From Christy, in a fan mail thing!
In my fanwork, I sometimes…accidentally forget about the ship I’m supposed to be writing for? This used to be a huge problem when I’d get into ficfests, especially in the Alias fandom. I have way more fun playing in the universes with all the trappings than I do coming up with reasons for people who hate each other to make out. So, anyway, bromance (or friendship, whatever) is probably one of the biggest unavoidable things.
Also: forgiveness and unexpected loyalty. Delicious.
In my original work, my favorite thing to do ever (and I do it a lot, or at least try to) is to try to set up a series of expectations and then break them to smithereens without it being over the top. I wasn’t so great at that last part when I was first starting my creative writing courses in college - it all came out a bit like a bad M. Night Shyamalan storyboard. I like to think I’m a little more subtle now.
I guess they call that magical realism, but it feels like something more to me. This perfectly normal thing that turns out to not be perfectly normal at all, or this absolutely insane thing that is presented as if it should be perfectly normal.
Also I like to write “I made my own family” subplots, regardless of their location.