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12 July 2013 @ 01:09 am
Definitions of Our Rec Reasons  

Definitions of Our Rec Reasons

On the House "What-If" Rec List we share some of our favorite House, M.D. fics, 'verses, and authors that form a genre we call "What-If."

You may have noticed that some of the names of our "Rec Reasons" are familiar, while others need a little explaining. Here's what we have in mind.

See also: Definitions of our Fic Categories within the genre.

Engrossing, compelling, can't stop reading. Scenes or stories stay with you, and are rolled over in your mind for days or even months after you read them.

Depth and believability of character portrayal, including a well-defined "voice." Consistently in-character within the story's 'verse and/or based on canon.

Witty repartee, snark, impassioned speeches, silly interchanges, and the like. Often involves humor and strong characterization.

Moving, poignant, or evokes a strong emotional response in the reader.

Makes us laugh. Often involves dialogue.

Vivid descriptions evoke atmosphere, mood, tension, or add depth.

Delicious words and phrases. Part of what we love about particularly beautiful language are those phrases we would not have constructed—they do something unexpected, surprising, and make us think about whatever is being described differently than we otherwise would. There's also the phonemically-pleasing "poetry factor"—when language is just so gorgeous that we want to feel it in our mouths, run it through our ears, and seriously contemplate hanging it on our walls. Encountering new vocabulary within a story inspires us to look up its family history and file it in our mental treasure trove of words and etymologies.

Portrayal of Disability
Avoids pitfalls and stereotypes, fanon clichés, histrionics, one-dimensionality, etc. Includes chronic pain and various other impairments/disabilities.

An original, innovative premise that hasn't been done before. Or, this version of a familiar concept is executed particularly well.

Writer has clearly done her homework. Cultural and time period details, medicine, etc. Some authors provide supplemental materials, such as footnotes, links, or collections of time-period visuals.

Form augments function. Well-planned story arcs, tightly-woven components, and/or innovative patterns and sequencing enhance the storytelling.

Intricacy, believability, vividness. When you stop reading, there's a sense of coming up for air and having to reset your reality-o-meter, because—wait, what? That's not how the [real] world is.