Writing and Reading Habits Related to Fan Fiction Genre

Genres of fan fiction won my informal little survey of what data people wanted to see me present next. Thanks to everyone who participated and saved me from having to make this decision for myself!

“Genre,” in this survey, referred to the broad fanfic categories of genfic, slash, femslash, and het. As a bit of fandom history, in the Tolkien fan fiction community, these classifications have been particularly fraught. Early Tolkien archives often focused on or excluded particular genres. (I struggled over my wording there: Archives varied in whether they phrased their posting guidelines in terms of welcoming a specific genre or disapproving of/excluding a specific genre. The exclusionary tendencies of some corners of the Tolkien fanfic community continue to be felt today–the discussion of last week’s post on age touched on that–and I do not want to brush over this ugly aspect of our history, but it also doesn’t seem totally fair to lump in archives trying to curate a particular genre with those phrasing their guidelines to keep out certain genres; I feel like intent is really important here.) Tolkien fan fiction history shows that early online fan fiction groups were overwhelmingly slash-centric, and non-slash groups sometimes seemed to be responding to that, i.e., the Open Scrolls Archive splash page. In any case, genre is something that participants in the early Internet fan fiction community remained very cognizant of. As such, I was interested to see how writers and readers currently identified themselves and their genre preferences.

This week, I’m going to start relatively simple, looking at the responses to two series of questions on the survey: “I identify myself as a X writer” and “I enjoy reading stories,” where X is one of the four genres identified above.

Genre and Writers’ Identity

One criticism I received when the survey was still open concerned the wording of this series of questions: “I identify myself as a writer.” Some participants didn’t like my wording here and the emphasis on identity versus merely authoring a particular genre of story, but this was quite deliberate. I didn’t want to know at what rates authors wrote stories in the various genres; this information would be relatively easy to glean from many archives. Rather, I wanted to know how authors saw themselves as creators. For example, most authors have technically written genfic: stories without any romantic or sexual pairing. However, these authors may not identify as genfic writers. Likewise, if an author writes ninety-nine genfic stories and then pinch-hits a mildly slashy ficlet for an exchange, that author has written slash but probably would not agree with the statement, “I identify myself as a slash writer.” At the opposite extreme is someone like me: Slash also comprises a relatively small percentage of my total writing (which is mostly genfic), but one of my most important stories, By the Light of Roses, is a slash story, so I’d probably agree with the statement, “I identify myself as a slash writer,” because I see my writing of that story as a sea change in my career as a writer.

The graphs below show the percentage of participants to respond to each statement using each of the five options: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree, and No Opinion/Not Sure. I’ve tried to arrange and color-code the pie slices to make a few comparisons relatively easy. Strongly Agree/Agree and Strongly Disagree/Disagree are of course colored similarly, but I’ve also made the two “strongly” responses a darker hue and situated them beside each other to make it easier to see what proportion of participants had strong feelings on a particular statement. (Click here or on the graphs to view them full-sized.)

Graph--Author Identity and Genre

  • More participants identified as slash writers than any other genre, with 46.9% agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement. (It is important to note here that the survey did not specify m/m slash.) To compare, 38.8% of participants identified as genfic writers, 28.9% identified as het writers, and 26.7% identified as femslash writers.
  • Slash also provoked the strongest reactions, both positive and negative. 36.3% of participants felt strongly about their identity as a slash writer (either choosing Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree). The other three genres elicited fewer strong reactions: 27.9% for femslash, 19.9% for het, and 18.1% for genfic.
  • Participants experienced much more uncertainty about their identities as genfic and het writers: 35.7% and 31.3%, respectively, chose No Opinion/Not Sure. In comparison, only 21.0% and 18.9% selected that response for femslash and slash, respectively.

Genre and Reading

The statements about reading were more straightforward and therefore less controversial: “I enjoy reading stories,” where is the genre. The graphs below show the percentage of participants to respond to each statement using each of the five options: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree, and No Opinion/Not Sure. As above, I’ve used similar color-coding to show at a glance how many people agree or strongly agree (purple), disagree or strongly disagree (red), and feel particularly strongly about a statement, whether positively or negatively (darker hue). (Click here or on the graphs to view them full-sized.)

