. One of the things that I find hardest to read is if she has a sudden change in heart. She has a lot of heartache that she needs to both work through - and eventually to share with Spike .... perfect Spuffy moment for me!
And, no thoughts on Spuffy can be complete without a mention of Angel and to a certain degree, Dru. Both of them deserve to be mentioned in stories - but I don't mind which way the plot takes them ... providing Spike and Buffy end up together, that is the important thing!
As well as reading the Spuffy stories I have also helped my Dad by doing a final proof-read of the book that he has finished recently. It is brilliant that my Dad, at 83, has just completed a book about the prophesies within the book of "The Revelation" in The Bible.