In the majority of cases, I hadn't seen the shows, so I wasn't aware of how much Ho Yay there was originally. I'm assured there was a lot for some of the characters and shows. In the stories I got recs for, the characterization seemed pretty consistent from story to story. I feel like maybe I'm starting to get a sense of what the characters are like. Perhaps I'll look and see if I can get videotapes of some of the shows, or watch bits on YouTube.
I should get some editing to work on tomorrow or Monday. I've been doing a lot of het pairings. You could say that at least with that I have an idea of what some of the things might feel like, unlike with the m/m romances. I just go with things I've read or heard real-life stories about with the m/m pairings, but then, so do many authors. With the better m/m romances, you have the feeling that there are commonalities with actual experiences.
Since I've read a few Harlequins lately, I've noticed again that they also have the thing with a male character's nose having been broken to say that he must have been in fights and was tough. It could as easily show that he lost a fight, in my opinion. My brother got his nose broken when he said something offensive and was hit. I don't think he hit back at all. I had my nose done to fix a deviated septum, so my nose was broken. Technically. It was broken and reset within a space of a couple of hours, and I was blissfully unconscious for the whole thing. The recovery was no fun, so I had the effects of that. I haven't had sinus infections as often since then. However, it's not like I was in a fight or that a broken nose proves anything.
The slash fiction allows for much more variety than a romance does. I'm not a fan of sad endings, even if the show or books had sad endings. With several book series, I've been upset about all the characters being killed off, as in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series. Many of them were nice characters. Some of the slash fiction was written while a show or book series was in progress, and characters were still alive, or less damaged.
I still wonder if it counts as slash fiction if the characters are gay in canon, as happens a little more often now. I've heard the arguments that it isn't technically slash fiction if the characters weren't heterosexual or ambiguous in canon. Fan fiction, yes, but not slash. I like little distinctions like that. There are arguments about other subjects or definitions that I think are ridiculous, but I enjoy that one.
M. mentioned something a while ago about certain circles of slash fiction writers thinking it ruined the purity of the m/m romance if the characters had intercourse. I laughed. I'll have to ask where the arguments are, or who won. I would guess that the pro-intercourse people won, judging from what I've read. I usually pick the stories labeled "lemon," though, so it must be skewed for me. There's a lot of entering the "back-door place" as Lisabea puts it, in the stories I read. Admittedly it's often glamorized as much as you can glamorize that, which also makes me laugh. Terms like "his rosebud" amuse me.
Well, it is fascinating to see what carries over between Harlequins and some fan fiction. No doubt some writers have read their share of Harlequins. Then there are the writers who come from writing other genre fiction to writing m/m romances, and that's interesting, too. MLR has some of those. Sometimes I really enjoy the light and fluffy, and sometimes I can take something darker. I'm not a fan of angst purely to get the reader going emotionally. I can deal with characters having had bad situations in the past, and sometimes with them having moderately bad situations in their present. I do like that good future. I'm a traditional sort of fan of the romance genre that way.