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Finding An Audience And Peer Group
Member Name: Chloboshoka
Date: 31/05/12, updated on 01/06/12 (39 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to navitage
Disadvantages: Outdated Layout
Fanfiction.net was one of the first sites I've ever joined. It still remains one of the most popular sites that writers use to gain an audience. It's been used by millions and has left a huge mark on the writing community. There's been many changes to the site since I joined in 2006, but the overall experience has remained unchanged; still easy to navigate, still maintains a simplistic layout, still has a lot to offer to readers and writers.
Fan Fiction are strange stories using concepts, characters, or universes from popular culture, fiction and fantasy and putting your own twist to it. They don't accept original stories or non fiction, although they have a sister site, Fiction Press where you can post original stories. An example of fan fiction would include someone other than J.K Rowling writing a story about Harry Potter and his friends going to the pub.
Originally the website was open to anyone who claimed to be under 18, but conveniently put the age limit down to 13, the NC-17 rating was removed and all stories of such rating demolished, although some of these fics were just changed into the M rating. Songfics (stories that copy and paste lyrics from a song to add atmosphere to their story) and stories with celebrities and real people in have been banned from the site to save trouble with copyright infringement acts. A lot of this all happened before I joined though, but I was around when they experimented with servers and added a lot of features to the site, such as avatars, an improved crossover section and a more efficient search engine.
Although the policies seem quite strict, I've never heard of anybody getting banned unless it was for plagiarism or posting a fan fiction where the original writers or creators did not give permission to write fan fiction. Anne Rice is one of the most famous examples of this, although many people argue that she's being a hypocrite because they think she's writing religious fan fiction. I enjoyed her book Interview With A Vampire, but I wouldn't write fan fiction for it.
I do wish I joined the site before they had all these bans. I read a USA TODAY article from 2001 where they mentioned a story about Charlotte Church being a superhero. That would have been some read. On the other hand, there's an exceptional amount of content on the website, both good and bad. I find it quite hard to recommend which stories of the site I think is the best, I think it all depends on what things you're in to.
I have been both a reader and a writer for this site. There is no money involved, which is understandable. But the years of fun I've had on the site have been priceless: I wouldn't dare put a price tag on it. New users have to wait three days to post anything. This is automatic and it tries to make the staffs' job easy by preventing users signing up to spam up the place.
As mentioned their is a variety of content and the quality of the stories can be unpredictable. On the plus side, it gives authors the chance to receive feedback and stats for their work. Only the writer of the story can view stats, but all reviews are public unless it's sent via the site's private messaging system.
What's kept me so interested in Fanfiction.net and it's jargon is being able to see the characters I like in different point of view. I've been able to write some of the most experimental material that I've ever done and in time I have seen great improvement from my writing and feel more confident in my ideas. Fanfiction.net is also a circle to small forums and community which in time can lead you into an online peer group that you'll soar in. I think that's applied to me. I started writing for the site, and then gone on to posting stories on other forums and then eventually writing reviews for this website.
In all the years I've been a member of the site, there's been many trends on the website. One trend that has been constant is homosexual fiction. If you write about a trending pair in a romantic situation, there's a high chance that you'll be very popular. Most of the writers are very young, although I do suspect that there's some authors on the site that are best-selling author's in disguise.
If I could change on thing about the site, I would give the site a better layout. It's not 1998 anymore! To conclude my review, I think that this website is legendary and keeps the creative juices flowing in so many other people. One feature that I would absolutely love in the future is a download feature where we can send the fan fiction over to our kindle. Although there are ways of putting fan fiction onto your kindle, I think it quite a tiring process. I've never had any severe problems. There are the odd monkeys here and there, but you kinda get that wherever you go.
Summary: A site I still see myself using in the future.