Graph--Reader Preferences by Genre

  • My main takeaway here: Most people like reading most stuff. The only genre where a majority did not select Agree or Strongly Agree was femslash.
  • Genfic and slash were equally popular among readers, with 73% of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they enjoy those genres. In comparison, 64% of participants enjoyed reading het, and 48% enjoyed reading femslash. (Again, “slash” did not specify “m/m slash.”)
  • As with authors, readers felt most strongly about slash. 47% of participants selected Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree for the statement about slash. In comparison, 32% felt strongly about reading genfic, 29% about femslash, and 17% about het. Femslash, however, is the genre participants generally felt strongly negative about reading. The number of participants who chose Strongly Disagree for slash, het, and genfic are all relatively close to each other: 7%, 4%, and 2%, respectively. The number to choose Strongly Disagree for femslash was nearly twice that for slash: 13%. This also matches the data for writers, who were least likely to identify themselves as femslash writers.
  • Participants felt equal amounts of uncertainty about their preference for femslash, genfic, and het: 21% chose No Opinion/Not Sure for these three genres. They felt far less uncertainty about their preference for slash, with only 11% selecting this option.

Analysis

Not so long ago, I used to sometimes have the experience of reading my LJ friends list and seeing one of my slash-writing friends complaining about her lack of audience because she wrote slash and Tolkien fandom thinks slash is gross, and then scrolling down and seeing one of my genfic-writing friends complaining about her lack of audience because all everyone wanted to read was slash.

Well, by current standards, neither of them have much of a right to complain, since about three-quarters of readers will at least consider their genres. However, Tolkien fandom history is complicated on this point, and I don’t think the current numbers represent what the fanfic community was like ten years ago or even five years ago.

I think the strength of feeling toward slash among the writers–recall that 36.3% of participants chose Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree for this statement–partly reflects that history. While the debate over “canon” and the correct/proper use of Tolkien’s works was much larger than slash, I wrote in a recent in-press paper that “slash became a convenient proxy for the bigger debate about the proper use of Tolkien’s works,” and I think that is a good way of putting it. Because of the popularity of the genre, it came to represent transformations necessary to make a fictional world begun one hundred years ago by a self-styled reactionary and devout Catholic relevant to a modern audience that finds many of those beliefs outdated (at best) to abhorrent.1 Of course, many fans found the works just fine as they were, and many of them found Tolkien’s religious and philosophical beliefs appealing and were drawn to the fandom expressly because of those beliefs. Others used the books to explore ideas and characters based around their own experiences–what the fandom scholars tell us is the function of fan fiction.

The traditionalists in many ways had the upper hand. While I’ve heard rumor of their existence, I’ve personally never met a slash writer actually opposed to writing genfic (which is going a step further even than the 5.95% of writers who Strongly Disagreed with identification as a genfic writer). Ten years ago, however, when I first became involved in the Tolkien fanfic community, I knew plenty of genfic writers who would gladly tell you all the reasons slash was an unacceptable genre for Tolkien fanfic. Slash tended to keep to its own spaces–whether this was borne of a desire to associate with like-minded people, due to feeling unwelcome in more generalized fandom spaces, or a bit of both, I cannot say, although I’d love to know the views of people who were around for this time in our fandom’s history–which I suspect helped to integrate “slash writer” as part of authors’ identities as authors. Hence, 21% of participants strongly agreed that they identified as slash writers, more than any other genre. (Perhaps not surprisingly, in a distant second, 12% of participants strongly agreed that they identified as genfic writers.)

If slash was so contentious, why is it the most popular genre now, for both writers and readers? Perhaps part of this is ideological change in the larger world. The reason I wrote By the Light of Roses as more than the PWP my friend had requested was due to my outrage over what I viewed as my sister’s exile from her home country for falling in love a woman. (Her wife is not a U.S. citizen, so their options were limited to marrying and living in her wife’s more progressive country or her wife applying to come here and waiting the many years for that maybe to happen.) This was less than ten years ago; they’re preparing to move back to the U.S. this year. How much has changed in that time!

There is also the possibility of new fans becoming acculturated to fandom practices. In Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth, Camille Bacon-Smith explores the initiation process that fan fiction writers underwent in pre-Internet fanzine culture, where mentors gradually exposed the new fans to the more “esoteric” genres as they became able to understand the messages expressed by those genres.2 Internet fandom has no equivalent to those mentors, and new writers are exposed to any genre they care to click on in an archive. Internet Tolkien fan fiction and the release of the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy meant a massive influx of new fans unable to “decode” (to borrow Bacon-Smith’s terms) genres like slash fiction. Those writers who have remained in the community, in many cases, have learned on their own or under the guidance of other community members to do just that. (I am myself an example of this. When I first encountered slash fiction, I wasn’t opposed to it but just didn’t understand why so many people wanted to write it. Within a year, I was reading it; within a year after that, I was writing it.)

