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'Bad' Fanfiction

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 23, 2013, 10:00 AM

I know a lot of us joke either publicly or amongst ourselves about 'bad fanfiction'. I freely admit I have complained about this very thing to my close friends, but I always feel guilty afterwards. You know why? 'Cause I think that's a pretty asshole'ish thing to laugh about.

I'd like to present to you the idea that, yes, there is fanfiction that is created by people with little writing experience. But hey, guess what? Each story that individual writes is more experience for them, and that is NOT something we should discourage!!

Lately I've seen a post going around on tumblr shaming 'bad' fanfiction, stating that their own dignity has been lowered because they resign themselves to reading badly written fanfiction just to get their fix of their (usually rare'ish) pairings. 

I say, fuck that mentality. Let's replace that negativity with something positive!

Instead of complaining and moving on, why don't we contact that writer, leave them positive feedback and encourage them (ESPECIALLY if they're writing a rare pairing we love)? We don't have to be brutal about the quality; be enthusiastic and happy about finding the pairing or theme you enjoy! Explain how you love these characters/themes/pairings, and you're so happy to find someone else who does as well. If you can build up a good rapport with the author, you might even get the chance to bounce ideas back and forth, help them improve their writing, and help encourage even more of those characters/pairings to be created!

Sure, some authors may never respond. Maybe some wrote the fic only as a joke. Maybe some feelers you send out will be dead ends.

But isn't it worth a few initial moments of your time if even just one person responds? If even just one person is encouraged by kindness and kinship? If you make just one friend?

Be supportive of each other. Of other authors, artists, and fandoms. We all do this for fun, we spend our own free time to create and share, and that should never be ridiculed! :heart:

Add a Comment:
LittleAves Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I fully, completly with no doubt agree with you. I started out writing pretty bad, but have grown by reading and writing and with more or less a few encouraging comments.

I have seen so many comments on both DA and from people saying that they don't like how bad someones writing is and how they should learn before coming back. I've even seen people who say that they won't read people's stories just because of bad writing, even if the people apologize for being a first time writer. It's terrible, and even though I can't say I've been good and not complained or talked about bad writing, your post has really made me stop to think about it all and know that even talking about it is rude. These people work hard writing their fanfic and we should appriciate that, not turn them down because of their skills on the subject. 

Thank you for writing this, I've been waiting for someone to stand up and say what others need to hear. Keep up the great encouragement! 
FrillyReptile Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I so agree with this. The person might not have the right grammar or english skills but it all comes with experience. We should not scare young writers who could have become one of the best fan fiction writers later on. 
EnsoDancer Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013
Faylinn-Night Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
PebbleDart Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013
Wildwolfy101 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Finally, it's about time someone said somthing.I've noticed this as well, but i haven't had the time to think about it till now. I'm vary glad that you said somthing about it. If I find a fanfiction about somthing I like, I don't even complain. We should be happy wIth the story, not ccriticizeing every aspect if it.
Again, thank you for writing this!
WindSparrow Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
Here! Here! There is far to much negativity in the world already. To quote Thumper's Mom, "if you can't say anything nice then donot say anything at all." You my not like the piece but that's no reason to bad mouth it and hurt the one who wrote it or scare a new writer into not posting their own.
Kibbles518 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Student Filmographer
I totally agree with you!! 100%!!
Manda-of-the-6 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Student General Artist
This is true. I find fan fiction seems to get a worst rap than poorly done fan art for whatever reason. I wish there was a more positive mentality toward fan fiction because if you think about it, it's a written form of fan art. 

I would think as an artist that chewing someone out just because they have a predictable storyline, under developed characters, poor grammar or spelling skills, or an unusual pairing is petty. 

I agree that positive reinforcement should be used much more often than negative.

