Hail, fair traveler! Greetings and well met! Glad indeed am I to meet a fellow wanderer on this varied and tortuous byway in the Valley of Fanfiction.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Sophia the Scribe, also sometimes known as ArcherCentauress. I love reading, falling headlong into stories such that I cannot help but imagine new tales—and, hopefully, tell them as well. Poetry is one of my favorite methods: thus much of my work here consists of that. Where prose is concerned, while I often have situation and plot ideas, I rarely have the time or will to wrangle them into real chapter stories. Therefore my prose works are generally one-shots or collections thereof. Perhaps one day this will change, but, alas! the call of Real Life too often disturbs the scribe's valiant attempts at epics of novel length.
If you, gentle reader, have only skimmed the first paragraph and will probably do so for the rest of my profile, there is yet one thing you should know about me. I am a Christian, an LC-MS Lutheran to be exact. (Incidentally, it was at a Higher Things youth conference that I first had contact with fanfiction: introduced, as it were, by one of the friends I made there.) As a Christian, my worldview influences everything. I do not, therefore, read, write, or review slash, incest, promiscuity, or other stories that condone actions forbidden by God. I even steer away from them in parodies and crackfic. Thus my policy.
If you are still here, I imagine you wish to know somewhat more about me. I am honored! Here are some basics:
Occupation: college student (double major: Mechanical Engineering & BA Music on violin)
Location: Western United States
What takes up most of my time: School! And violin, but that counts as School.
Hobbies: Reading (as I said), drawing (though I'm not very good), writing prose and poetry (obviously), archery (per my alter ego), hunting (rifle more than bow or shotgun), fishing (trying to learn fly), skiing (Rockies!), backpacking (all hiking, actually), making stuff (sewing, building stick creations, you name it), dressing up (almost falls in the "making stuff" category), and playing sports (particularly tennis, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee)
Favorite places: The mountains, especially off trail and far from any evidence of civilization; libraries and bookstores of any and all variety; the lonely windblown sagebrush hills of Wyoming; beautiful old churches, filled with stone and wood and stained glass; streams and rivers, lakes and oceans, and even the smallest trickle of water; beside the flames of the campfire, in the woods under the stars.
Fandom haunts: I wander many places in this vale, but those to which I have the greatest loyalty are the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion. My other favorite groves to wander are Jane Austen, Avengers (movie), Star Wars, Batman (comics), Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes (ACD and BBC), Star Trek (TOS), and Lord Peter Wimsey. And if you meet me elsewhere, do not be overly surprised! I may be drawn to most any location in the FanFiction Valley, if it be on my mind.
Favorite characters: Peter Pevensie, Cor/Aravis, and Roonwit from CoN; Aragorn (especially as Thorongil) and the Northern Rangers from LotR; Finrod Felagund, Maglor, and Eärendil the Mariner from the Silm. Captain America and Doctor Strange from the Avengers, Elinor Dashwood and Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's novels, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Galaxy Far Far Away, Bruce Wayne and Timothy Drake from the Batman pre-boot universe, Ron Weasley and Remus/Tonks from the Wizarding World, Sherlock Holmes from Doyle or BBC, Mister Spock from Star Trek, and Chief Inspector Parker from Dorothy Sayers' mysteries.
Finally, every profile-writer, in my opinion, ought to be allowed the chance to rant a bit about what she cannot stand in fanfiction. Here is mine:
OOC-ness: occasionally tolerable in parodies or crackfic (some of these are quite funny, actually) but not in serious stories! Especially when done to my favorite characters. Incidentally, this is why I do not like the Prince Caspian movie: Peter is, in my opinion, very out of character.
Canon mutilation: Gentle canon adjustments to make something fit, a few movie elements in a book fic: these are fine. Total disregard of the storyline for the sake of a bad plot, however, is simply annoying. And even if the plot is good, it typically makes me think less of the fic. (AU is different. These can be some of the best stories I've read on this site.)
