You’ll notice that I recommend fanfics in two styles: lengthy essays, and short links with ratings. In an ideal world, all of my posts would be in the first format. Although I made that my goal, I was unable to fulfill it, and the blog was barren for a long while. In response to the issue, I decided I must put out daily recommendations, at least. The ratings are the same, all that is different with the non-essay posts is that there isn’t a rambling essay in front of the link. Which is probably a good thing, anyways.
A simple recommendation says nothing about the quality of the fanfiction. It says only that the fanfic speaks for itself, and I that have nothing to add.
Ratings for fluff, angst, and smut will be given in pluses. Here is a translation as to what each rating means.
Fluff: happiness, humor, and good feels
+: no words wasted on happiness. Enjoy your pain and suffering. Or, enjoy your emotionally-removed storyline.
++: a refreshing dose of contentment. Not particularly fluffy, but some kind aspects.
+++: some fluff that contributes to the story. Humor, witty banter, pranks, that sort of thing.
++++: primarily fluff, some plot line. Mentions of important things going on somewhere, and occasionally, an important thing goes on in front of the protagonist.
+++++: 100% fluff, smiles galore. Funny and cute, this is the happy stuff you wanted to see in canon, but the author never got around to it. This story is based mostly on fluff, and has little plot line. A nice fic to bookmark for a sad day.
Angst: sadness, torture, and death
+: everything is happy. There are no worries, and the world is beautiful. Very little to no mention of sad things. Perfect for fans who want to be in denial. However, the world is not guaranteed to be happy, but the world will not be sad, either.
++: some darker themes. Hints of shady things happening around the corner. Some discussion of bad events, but nothing described in great detail. Mostly carefree, just with some worry over what has happened, or what’s to come.
+++: themes of tension, anger, anxiety. Characters keep secrets from each other, characters say hurtful things, the usual mild angst. Perhaps a minor character or OC death or two.
++++: has major character death, or other emotionally damaging events. Might have a happy ending, might not. Some description of blood and pain.
+++++: a focus on major character death, torture, etc. Often, very graphic description of pain, whether emotional or physical. Probably not a happy ending.
Smut: shipping, kissing, and porn
+: G rating. No explicit content, no shipping. A nice read for those who like plot lines, and nothing more.
++: some shipping, maybe a kiss or two. No explicit content. Might come with some angst about unreciprocated love, or maybe just a general feeling of longing.
+++: the focus of this story is shipping. If you like the ship, then you’ll probably like the story. If you don’t like the ship, then you’ll probably not like the story. The intensity of the shipping will depend on the length of the fic. If there is explicit content, it’s very little, or not very explicit.
++++: some smut, later in the story. This’ll give you a nice lead-up, and some fluffy ship stuff as well. If the story is longer, there’s probably more non-shipping space, but if not, this is mostly about shipping.
+++++: this is porn. Works like these will feature tags like #PlotWhatPlot or #PornWithoutPlot.
➕ Overall Rating:
This is not an average of the previous three, but is my personal opinion of the fic, its plot line, characters, and all other elements. It is inherently questionable to rate fiction, but we must all acknowledge that there are too many fanfictions to read in a lifetime, admit that we have our favorites, and realize that we may as well devote our time to enjoying the things we love most.
+: um. These are the fanfictions you’ll find when you search for really obscure tags, or have gotten desperate. They’re written by authors who aren’t ready for their subject material.
++: eh. Some interesting ideas. Maybe it isn’t finished, maybe it relies too much on fanon or headcanons which detract from the story. It’s author has high aspirations, and they’re on the road to meeting them.
+++: nice. Some good ideas and characterizations. With a little more fleshing out, it’d be a wonderful story. It might be a one-shot, or it focuses on a short idea. Recommended to the people who are looking for a certain thing, but maybe not to the general reader.
++++: great. Good writing, good plot line, good characters. Maybe a short story, but if it is, it’s worth spending time on. An enjoyable read, highly recommended.
+++++: wow. These fanfictions give you nostalgia. They linger in your subconscious for days, weeks, perhaps years. Their plot lines are innovative and exciting, their characterizations are flawless, and their writing is exceptional. These are usually longer, at least 5,000 words, and have a relatively defined plot line. A must read to its respective fandom, and a highly recommended read even if you aren’t familiar with the canon storyline.
Remember that though I try to be objective, all ratings will be subjective.