Fan fiction and related works: do people aside from their creators really enjoy it?

We’ve all seen lame fan fiction, fan art, bad homemade anime-style drawings, bad homemade furry-style drawings, and so on. I’m curious if anyone aside from their creators enjoys such works? Are the creators of the geekiest of geeky arts doing it strictly for themselves, or are there really a large number of people who sincerely, truly enjoy bad Twilight fan poetry, furry fan fiction and the like, and try to absorb as much of it as they can?

You’re asking specifically about bad fan-made material? I guess probably that’s mostly the creators who enjoy it, although I would imagine there’s a sizeable group that loves MSTing the hell out of the crappy stuff. Really, is it any different from people who like bad fiction and bad non-homemade anime-style drawings? Shlock is shlock no matter if it’s made by a professional or amateur.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of good fanfic out there, with thousands who love reading / viewing continuations or new interpretations of a beloved work. Not as plentiful as the junky fic, but you can say that about any medium.

I think a lot of it depends on the fandom. Hardcore Twilight fans, for example, are probably a lot less likely to be picky about bad fanwork than Tolkien fans. I’ve also noticed that a lot of anthro/furry fans tend to be bafflingly accepting of just plain bad art, and I’m not even talking about the sexualized stuff. And, of course, no matter which fandom you’re in, there’s always the “this is so awful that it’s entertaining” category.


What you’re working under is the common misapprehension that it’s all bad. An awful lot of it is, but that’s mostly because Sturgeon’s Law comes into play. And some fandoms attract more than its fair share due to demographics - to my shame, I spent most of Thursday reading A LOT of really terrible Jonas Brothers fanfic, after reading some of the good kind and deciding to see if I could find some more.

But the good stuff is as well written/drawn/performed/etc as the professional. In a lot of genre fandoms, it’s not unusual for it to be better than the source material. Heck, I can name half a dozen published, professional authors, some award winning, who write fanfiction on a regular basis - most of them just do it under another name and keep it quiet for obvious reasons.

And I’d say Sturgeon’s Law just makes that extra small percentage that much sweeter. The search makes the reward worthwhile.

Well, your thread title doesn’t actually match your question in the first post. Do people other than their creators enjoy fan fiction and related works? Yes, many people do. Do people other than their creators enjoy “lame fan fiction, fan art, bad homemade anime-style drawings, bad homemade furry-style drawings, and so on”? Not usually. Although you never know. I’ve seen some really terrible shit out there that’s gotten rave reviews.

Bad fanfic is often written without a real audience in mind at all. So, yes, I’d agree the creators do it for themselves.

Good Fanfic is awesome, however. And, fortunately, I don’t have to personally look through it and can rely on other people revealing it.

If it’s on deviantart or a similar website, it’s not going to get bad reviews.

In these days of global communication there’s usually some kind of “community” for every conceivable creepy fetish. Every time someone finishes his Super Mario slash Wario mustache fetish fiction or whatever there’s a community somewhere going “yeeeey finally!”

Hard core fans tend to like it, simply because it gives them opportunities to discuss the show more.

For instance, I used to love the old Australian soap opera Prisoner (called *Prisoner: Cell Block H *in the UK an USA) and the fan fiction is fun because it gives you opportunities to think about plot lines and to recorrect mistakes the writers made.

Especially with a soap opera or TV show 'cause a lot of times character development is simply due to an actors contact renewal or his/her committment or desire to work elsewhere.

I’m not much into fanart, so I wouldn’t know.

I can tell you that the review issue in fanfiction is somewhat controversial. There are some people who believe that you should ALWAYS comment on a fic; it’s just good manners. Personally, I only comment if I actually really enjoyed it. If I thought it was just so-so, I’m not going to a. either tell them that or b. lie and tell them I enjoyed it. I usually read fic on LiveJournal, where the fandom community has drifted toward a culture where it is generally not considered okay to criticize someone’s fic. This is why, I think, you see a lot of shitty fics on LiveJournal with undeservedly positive reviews.

On the other hand, on (which I generally avoid, as it is largely full of juvenile crap), people are bigger on offering concrit and posting negative reviews. I think that’s fine, because most of the fic there deserves concrit and negative reviews.

So, it depends on the site and the community.

I also want to note that not all fanfic is about fetishes or even porn. Far from it. There are plenty of writers out there that try to keep their stories canon compliant and include no romance. This is called genfic, and it’s actually my favorite sort.

Eh. I mean, it’s true enough that hardcore fans tend to like it, but it’s not necessarily directly related. I’ve joined entire fandoms because somebody recommended a good story and I got interested in reading more. I had never even heard of Panic at the Disco before I started reading it on a regular basis. And sometimes I still don’t like the source material even after I catch up - I plowed through both the first and last books, and it’s a great universe, but I kind of hate how JK Rowling writes. Conversely, I’m a fan of a large number of shows and books that I never touch fanworks of, such as Lost or The Chronicles of Narnia.

This is so funny to me because I love the books, but have no desire to get anywhere near the fandom. As far as I can tell, its reputation as the worst-behaved and craziest fandom on the internet is totally deserved.

It’s an entirely reasonable position. Twilight and Supernatural are both giving their all towards catching up, but they don’t have the sheer weight of history behind their batshit yet. :smiley:

I may or may not be in SPN fandom. shifty eyes

And, it should be noted that not all non-gen isn’t porn, either.

I occasionally write light-and-fluffy romance fic (femslash, primarily), with no sex. I’ve done some smut, but I prefer simple fluff, in general.

I also prefer to keep it as canon-compliant as possible while putting the characters in a non-canon pairing.

(And hoo-boy, the Potter fandom is the most thoroughly insane fandom I’ve ever been even peripherally connected to. ‘The Chamber of Secrets is Ginny’s womb!’)

I think it depends on a lot of stuff as others have mentioned.

I wrote a fanfic (really short, more of a fanficlet, really) that was kind of a parody of the series I’m into, that featured one of the (ghost)writers in it, and said ghostwriter actually told me he liked it, so I guess at least sometimes it can be cool.

Don’t worry, I won’t even mention the woman who’s been insisting for the last several years that she’s secretly married to Jensen.:smiley:

Oh, god, there was a point in grad school where I read more Weiss Kreuz fanfic (and we are NOT talking about a good show here) than anything else, academic or otherwise. I read a lot of good stuff and the first page of a lot of bad stuff. Sure, I enjoyed the good stuff. Makes me nostalgic now - I wonder if any of the good stuff is still around?

I enjoy well-written fanfiction and well-drawn fanart. As for the poorly-done kind, well, I’ll make fun of it, but I’d rather not criticize in front of the author/artists. Some people take their writing and art very very seriously, in the sense that this is their baby and woe to anyone who dares to criticize or mock it. In the sense that they actually took a writing class before tackling that multichapter Jack/Ianto fic or learned to draw properly before doing that nude drawing of Sasuke, not so much. This is why you have to be careful when commenting, because you never know how the author or artist is going to react.