How I choose what books or fics to read (spoiler: it’s different!)

A recent conversation on Twitter about the trend of advertising (romance?) novels simply by their tropes got me thinking about how I choose what I want to read, what gets me interested, and how different it is for books vs fanfic. And so, here I am writing this post, which honestly is of interest to exactly one person (me!).

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Another one of those ‘what I’ve been up to’ posts

Every time I try to start blogging again, I do this…

Anyway, the last three posts are fairly representative, if not in that order. I did get into Downton Abbey (or rather, into Thommy: Thomas/Jimmy) for awhile, although mainly back during the original seasons.

Then I moved abroad to do a master’s degree, came back, started working freelance, and wasn’t as actively in fandom for awhile.

And then the Good Omens tv show happened, and I watched it more times than I can remember, reread the book, and spent a good year and a half reading mostly Aziraphale/Crowley fanfic (and by this I mean, yes, to the exclusion of published books).

Sometime around that same time, I also (re)joined WoT fandom, mainly on Twitter, in expectation of the tv show. It was a very fun couple of years, but then the show came out, I watched the first two eps, didn’t feel like watching more, and sort of fell out of WoT fandom (given that conversation revolved around the show at the time).

Along the way, a Tokyo Babylon anime was announced, I joined a discord for TB, and shall we say rediscovered my CLAMP roots. I even started writing Touya/Yukito fanfic again.

But then, in December 2020 I read Mo Dao Zu Shi (MDZS), and since then, well, it’s taken over my fandom life. I’ve branched out into other danmei, but MDZS is still what’s fueling my imagination.

To be more exact… Jiang Cheng/Nie Huaisang is.

Nielan tailorshop AU

This is giving me ideas.

#nielan ideas about Huaisang sending his brother to a tailor he knows to get a nice suit for Huaisang and Jiang Cheng’s wedding

So Nie Mingjue is a very down to earth, practical guy, buys his clothes off the rack like a regular person. And Huaisang decides, nope, that’s not gonna cut it, for HIS wedding, Dage needs a really nice, expensive suit that will fit him like a glove.

Gives him an address. Mingjue honestly thinks this is kind of ridiculous, but it’s what his baby brother wants, so of course he’ll indulge Huaisang. So he goes.

He steps into this very chic little atelier and this beautiful, super elegant man in a fitted waistcoat greets him with a smile and “You must be Huaisang’s brother, he told me to expect you”

So, in order to make him a bespoke suit, Xichen has to get his measurements! Which is kind of embarrasing for Mingjue, because he’s REALLY attracted to this guy.

And Xichen measures his shoulders and his waist, and then he has to measure his inseam. And, well, Mingjue reacts 🍆

And you really can’t hide that when the reason for your boner is a hot guy is measuring right THERE.

But Xichen is of course a pro and smiles reassuringly and says this happens all time, and would Mingjue like to use his bathroom to freshen up. Asks this like he hasn’t noticed the huge boner.

So Mingjue does, and he’s embarrased, but Xichen puts him at ease, and finishes up. And they pick fabrics and style and tells him to come back on a certain date for his first fitting.

So over the course of making this suit, they spend time together, and they’re both super attracted to each other, and possible there is sex right there in Xichen’s little atelier.

And when the wedding is closer, Huaisang, being a little shit, asks Dage if he’s bringing anyone. And Mingjue says, actually, yes, he’s bringing a date.

That date, of course, is Xichen.

And maybe, just maybe, that is exactly what Huaisang intended all along 💚