So back in the day I used to read a good deal of fanfiction. I even penned the occasional story, though I haven’t written anything fandom related in about seven years. I don’t read it anymore either. But I know a lot of people still do, so as something of a throw-back, I decided to do a blog post on it as a bit of a lark.
Let’s face it, the majority of the fanfiction out there is absolute crap. But you know what, that’s okay, because at least it means that people are passionate enough about something to write about it. I’m all in favor of writing, whatever the topic might be. I would not be the writer I am today had I not started with fanfiction, as it helped me develop not only my writing skills, but also helped me find my writing voice. It also gave me a chance to play with certain themes in a short story format and was good practice for grasping characterization, given that these were already established characters in a pre-existing world. So while fanfiction may have a bad reputation, for those that take the writing seriously, I see it as nothing but a positive thing.
That having been said, however, my time spent wading through the swaths of horrendous fanfics just to find the rare diamond in the rough has allowed me to accumulate a stock-pile of ire-inducing pet peeves that I have routinely stumbled across in my reading. To be fair, there are certain givens that should not come as a surprise when reading fanfiction, especially since a large number of fanfic writers are school-aged youngsters, so things like bad grammar, occasional misspellings and naive, cliche and often-times flat, non-descriptive prose are to be expected. As such, I will not be taking potshots at those qualities since I believe that practice makes perfect, and it’s a bit unfair to rag on someone for at least making an effort to write; I don’t want to discourage anyone from making the attempt so long as they have every intention of improving as they continue.
Everything else, however, is fair game, so let ‘er rip: