Why FanFiction is Detested


Peyton Montgomery, Reporter

FanFiction is a highly debated topic when it comes to the worlds of literature and fandom; with just as many people commending as condemning it. And as polarizing as things might appear, FanFiction influences creative writing and functions as a sandbox for people to explore ideas or scenarios and overall get creative. 

So, if the medium is made for simple fun, why is it looked down upon? 

Well, here are the main reasons :

1. Quality 

With FanFiction being primarily written by novices who are just beginning to delve into creative writing, this causes most works to lack proper grammar, formatting knowledge, and overall lack of professionalism. The reason this is such a major point of contention is because most automatically compare FanFiction to published works and tend to highly scrutinized creators for the drop in credible makeup, completely disregarding the reason people write is for their own personal enjoyment. 

2. Misconceptions

There is the idea that writing FanFiction is lazy and uncreative because it uses an existing properties. Some accuse writers of directly copying the source material. But in actuality, writing in a pre-established world is incredibly difficult because one has to take existing characters and settings and use them properly. Writers are working under incredibly restrictive guidelines are are still able to create something new and inventive. For an example, after the disappointment of Supernatural’s 7th season, dozens of writers got together and completely redid the entire season in a new light. Tell me that’s lazy, I dare you.

3. Sexism

The majority of fanfic readers and writers are women. This immediately invalidates much of the hard work that goes into creating FanFiction because society views girls – and by extension their interests as well – as lesser. Becauses hobbies synonymous with a female audience are seen as frivilous and stupid, this has played a role into FanFiction being viewed poorly.

4. Content

The majority of works features relationships between gay men, although lesbian relationships can be found as well but it’s much less prominent. The reason for this is because people read texts differently. Something one person might read as platonic, another might read as romantic. It ultimately comes down to the author’s personal experience and preference – meaning people have different ideals of what a relationship is, to which some characters fit and others don’t. Unfortunately, as previously stated, with women being primarily being the authors and not having the same life experience as men things can quickly become… strange. Although, with most work being appropriately tagged for their content people are able to avoid subject material that they are uncomfortable with. 

5. Hypocrisy 

FanFiction has some really dumb and repetitive tropes, there is no denying this. However, the tropes are often ignored when placed on canon characters. For example a Mary Sue, which is a trope of a character being depicted as unrealistic or lacking in flaws or weakness to an unprecedented degree, could be Batman for being one of the most intelligent people on the planet, an expert martial artist, and handsome enough to make every female that enters onto the page be immediately attracted to him. He is characterized to be perfect in every aspect but never criticised to such extremes but he is never labeled as a Mary Sue because he’s a power fantasy that people enjoy. Basically, let fanfic writers explore. Encourage them, even. Don’t denounce them because we’ve all read mainstream characters who are obvious self inserts and enjoyed them.