The numbers on femslash tell a very different story. Femslash is the newest genre in the Tolkien fan fiction community, so it is perhaps not surprising that 62.2% of participants disagreed or strongly disagreed that they identified as femslash writers. It was the only genre where less than half (47.4%) of readers indicated that they enjoy reading femslash. Femslash is also more difficult in a fandom where named horses outnumber the named women in its most important work.3

What did surprise me (and honestly dishearten me, as a femslash writer myself and someone who has seen friends pour a lot of love and energy into promoting the genre) was the strength of that disagreement: 24.6% of writers strongly disagreed that they identify as femslash writers (the next highest was for slash, with 14.6% choosing Strongly Disagree) and 13.6% of readers strongly disagreed that they enjoy femslash (Slightly more–14.6%–of readers strongly disagreed that they enjoy reading slash. I’ll look at the overlap here in weeks to come.) At the risk of reading more intent into responses than the responses themselves allow, I interpret this as 24.6% of authors avoiding femslash not because Tolkien’s work provides little inspiration or they simply lack interest but actually finding the genre distasteful in some way.

However, eternal pie-eyed optimist that I am, I suspect the numbers for slash would have more closely approached the numbers for femslash ten years ago, which suggests (acknowledging that this conjecture is based on nothing more than the nebulous experience of one person) that time and increasing familiarity with a genre can also increase interest or at least improve perceptions of that genre. Likewise are stories involving female characters: Ten years ago, not much was being done with canonical women, and many writers actively avoided OFCs, but both attitudes have changed in the intervening decade, and stories involving both are more accepted (again, based on my own perceptions and experience only).

The amount of uncertainty surrounding identity as a genfic or het writer was also interesting. Many more people chose No Opinion/Not Sure for these genres than for slash and femslash. Two possible reasons come to mind. First, it may be that authors are generally less familiar with these terms than the terms slash and femslash (although this doesn’t show in the statistics for the readers, which makes it unlikely). More likely, I suspect that these genres simply don’t encourage one’s identity forming around the genre. Neither genfic nor het are particularly embattled; it is difficult to protest genres that describe the original work one is writing about. They are also extremely common. A writer would be hard-pressed to never write genfic or het, again because the source texts themselves are genfic sprinkled with het pairings.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be looking more deeply at questions related to genre. If there’s anything you’re curious about, please let me know in a comment!

Notes

  1. In Letter 53 to Christopher Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien writes, “I wonder (if we survive this war) if there will be any niche, even of sufferance, left for reactionary back numbers like me (and you).” I think Tolkien’s Catholicism is common knowledge enough that I don’t have to support it, but if this is news to you, let me know in a comment, and I’ll amend my post.
  2. Page 93.
  3. Una McCormack, in her essay “Finding Ourselves in the (Un)Mapped Lands: Women’s Reparative Readings of The Lord of the Rings,” from Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien, opens her essay with the observation: “It came as a point of interest to me–if not exactly a surprise–to learn, at a recent conference on Tolkien, that there are more named horses than named women in The Lord of the Rings” (page 309). The Silmarillion is slightly better, of course: A whopping 18.8% of the characters in the “Index of Names” are women.

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“Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey” by Dawn Walls-Thumma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

You may use, share, repost, or reprint the statistics and information in this post in any nonprofit project. If you do so, you MUST credit me with my name (Dawn Walls-Thumma in academic/professional contexts or Dawn Felagund in fannish contexts) and link to the Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey category on my blog: http://themidhavens.net/heretic_loremaster/category/tolkien-fan-fiction-survey/

For permissions not covered by this license or any questions, email me at DawnFelagund@gmail.com.

See the Tolkien Fan Fiction Survey masterpost for more information on this project, permissions, et cetera, et cetera.

