Trends in Fan Fiction
As a fangirl I often find myself browsing various fandom related sites and imagine that - there are some trends in fan fiction or fan art you wouldn't believe. Well, probably would, but I still remember how surprised I was when I started playing computer games and wanted to involve myself in the community centered around those games.
And yes, my so far only game related inner fangirl started to look for fandoms around her favorite movies and series. There are so many fan fictions written that I can't keep up and read them all, so I narrowed my search to certain characters.
Which leaves us a question - what are the trends in fan fiction?
Trend No. 1
Slash Pairings Rule!
Simple as that. If there are two, preferably handsome male characters in the fandom, you can count on those two (or three, or four, ...) characters made into main romance pairing. Prefferably if those two handsome male characters always showed as heterosexual - because hey, it's fan fiction, you can write everything you want.
Sadly, the less believable the better applies quite often, too. As I wrote in one of my previous Hubs, Heterosexual fan fiction, where are thou?, there sure are lots of rather believable pairings written or being written - but still, there are still tons of stories with little to not at all thought-through plot. But you can bet there will be not very realistically written sex scene, which is supposed to raise rating of the story, since the higher the rating, the bigger probability people will actually read it and adore it all the way to Antares.
M or MA rated slash stories, that is the question.
General FanFiction Sites You May Like
Probably the biggest fan fiction site ever. Offers quite a lot of feedback in the more popular categories. Just be careful about too detailed violence or sexual scenes, FF.net is not very happy about those, although recently they changed it a bit.
- Archive of Our Own
Good site where to archive your works. Offers better customization of your works than FF.net with tag system - but sadly, it's not all that popular, so the feedback may be sparse.
Community about art in all its forms - be it photography, digital art or written word. Lots of groups which may be of interest - be it your artistic focus or fandom orientation.
Trend No. 2
It's okay to make straight characters gay or bisexual, but don't you dare to make gay characters bisexual.
You may have two (usually male) characters, who never seemed to be interested in the same sex - but then see each other and throw everything behind themselves, just so they could have passionate first sexy time. It's perfectly normal, no, not normal, absolutely necessary to do this - but don't you dare to make (supposedly) homosexual characters into bisexuals.
Typical example to this is character of Steven Cortez from Mass Effect 3. He's probably the first game character ever who openly comes as gay - well, one of the first characters ever who will tell you their sexual orientation during the very first time you speak to them. Anyway, the thing is that once someone posted a prompt at Mass Effect LJ meme, asking for a story where Mr Cortez actually feels drawn to female Shepard and it ends in rather standard romance, there had been a hell breaking through, people screaming in outrage that someone dared to prompt that.
Personally I think that this is just a show of double standards, however, that is an opinion some people claim to be homophobic.
Trend No. 3
Let's make the past of our main character as dark and tragic as possible, while making them total badasses!
Typical show of this trend often James T. Kirk from Star Trek (2009) movie. Since the original Kirk was known to be survivor of genocide on Tarsus IV (as shown in episode Conscience of the King of Star Trek: The Original Series), and the new Kirk is known to have abusive stepfather... why not to take these two together and add some special evil things into that?
Meaning - let's abuse the hell out of little Jimmy. Jim is to be beaten, abused emotionally and often sexually, his mother is never there, his brother leaves him in clutches of evil stepfather while he runs from home... So he takes the Corvette, car supposedly owned previously by his father, drives it off the precipice and is shipped to Tarsus IV to calm down a bit - only to have the whole genocide business start shortly after his arrival to the colony. Without any problem he will survive for several months before the Federation ships arrive and put an end to the starvation, and teenage Jimmy is ready for tons of 'I'm just THAT awesome!' action.
And of course he survives through all of this without any help, without any problems he gets accepted into Command track at Starfleet Academy (after the infamous dare in Riverside bar) and bam! - is even more awesome as Captain of the Enterprise.
I'm probably weird that way, but I can't help but feel a bit sorry about this Jim Kirk. Sure, you can't help but feel sad at personal history like that - but the fact that people let Jim go through all of this without any help makes me even sadder. I know, Jim is still awesome, but having someone else to be awesome with would be certainly better.
Not to mention also much more realistic.
Trend No. 4
My main characters have no flaw on them!
Well, everyone I've ever known for writing worked this trend into their stories at least once. I know for sure I worked it into my stories more than once, and now I'm uilty of having to rewrite some parts of my works because of that. It's the curse of a name Mary Sue/Gary Stu.
How to recognize this curse in our character?
Our main character is:
- radiant in ways you wouldn't normally thought possible
- extremely smart
- everyone is drawn to them even though they couldn't stand to be even close to them before
- absolutely perfect in any way you can think of.
The thing is, when we create an original character, we tend to project ourselves into it. And who wouldn't like to be perfect like that?
Trend No. 5
Sex cures all!
Obviously, sex became some kind of cure-all-maladies when I wasn't looking.
Character A had bad day? Let's cure it by sex.
Character A got tortured during a mission? Let's cure it by sex - well, once they are healed.
Character A got bad news about a family member dying? Let's cure it by comfort sex.
Character A's partner died? Let's cure the sadness by comfort sex.
Character A got (gang)raped? Let's cure his wounds and then use the magic of healing sex!
I'm not saying that sex can't help some matters. But I have trouble to see it as an universal cure.