Both reading and writing have been an essential form of escapism for countless people since before Biblical times. The presence of libraries, book stores, websites such as this and of course, avid writers who write regardless of circumstance attests to that fact.
Stop reading now if lists bore you. These are here because..well, why not? This is my space to babble =D
I have no authority to make a list like this, since I haven't posted anything for a long time, but oh well! This is a website not a lecture hall - please feel free to make corrections or stop reading =)
Criteria for favouriting.
Obviously, I have a significant amount of favourited stories. Does that detract from their perceived quality? I hope not.
1) They must be readable.
It hurts when a writer has a fantastic premise, but they cannot maintain a flow of action/dialogue that gives their story justice. An idea is the backbone of a story, but if the characters have not been fleshed out and have not been given a contextual world to inhabit, the story is no longer a story.
Most of the stories on here are character-driven. Fanfiction-genre authors must understand the characters they are borrowing - whether they are staying true to the original, or are writing their own delightful interpretations/twistings. No point attempting to make a readership care about your character and therefore your story if there is no character to speak of. Consistency, or inconsistency with reason.
Grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling aren't characters, but they are the vehicle that your story presents itself in. Dialogue: If you're unsure about the flow of dialogue, it really does help to read it aloud to yourself, or have your beta-reader do so. You or they will probably spot the parts that sound a little clunky
Slip-ups are to be expected but they can jar a reader's immersion in your world. Constant slip-ups are not to be expected and they will jar a reader from said immersion.
2) They must be fun!
I am not a literary genius. I am simply here to waste time. If you're still reading this ramble, so are you =P I want to waste my time, and enjoy wasting my time!
If you are following a character's journey through a story we presumably already know i.e. through canon, then something must be new. Point of view, setting, problem...If it's a new character, then that new character must affect how the plot unfolds. Otherwise they might as well not be there.
If you're writing something that hasn't been done before...well, you're all set. Just keep it real - stay with the context that you have established yourself.
If your story has been done before, I believe that what differentiates such stories from one another are the amount of laughter, or tears, or thinking that they are able to elicit from the reader. A combination, is of course even more powerful.
3) I want to re-read them again.
This would probably be the reason why favourites are removed after a year or so - Either my tastes change, or I had added them in lieu of a review. I now realise that favouriting instead of reviewing is lazy; I am sorry!
Having offered my opinions, I hope that when I begin writing again, I will be able to follow my own advice.
To all of you who write purely for the satisfaction of creation and appreciation, thank you so, so much for the effort you put into your stories. I have spent hours and hours on websites like this and I hope that if ever I am responsible for children, they will also know the joy of loving a character so much that you stay with them beyond their creator's confines.