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17 Responses to “Writing and Reading Habits Related to Fan Fiction Genre”

  1. Rhapsody says:

    I can’t recall if I had issues with ‘identity versus merely authoring a particular genre of story’ and if I did voice it to you. The funny thing is though, if I had done the survey 15 years ago, I might have said yes to genfic (writing cutesy hobbity stories then) and no I just basically write all of the genre’s. I have tried my hand at everything, and that resulted in that I could not strongly identify with any of the genre’s listed here. I am a ‘ No opinion’ person here. There is so much to appreciate in all genre’s, they all have their charm and all have something to offer when one is either in a writing/reading mood. But no, no identity for me regarding the genre’s: I write and look beyond the genre when there is a story to tell. :)

    But… femslash is a not so new nice genre to me: it was always there, but it got little attention because when one of the admins of an exchange once told me: people like to write m/m so I am not sure if I can write someone who is willing to return the favour. Ultimately at one certain point there was someone and there we had it! First femslash stories in a slash exchange. You just have to be patient. One last observation: my femslash stories do immensely well over at Ao3 and they get enough kudo’s/review love there (but my het stories too, funny), but at the SWG enough hits but no feedback. So you are onto something there I think.

    Just let’s hold on to the hope that over the years this wonderful genre can mature further and get as much as appreciation as her (now) bigger brother m/m slash :)

    • Dawn says:

      I didn’t get to take the survey (one of the peskier parts of being the author of it 😉 ), but I probably would have identified with slash, femslash, and genfic. Even though I’ve written het–in fact have written more het than slash and femslash combined–it’s not something I identify with. I either write het pairings because they’re canonical, or I throw in little adult-rated bits for friends. (One of the more fun parts of female friendship in fandom, imho. 😉 ) With my same-sex pairings, I feel like I’ve chosen that pairing for a reason and am doing something specific with it. It is not just growing out of the source text.

      That’s a really interesting observation about AO3. I didn’t discuss Lulu’s AO3 Census in this post, but she found that there were four times as many femslash readers as writers on AO3, which supports your observation.

      I have to admit that even a few years ago, I would not have seen myself as a femslash writer. Once I tried it, I fell in love with it. I have discovered that writing female relationships in all of their forms really appeals to me.

  2. Amy Fortuna says:

    Speaking as someone who was around in the early days – pre-movie LOTR slash fandom circa 1999, in particular – slash fandom was specifically a safe space from the more mainstream parts of the fandom. The archives of tolkien_slash, the first ML specifically for slash and femslash fandom, make interesting reading; I recently reread some of the first few messages, and they are very much about *finally* having a safe space! I used to go and fight pitched battles about slash on general Tolkien forums – perhaps naively believing I could get people to understand.

    Ten years ago, it wasn’t pleasant, but 17 years ago it was constant uphill fighting every step of the way, outside of our safe places. In those days we were far less particular about the differences between slash and femslash – one of the earliest slash stories for the Silmarillion is one I wrote involving Galadriel/Lúthien. There was also an extremely popular threesome fic called Pretty Good Year (Frodo/Sam/Rose).

    (It’s actually kind of strange to think back to those days – they were a difficult time in my life personally, and the whole VB situation really soured me on the fandom. It’s a much different place now, thank goodness.)

    • Independence1776 says:

      Ooh, “Pretty Good Year” was that popular? I stumbled across it a few years ago and loved it despite not being a Frodo/Sam fan. But I’m a sucker for polyfic so I gave it a chance and immediately bookmarked it after I finished reading. I’ve wondered since then what its reception was back when it was first posted.

      • Amy Fortuna says:

        Pretty Good Year was a hugely popular story, with fanfiction of its own. I actually have a physical copy of it, though I haven’t reread it in a while. I think it was the first polyfic that really came along in that time soon after the release of Fellowship.

        (Somewhere I still have all the fic ever posted on Least Expected – I’d love to be able to share it at some point. There’s fic in there that has never been posted anywhere else.)

    • Dawn says:

      Okay, I have to admit that I’m fangirling more than a little to hear fandom history from you … 😀

      I am glad the slash-vs-everyone-else conflict had chilled by the time I started participating. It felt like people were ready to listen, especially once the popularity of the LotR movies diminished a bit. I give you credit for fighting those pitched battles; that the fandom changed tells me that people like you willing to do so did make a difference, even if it was not immediately perceptible.

      I do remember how single-minded people could be about slash–sometimes still are! While looking for the link Himring mentioned below, I found a comment by someone who stopped by that post, which has a lengthy analysis and discussion approaching 100 comments … and took the opportunity to express their disgust with slash. Like, really? All that’s being said here, all the interesting information and ideas being shared, and THAT is what you decide to say in a space you’re visiting for the first time?

      I see echoes of early fandom history often in things like this: issues we’ve still not managed to completely put behind us. But for that to be the norm and viciously so? Yes, I can see why safe spaces were needed …

      • Amy Fortuna says:

        *grin* Feel free to pick my brain about fannish history anytime!

