As a teenager I remember wanting badly to write my own stories. I think when it comes to high school almost every teenager has a moment when they say, "I want to write stories." And writing is something that a lot of people want to do. That a lot of people enjoy doing. Even out of high school I still tend to write a lot of fiction. But everyone needs a place to start. Why not begin on a place like fanfiction.net? You get to add and make stories about some of your favorite things. You can make stories for your favorite TV shows, books (how ironic), comic books, video games, movies and several other categories. The place itself is huge with a ton of stories.
But why write fanfiction? Well, I like to think of fanfiction as training wheels for when you want to branch out and create your own worlds, characters and stories. As you begin writing fanfiction there are already things at your disposal to use. Characters, a world, and part of a story. Sometimes a television show gets abruptly cancelled, or perhaps it ends on a perfect note but we'd like to see more of those characters and the situations they get in. Sometimes video games end, but they're open ended. Comic books are always evolving. Sometimes when our favorite movie franchise is done we'd like to come back and revisit these characters. For this you've got fanfiction.net.
I say it can be like training wheels because you have all these things you can use. You don't have to go through the work of developing characters entirely or creating a world. It's already been created for you. All you're really tasked with doing is coming up with a story to put them in. However, those on fanfiction are open to new things. You may like the characters but want to put them in a completely different world... one of your own creation. Perhaps you want to introduce original characters into the mythos. Most people on fanfiction.net are open to it as long as you keep the characters there at least. Despite having a world and characters you're not forced to use them. You still have an artistic license you can take hold of to your heart's content.
That's not to say you won't run into rude people. Whenever joining any online community, there's that possibility of running into all around rude people who won't let up for the simple fact that they're online and can hide behind a fake name. In rare cases, creating an alternate universe or pairing up characters in a romantic way with different characters can really make the blood of certain fans boil. I once wrote a story for those Star Fox games in which Fox and Katt were nearly romantically involved and it upset one fan because this wasn't the "official" story that Nintendo put out there. And you'll get nitpicky people like that all the time on Fanfiction. Those who are so devoted to their love of a specific book or game or whatever that they'll keep harassing. What is odd, however, is that often the particular person who gets upset will sometimes keep coming back just to keep poking at the author. Sometimes the review section of any particular fic turns into a message board.
Speaking of reviews, this is one of the problems Fanfiction.net can potentially have. Every fic is able to amass reviews. People can leave reviews anonymously or publically, though the author is allowed to block anonymous reviews if he/she so chooses. However, when receiving reviews none of them are really of any help. Those expecting actual "reviews" of their work will be out of luck. They ought to have just called this "comments". Most times you get the basic "Good job!" kind of stuff. Perhaps it's one in every five comments or so that actually gives somthing constructive. So you may get a lot of people who like your fic, but if you're looking to improve on your writing and get constructive criticism, you won't get much of it (if any) from fanfiction.net. Even if you managed to get 1000 reviews on your fic you may find that hardly any of them will say much about the story, writing style or anything like that.
Those who give you a "bad" review are far worse than those who give you a positive. Online I think most of us know that people can be overbearing, arrogant assholes. When hiding behind a name people are often insensitive because they don't have to live up to what they say. When you get a "bad" review on fanfiction (known commonly as a "flame") it can be bad. Again, usually it's not constructive criticism. If you've ever read product reviews on Amazon, you've probably expressed to yourself one or two times that "This sucks" is about as useful as a parasol in a hurricane. Well, on fanfiction when a bad review comes around it's usually nothing more than "This sucked." Or "This was crap." Or "Well, that was crap, you should go kill yourself now and never write again!" Seriously, it's stuff like that. You'll mostly get the "good job" stuff, but that only makes the negative comments hit harder. You happen to remember those. And it's mostly because a lot of people just don't seem to realize that "This sucked," is not really all that good of a comment in any sort of context. Luckily, these kind of comments are actually few and far between. Though with some authors it may be because they make it clear that "flames" won't be appreciated. Some authors go so far as to say, "Flamers will be reported" and whatnot... and yes, asking people not to flame in many cases actually works! Some do ignore this, but the point is, if you ask for respect you're more likely to get it on fanfiction.
But how's the writing itself on the website? Most of it is actually pretty good. There's something for everyone. You'll always be able to find a good story regardless of which section you choose to write under. Of course, as is the case, you'll always find people who have grammar mistakes and whatnot. But it's surprisingly rare to find an author that is so horrible their stories are unreadable. You may find stories that are written in a dialog fashion of sorts (mostly humor) but for the most part, a lot of writers prefer to use prose. What may bother some, however, is that a lot of stories can be a little too ridiculous to read.
Often times when it comes to fanfiction you're likely to find just all around stupid stories. You're always going to find people who write "lemons" (erotica, often pornographic) but seem to be doing a lot of it for shock value more than anything else. A lot of the "humor" stories can be extremely tedious, so many focusing on the type of humor that you probably enjoyed when you were around ten or so (fart jokes, "gay" jokes, poop jokes etc. that just aren't really that funny if you're an older reader). It should also come as no surprise that people are so willing to bask in shock and sometimes perverted things. Recently I was browsing stories under Twilight just to see what types of things people are writing about. Turns out, a lot of Twilight fans can be quite perverse. Stories where Edward is a male stripper or a gay prostitute... and the stories in which Bella gets raped can be it's own genre by now. Most of the stories aren't exactly good (they're mostly there for shock value), but it's to say that there are no limits to the imagination on fanfiction.
With stories like that which can be written it's nice to see that fanfiction.net has a rating system. Stories can range from being rated "K" (the equivalent to a "G" rating) to "M" for Mature. The ratings can be good in and of themselves.
One of the biggest problems with fanfiction, however, is just how the site is run. There are terms of service but it's mostly done on a "peer review" service. So if you write a "K" rated story and put lots of sex in it... it might stay posted until someone finds it and reports it as being inappropriate. No one screens the content that is posted on the site. Of course, that would be a little hard considering the millions of submissions and updates that occur everyday at the website. The review system in and of itself is still under constant criticism because there are still quite a few people who like to flame and use offensive language to authors. At least Fanfiction is trying new things. The site is constantly being updated. It's just that while there's a lot of freedom, they don't run the site well. It's mostly up to community to help run things.
Nevertheless, fanfiction.net is a fun place to go to write stories and present your work to other fellow fans of whatever it is you're writing for. Despite it's problems it's nice to be able to get the creative juices flowing.
Love it! Okay, so if you're expecting great literature hidden away in a remote corner of the internet, don't come looking at fanfiction.net. If, however, you want something light and fun to read for a bit, it's a wonderful little site.
Fanfiction.net is like looking for diamonds in a pile of crap. You may find something good, but all considered what all dwells there, is the search worth it? You're going to place your hands in many piles of dreck before encountering anything written in proper English, much less anything good. That being said, I have encountered one or two good stories there, but all in all Fanfiction.net is a good example of the sort of the sort writing I like to avoid.
I have been using this website for the past ten years. Though lately my use has tapered off significantly, as I rarely write fanfiction anymore, and what I do write tends to make its way onto Livejournal instead, this website has been absolutely invaluable for me for the past decade. It is a huge database of fanfiction--for those who don't know fanfiction is derivative fiction, essentially fiction using characters that the writer did not invent. Though there are some moral objections to the … more
Did you ever wonder what happened after your favorite TV show ended? Or what about the couple that you always wanted to see get together but they never did? The superheroes you thought should team up? The series cross-overs that might be fun to see? The list of possibilities is endles & chances are, you can find someone's version of it on Fanficion.net. Some of my favorite TV shows ended abruptly, leaving lots of loose ends. … more
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.