(By the way, is this comment on Tumblr? Because I'd reblog it in a heartbeat!)
Sleepingseeker Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
YES! Thank you, Succubii, I always try to lend a hand if I come across a story that has a solid idea behind it but maybe has some structural or grammar issues. Sometimes I offer suggestions for imagining the scene before writing it out. Or rather, how to expand on ideas by stretching out the sentences to give more detail, to open it up for the reader, to slow down and let us in the scene. I have kids and one of them writes ff and while I am much older and much more well-read, and experienced and also have many years of writing behind me to fuel my work. 

 I keep this fact in mind: there are kids on FF writing their hearts out. So, take it easy. And if it's something you're uncomfortable with don't read it.  You don't have to flame. There's room enough for all tastes here.
Xenophile10 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Student Writer
Agreed. It is better to give helpful advice and be supportive. Everyone's writing style is different. People need to understand that. Like you pointed out, you may say something to an author that might not go anywhere or be considered. However, you may give a piece of advice that may aid an author in a big way. It is better to leave a good impression than a bad one. Plus, a little kindness and support can go a long way for some people.
pinkpokadotprincess Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
You said it sister!!!!
Pisces19 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
I agree. That being said I've never really said anything to any author mainly because my writing is far from perfect and I don't want to chance someone lashing out at me. I've never really liked confrontation mainly because of some issues in the past, but recently I've gotten over that and have become more open and expressive of my opinions. I've definitely had the experience of reading something riddled with errors spelling wise and grammar wise, but I know that I have the same issues sometimes. I've been guilty of not proof-reading my work in the past mainly because when I write I tend to rambling. When that happens, I do go back and add the proper punctuation and rely on spell-check to handle the rest. Of course, spell check doesn't always solve your problems because you could be going for a different word entirely, but because you spelled it wrong it'll change it to the first word in the list which, if you were like me, you never really paid attention to because you thought that it was correct to begin with.

Anyway because I know I'm rambling, I'm definitely going to do this now, and I'm definitely going to be respectful because as a writer who can't get feedback on their own story, I know how comments and such can not only help someone to become better, but can also motivate someone to keep going when they feel that no-one is reading or paying attention.
remanth Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes I completely agree! I do this when I read fanfiction of pairings that I love and there are places for improvement. As an improving author myself, I love and treasure each positive comment I get. Even if they're pointing out something I did wrong because it allows me to fix that for future writing. Everyone has to start somewhere and shaming someone means all the wonderful things they'd write along in the future may never get written.
DonotcrossKilliRoss Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Student General Artist
At some point in our writing life's, we've ALL be part of the supposed "bad fanfic" category. But we learn with time and the occasional amazing story how to write better and process our thoughts to create better imagery, lovable characters, and exiting story's...I've been there before as well as most of you perhaps reading this comment now...don't lie....we've ALL BEEN THERE!
ClotiPheebs Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes this looove! A little boost of confidence in the right words can go a long way :D
CelineDGD Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
:love: You are such an inspirational person!
That is wonderful. :clap:
Sounddrive Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I couldn't have put it better myself.

I remember my first attempts at fan-fiction back in 2009. Over those years it took guidance from others, reading and paying attention to how people write their works, and my own self taught lessons in a few things.
SyoshoHiataki Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Truer words have never been spoken! :) (Although, there is ONE fic out on that pretty much everyone me)
mormonbookworm Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is how I started out, and no one helped me, I figured out how to improve myself from what I read of others.
(I still keep some hope of resurrecting my older stuff in decent work.) 
blackfiredruid Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
I know i am very skittish about the fics i put up and any helpful feedback would be wonderful even if it is just pointing out my flaws.. like i always say i can't fix a problem i don't know i have
diedott Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Student General Artist
Well said! I always cringe at the use of the term 'bad fanfiction', and with such an approach with this, I think I have a slightly better approach to it myself.
SadoraNortica Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree. I know my stuff was bad when I started out and I'm still learning.
Hummerhouse Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
Bravo! The only way for someone to improve is through practice. Write something, put it out there for people to read and hopefully provide feedback on, learn and grow. If you leave positive feedback and helpful hints, the people who are determined to get better will. You've lost nothing from making the effort.
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Submitted on
September 23, 2013


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