vieralynn asked: Your response to sakuratsukikage about OTPs mentioned a relationship theme (separation & reunion in a world under fire) and a dynamic (experienced woman/an inexperienced man). Is there something specific about personalities that make one pair an OTP and another not? For instance, Hawke/Fenris have a canonical separation & reunion as do other characters in your fandoms. Why aren't these others OTPs? What about the individual people in your OTPs make them OTP worthy?
Sakuratsukikage asked about romantic tropes, so that’s where I focused my answer. Of course there has to be more to it than that, because you’re right, there are other pairings/characters in fandoms I enjoy that hit all or most of those tropes, and yet none of them make the short list that I give OTP status. I don’t know that I can always define what it is about the chemistry of a pairing that gets me so attached to them on that level, but in the case you mention, Fenris/Hawke, I think the key is in that first word, “One”.
Part of my definition of an OTP is that I can’t really see the characters with anyone else unless there is some sort of reason they can’t be together (one of them is dead, the Warden is male, etc.). And I actually ship Hawke about equally with Anders and Fenris — the relationships are not at all alike, but they each hit some of the tropes I like but in different ways. It’s true that Fenris/Hawke hits my writer kinks much better, which explains why I’ve written so much more of it.
So I don’t know that I have any kind of overarching personality that I look for in a pairing, or if I can detail what it is about a canon pairing (and it does have to be canon, or at least so strongly supported by it that I can read the relationship as the creator’s intent) that pulls me in to shipping it to the exclusion of all other possibilities. If you asked me about other specific ‘ships, I might be able to say what it is about that particular ship, and maybe with enough of those I could discover what the principle behind it might be.