• Welcome to The Cave of Dragonflies forums, where the smallest bugs live alongside the strongest dragons.

    Guests are not able to post messages or even read certain areas of the forums. Now, that's boring, don't you think? Registration, on the other hand, is simple, completely free of charge, and does not require you to give out any personal information at all. As soon as you register, you can take part in some of the happy fun things at the forums such as posting messages, voting in polls, sending private messages to people and being told that this is where we drink tea and eat cod.

    Of course I'm not forcing you to do anything if you don't want to, but seriously, what have you got to lose? Five seconds of your life?

Your reading preferences: topics and themes you like to see in fiction

myuma

Flowers. So many of the same. So many unneeded.
Pronoun
she, they
*dusts off the forum*

We all have our preferences when it comes to fiction. Some people avoid or follow more general categories like romance or high fantasy, or they like to read stories which discuss vigilante justice or fate. Your preferences might be a bit more specific, too. Maybe you like to see certain combinations of themes, such as coming-of-age in medieval worlds, or sci-fi exploring human-alien interaction.

So what kind of themes and topics do you like to see in fiction? And why?
 

Ruby

Night can outbalance day
Staff member
Pronoun
he/him
I appreciate quality prose. If the writing seems careless, I can be put off, even if the plot is good. You might think that means I only read literary fiction, but not so. Some pulpy novels are surprisingly well written.

As for content, pure realism can get me a bit restless, but I often enjoy fiction that caricatures real life. The supernatural is appealing too.

But to be honest I don't finish as many novels as I'd like to...
 

storm

aiat
Pronoun
they/them
seconding the lore! being able to dig into and piece together aspects of a world through lore is very rewarding for me. I'm fond of hard-hitting writing styles, with lots of emphasis and punchy words. fun tonal shifts in that same style are even better - while I can emulate the former in my own writing, the latter is really hard

exploration of inhuman or alien mindsets and societies are great. transformation as a theme for growth, or angst, or Just Because. inevitable doom and tragic, backed into a corner situations, and people who are well-meaning and end up slipping into worse and worse actions out of (what appears to be) necessity - All Good Stuff! what else... found family dynamics. kindness in complicated, twisty situations. unhealthy and codependent relationships, which can either heal or implode. slow, destructive character arcs which are a difficult slog towards growth, and which supplement the potential for redemption with plenty of bad decisions and emotional gut-punches

mostly this is an ode to my fave villain tropes, whoops. I'd rediscovered my local library's catalogue last year, and I've definitely gone out of my precisely curated book landscape to browse through the entire sff and ya sections, so I've had a chance to refine what clicks with me and what doesn't. the rest of fiction tends to be a much harder sell, though I'll idly read anything if I don't have many options
 

Keldeo

Resolute
Pronoun
he, they
Yeah, I really enjoy worlds with expansive lore, or even just ones that seem larger than what we see of them in some way! Maybe that's because I've been reading a lot of sci-fi/fantasy lately, although like Ruby I probably don't read as much as I could, hehe.

One very specific element I'm fond of is the exploration of some kind of alien language - Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, Embassytown by China Mieville, this story, and this story are a couple examples.

transformation as a theme for growth, or angst, or Just Because. inevitable doom and tragic, backed into a corner situations, and people who are well-meaning and end up slipping into worse and worse actions out of (what appears to be) necessity - All Good Stuff!
Have you read anything by the web serial author Wildbow? I feel like these themes crop up a lot in his work, and he's got a pretty snappy, phrasal writing style, if I'm understanding what you mean by hard-hitting.
 

myuma

Flowers. So many of the same. So many unneeded.
Pronoun
she, they
I tend to like stories with well-written characters. They don't have to be morally good or relatable, as long as they come across as realistic, multifaceted humans. Stories with a lot of drama or psychological aspects tend to be good at this, along with slice-of-life. Pretty much anything that involves someone struggling to deal with their emotions and/or situation.
 

storm

aiat
Pronoun
they/them
Have you read anything by the web serial author Wildbow? I feel like these themes crop up a lot in his work, and he's got a pretty snappy, phrasal writing style, if I'm understanding what you mean by hard-hitting.
not yet, but I do have parahumans from wildbow bookmarked and awaiting my "oh shit new things to read" mood!! (apparently crossovers between that and destiny lore are very easy to make, which is why I've heard of him in the first place)
 

IndigoEmmy

The Snomfather
Pronoun
She/Her or They/Them
ok now that i think about it, i do enjoy things with a lot of lore. I can really get into stories like that.
I do enjoy fantasy books but it doesn't really matter, however i don't like reading poorly written stories. I also dispise classics. Except the count of monte cristo witch i enjoy for whatever reason, even though i dislike classes.
 

LadyJirachu

Judgemental people GTFO
Pronoun
she
I sometimes like battles a lot but i'm fussy i prefer them generally in pokemon and magical girl stuff (or sometimes some other kid friendly settings; depends) lol

I also like stories that are generally cute in general, and i'll easily kind of hate something if its not 'light hearted' enough....lol

I also tend to like stories that theme around girls a lot, but i can flinch if theres too much drama.

Soo....yeah. I guess i'm a picky reader xD Its probably easiest for me to enjoy stories writen for younger crowds too i think.
 

myuma

Flowers. So many of the same. So many unneeded.
Pronoun
she, they
I forgot to mention that I like post-apocalyptic settings where humanity has disappeared. Whether that's because they've abandoned Earth or because they've all died doesn't matter to me. Seeing half-ruined buildings and machinery, overgrown by trees and flowers, sitting peacefully in the sunlight really relaxes me for some reason.

It gives me the same vibes as the poem Ozymandias: our grand achievements half-forgotten, a reminder that we aren't permanent... and that's completely OK.
 
Top