OTW Fannews: Analyzing fanfiction

  • The Daily Dot wrote about Tumblr user destinationtoast’s analysis of fanfic on AO3, which contradicted popular belief. “Explicit stories only make up 18.1% of the total, with G-rated fic being the second most popular rating. So it’s definitely not all 50 Shades of Grey out there. In fact, if you created a fanfic from all the most popular characteristics on AO3, you’d end up with a single-chapter male/male story (M/M takes up a whopping 45.5% of all AO3 content), rated Teen and Up, between one and five thousands words long.”
  • Salon reviewed elements of Newsroom fanfiction and concluded journalists would find AUs more appealing. “What’s striking, though, at a glance, is just how few of the stories mention the news. Granted, fan fiction writers tend to focus on the bodice-ripping rather than cerebral elements of their chosen entertainments…Maybe if “The Newsroom” were surgically removed from the news — if Will McAvoy were an iconoclastic lawyer or doctor or, well, president, and MacKenzie McHale his slightly out-of-her-depth co-counsel or chief of surgery or veep — it would seem in better taste. It would be possible to evaluate the relationships as existing in the context of an office, rather than focusing so intently on what about the context is so wrong.”
  • Buzzfeed posted an interview with a writer of what was claimed to be the longest fanfic ever.The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest is currently over 3,500,000 words, making it almost three times as long as Marcel Proust’s seven-volume À la recherche du temps perdu, six times as long as Infinite Jest, and thirteen times as long as Ulysses. TSEW is “based” on the Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. in the same way that Proust’s novel is “based” on a bite of tea cake, and it is a monumental thing. At present, the work has 28 chapters, which are grouped into a rough structure based on 32-bit role-playing games (Disc One, Disc Two, and so on.)”
  • Numerous sites posted about the live-action version of My Immortal, which “is widely regarded as the worst piece of fan-fiction that this world has ever seen.” While it’s easier to determine how many words long a story is than how good it is, another question is whether or not the story is even intended as fanfic. “Aside from the nonsensical plot, readers also believe that My Immortal was trolling because of the piece’s aggressive assault on grammar and the English language in general.”

What fan analysis posts do you know of? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. RatCreature commented:

    Have they even looked for other long fanfic before claiming it was “longest”? The longest HP fic I recall on top of my head was the Sacrifices Universe by Lightning Wave with over 3,700,000 words. Granted it’s broken up in seven stories, but all one continuing plot. Now I guess this one could still become longer if it is a WIP atm, but as of now it seems shorter.