When women get behind something, their sheer numbers and passion force it into the mainstream. That’s why you can name the actor who plays that werewolf kid in “Twilight” and probably sing at least the chorus to one Justin Bieber song. What do tween boys like? I have no clue. Sports? Probably sports.
(I wrote this as a response to emmagrant01’s post today, but it’s really less ‘response’ than something that jumps off that, so I’m reposting it on its own for anyone interested.)
Historically, we’ve thought of fandom as community/ies - virtual places where people share - enthusiasm, ideas, passion, interests, etc. Something they have in common, and it’s the commonality that binds them. In academic literature, it’s not uncommon to see fandom theorized as “imagined communities,” which is an idea borrowed from the political scientist Benedict Anderson (and, wow, his name just took on layers of added significance for me).
When it comes to first times, there are first for characters, and firsts for authors:
In which fandoms do most AO3 authors pop their fanfic cherry — and tag accordingly? And in which fandoms are there the most first times for fictional pairings?
Looking at the top 5 fandoms for each of these AO3 tags, we immediately see some of the usual suspects in both lists — Supernatural, Sherlock, and Teen Wolf. Let’s eliminate those three extremely popular fandoms, and focus on whatever remains
Which two fandoms are in the “First Time” top 5, but nowhere in the “My First Fanfic” top 10?
Which two fandoms are in the “My First Fanfic” top 5, but nowhere in the “First Time” top 10?
- canon: that which has happened within the source material.
- canon-compliant: that which cannot be disproven by the source material.
- fanon: that which has been generally accepted by the fandom as true (often sourced in popular fics); usually canon-compliant; easily confused with canon.
- canon-shafted: wherein a concept which was canon-compliant is disproven by new source material (also known as being Jossed).
- fanwank: an effort to make new source material fanon-compliant (and, in extreme cases, canon-compliant) and thus avoid canon-shafting.
WARNING: caring about these concepts will lead to sleeplessness, hair loss, and alcoholism
Do you guys ever think about how lucky we are?
We get to read novels that other people will never know existed. We get to know authors before they hit the mainstream.
We get feedback from like-minded people who are 90% of the time gushing over how much they love our work.
We get to watch ourselves grow as writers, laugh and cry with our favorite characters in ways most people will never get to experience, and discover new writers who become our friends.
Fan fiction RULES.
What excites in fantasy is both far more exaggerated than real life and not the same as in real life; that is, fantasy isn’t just a vicarious substitute for real experience; its meaning as experience becomes changed when it’s made into fantasy…. [I]t’s perfectly clear to me that K/S writers and readers don’t literally wish to become male any more than they literally want their dear ones to bleed and die in their arms or to die with their lovers. What they do want is sexual intensity, sexual enjoyment, the freedom to choose, a love that is entirely free of the culture’s whole discourse of gender and sex roles, and a situation in which it is safe to let go and allow oneself to become emotionally and sexually vulnerable….
[O]nly those for whom a sexual fantasy ‘works,’ that is, those who are aroused by it, have a chance of telling us to what particular set of conditions that fantasy speaks, and can analyze how and why it works and for whom. Sexual fantasy materials are like icebergs; the one-tenth that shows above the surface is no reliable indicator of the size or significance of the whole thing. Sexual fantasy that doesn’t arouse is boring, funny, or repellent, and unsympathetic outsiders trying to decode these fantasies (or any others) will make all sorts of mistakes.