Excess profanity, crude jokes, references to extramarital sex: None of these necessarily keep me from reading a story (as do slash, incest, and smut), but all drastically lesson my enjoyment and opinion of it. For the first, all I have to say is: Why? What purpose does it serve? Yes, there are some characters for whom it is perhaps necessary to avoid OOC-ness, but in general all it does is tell me you had trouble coming up with strong, meaningful words aside from curses. Ditto for the second: please don't do it. It leaves a bad taste in the reader's mouth. Finally, for the third, it really disappoints me when a character I admire is referenced as being intimate with someone before or outside of marriage, especially if there's no such hint in canon; it saddens me that this is seen as acceptable or even expected within today's culture, and I despise how this erroneous practice is imposed onto originally admirable characters.
Non-canon romance: Many people object to Mary Sues, and I certainly do too. But seriously, I like hardly any non-canon romance, due to its typical spawning of canon mutilation. Note, however, that "hardly" doesn't mean "never;" exceptions do exist! (And I do enjoy some canon romance, though by no means all of the variations available.)
Note from the Valley Next-door: My sister, the estimable Miss Natasha Rostova, and I were discussing the phenomenon of the Mary Sue and her place in the world of fanfiction, and we have come to the conclusion that the definition of this parasite, removed from considerations concerning hair color and squabbles surrounding back stories, pares down to this: The Mary Sue is an Original Female Character who, by her introduction into a story, forces the actions or personalities of one or more characters Out Of Character. What do you think?
A Comment About My Favorites: In general, an author appears on my "Favorite Authors" list if I really like a majority of what he or she has written--at least as pertains to my fandoms. I apologize if my "Favorite Authors" list is rather too long, but I have not decided on what might be a reasonable number. My "Favorite Stories," however, has a self-imposed limit of One Hundred. This means it is possible to see a story—yours or another's—on it at one time but not later, since when I add a new story I necessarily have to choose one to take away. Sorry if I remove yours! It's not personal; I simply want to avoid the annoyance I have felt when an author has an excessively long "Favorite Stories" list. (As an aside, my list, though free, obviously, of what I acknowledge to be unacceptable, is not always clear in regards to some of my milder grievances. Foul language in particular is prevalent in some of my otherwise-favorite stories. If this will bother you, please use caution.)
A Comment About My Follows: If you get a notification that I've followed one of your stories, it means one of three things: (1) I like what you've written so far and want to read more as you post it. This would be considered a "normal follow" and is typically sent in conjunction with a review of the latest chapter. (2) I like the idea of the story, completed or not, as given in the summary or first chapter, and want to be able to find it again later, to read more when I have time. This would be considered a "to-read-later follow" and occasionally comes with a review of the first chapter. (3) The story is complete, either recently or ages ago, but I like it a lot and want to be able to locate it for rereading, should I be so inclined. This is generally accompanied by a review of the finished product and means basically the same thing as a "favorite" would from any other author. If I follow a story and you're confused about the lack of a review or anything else, please feel free to contact me via PM!
Note: If you have any story you would like me to read and review, I'm always ready to take suggestions! (As long as it's from a fandom I know, that is, and free from what I consider to be unacceptable.) Please don't hesitate to PM me if something you wrote is languishing without readers! (But do excuse me if I don't reply: sometimes I'm so incredibly busy that I cannot keep up. But I will try!)
About my profile picture: The background is an intentionally-aged map of Narnia, the books the most beautiful old ones I could find in the house, and the wooden box, (fake) ink pot, and candle holder all gifts from various relatives. I made the feather quill, which writes fairly well, though I opted to use a fountain pen for the calligraphy (a copied Tolkien poem) in order to avoid ink blots and other inconveniences of the unskilled using dip pens. I hope you like the image; it was fun to set up!
Well, I seem to have reached the end of my small footpath in this broad valley. Thank you very much for coming this way with me! I hope you are glad to know me, if only a little, whether I reviewed you first or you have read one of my works. I hope to learn much in my journeying here, and wish you safe travel on the road.
Namárië! Grace of the Valar be with you!
Farewell! May the Lion ever hold you between his paws!
"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen." (Jude 24-25)