Obviously, it should have good writing (well duh). A misspelling here or there is fine, but my eyes practically roll out of their sockets when almost every word is misspelled. Basic writing techniques are MUST if you want to be a good writer. It’s just so much easier to read and automatically makes me respect the author.
On another note: good writing means so much more than grammar and punctuation. It means painting the scene for the reader. I want to be able to imagine the scene happening in front of me.
Which brings us to action! Good stories have organized and interesting action. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have simply glazed over when reading a messy action scene. A great example of organized action is the story Snow Nine.
Snow Nine - Chalk full of action. A MvM story that had me holding my breath at times. How can you go wrong with Ms. Pauling being a total bada**? (You can’t). If you want an action story that stays true to tf2’s spirit, then I highly recommend it.
A reminder: Not every story needs a romance! (I’m looking at you, Mary Sue!) In fact, the stories that I recommend have little to no romance. I prefer stories that focus on the action. I have yet to find a good TF2 story I like revolving around love. The reasoning for that is a whole ‘nother rant.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) I’ll just leave it at a saying my good friend screamed while reading a spyXsniper story:
“PUT YOUR PEEPEE AWAY! YOU’RE IN BATTLE!!”
When it comes to good fanfiction, I adore well developed characters! It’s exciting seeing the mercenaries exist in their own world! It’s what makes the story! A major factor in “badfics” is the fact that there’s no depth to the character. Other than the set qualities we know they have, we see nothing else. It’s kind of like their not even people, just those goofy qualities seen in the game. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to that; it just feels over done after a certain amount of time. Two of my favorite fanfics do a really good job with this aspect.
You Need to Get A Head - A fantastic look at the character of Medic as well as the mercs relationships with each other. I absolutely loved the ideas it presents with Mann Co.’s dark, unseen system. There’s also it’s two sequels - Send In The Clones and Saving Private Soldierbot.
Eight Mercenaries and A Toddler - It’s funny, cute, and gut wrenchingly sad. I’ll admit, I thought the idea was a bit cliche and cheesy at first. However, the author executed it very well. You get background on Scout and Spy, as well as cute babysitting moments.