Since the stress kicked in, I've felt this urge to read fanfiction. I've punted aside my various published fiction to-read lists, and aside from one exception, it's been fanfic all the way.
I'm not sure how many fics I've read, but it's been a lot. I'd estimate the word count to be over 700k--so far. I'm actually finishing up a fantastic 100k original m/m romance and angst fest story today. For my own amusement and to share any fics you yourself might want to try, here is the list of what I've read in this binge so far. Reconstructed from memory in three sections: fics already on or to be added to my recs page, fics I decided not to rec after reading, and fics I'm in the middle of and/or have yet to decide to rec or not:
( Surprisingly long list of varied fandoms and fic styles. I'll read almost anything. )
I think I know WHY I had this urge to binge on fanfic in a way I haven't in a couple of years. It's because fanfic, unlike prose, can give me exactly what I want, and it's relatively easy to track down.
Take all those Brienne/Jamie fics up there. That ship will NEVER happen in the show, and I'd be amazed if it does in the books. Hence, fanfic can give me what I want: a reverse beauty and the beast story, which almost never happens in professional media. (If you know of any, please LMK. M/M or F/F works, too!)
Now take a look at that Sherlock fic. That story emotionally wrung me out like a limp washrag and left me to dry. GUH. Can a pro author write something like that and have it published? Maybe. I've never found one like it. (If you know of any--any style ship--please LMK.)
And then, of course you have the most basic appeal of fanfiction: seeing my favorite characters doing things and being put in situations that could never happen in their actual canons. Yes, Sherlock canon certainly had fun with the gay misconceptions, and yes dark things happened in SoIaF/GoT--and gay and asexual people exist, though they aren't allowed to be too badass--and the great big yes: I couldn't love the characters and want to read fic about them if their canons didn't exist in the first place.
Maybe it's the short word count? Though the HP fic (~400k) disproves that.
In the end, I don't really know. I just wanted to read fic, like comfort food. So I did. C:
Feel free to share your own opinion on why you like to read fanfic, if you do. I'd love to hear your thoughts!