        I think the very first thing I did when I got access to the internet – which would have been in 1996 or ’97 in my local library – was type ‘tolkien’ into whatever search engine existed back then (Altavista?) and looked up all the Tolkien fansites. They were without exception, as far as I could tell, run by men, and they were, by and large, very basic facts and figures and opinions, not too much in the way of creativity, which is what I was really looking for. I remember really enjoying the Tolkien Sarcasm Page because it did have some appearance, however mockingly, of engaging creatively with Middle-earth.

        Then there were Yahoo!Clubs (which eventually evolved into Yahoo!Groups) and I participated on those – I can’t even remember the names of the clubs I was in but they were, again, very male-oriented, very much centred on ‘what do you know about Middle-earth?’ rather than creation. I also lurked on the Usenet forums a little bit – I could never figure Usenet out – and it was there that I first saw Tolkien fanfic in the wild – it was a series called ‘Letters Over the Sea’ (between Frodo and Sam) and it was by someone called Prembone, and it was (I’m fairly sure deliberately) slashy as all get-out. (I think I have the series saved somewhere!)

        Meanwhile, kind of separately, I discovered slash in Star Wars fandom – this was 1999 and TPM had just come out and of course I was really intrigued by the whole Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan thing. And at some point I had a brainwave and realised that Middle-earth was just as available for slash fanfic as a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, and so I started tolkien_slash, which as far as I’m aware, was the first forum of any kind for any of Tolkien’s works which was even so much as open to discussion about a) slash and b) erotic writing at all.

        By then I was aware of the films being in the works, and I think for me, there was no question of gatekeeping people who came in via the films – we welcomed everyone no matter how they got there, and when I set up Least Expected (which was, to my knowledge, the first time any slash set in Middle-earth was publicly available on the internet), I specifically did not require any gatekeeping and was quite liberal in my interpretation of what slash meant (I was happy to have poly fic in the archive, for instance, and obviously femslash as well). This wasn’t untypical of the time – I recall the MasterApprentice archive also included poly fic (though I don’t think any femslash but that was pretty much due to the lack of female Jedi characters.)

        I did find it a bit overwhelming after a while – I hadn’t expected SO MANY people to be interested in LOTR slash – and I had to set boundaries like making sure tolkien_slash was about the fictional characters for the most part, so I didn’t permit RPF (I’ve no objections to it, it was purely about wanting to limit the traffic at that point!) and encouraged spinoff mailing lists, websites, and archives. Unfortunately not everyone agreed with me about the gatekeeping issues – I don’t know quite when HASA came along, but I found it incredibly off-putting and intimidating. I didn’t think it was appropriate to have to leap through hoops to post your fic somewhere, and I still don’t – I would rather wade through mountains of dreck than exclude anyone who wanted to write in Tolkien’s universe! I think I felt similarly stressed about awards – fanfic awards were starting to be a big thing in the early-mid 2000s, and I know some people find them inspirational but I find them a little, well, how do I put it? I think awards can stifle creativity, because people might find themselves writing something they think is popular rather than something they think is unique?

        Anyway, I have well and truly rambled here! But if you are interested, I can show you lots of things I’ve saved or preserved over the years, including the full archive of Least Expected, which I have always kept safe – just let me know!

    • Dawn says:

      Do you mind if I quote your comment in this week’s post about pre-film fandom? (And I still owe you MANY replies, and I’m embarrassed at how long it’s taking me to answer comments at the moment; I’m in the process of packing up to move from Maryland to Vermont and just trying to keep my head above water as far as getting enough posts written to make it at least look like a seamless transition!)

  3. Himring says:

    I think I was one of the ones who queried your use of “identify”. In my case, that was in particular because it made my response to the femslash question less positive than I would have liked it to be. I felt that the word raised the threshold too high for my own attempts to write femslash to count as a pass. Not having done enough for the cause, as it were.
    There was a bit of a discussion before, I think, how the different genres have different ways of forming identities, when you posted your preliminary data, wasn’t there?

    • Dawn says:

      There was! Here it is. It was not the final data set, but for every number I compared between that data and the final, they were very close or identical.

      Of course raising that threshold was exactly what I was trying to do. 😉 I can understand how it could become an uncomfortable question, and your comment here is worth keeping in mind in interpreting the femslash numbers.

  4. Independence1776 says:

    I can’t remember what I put for femslash: it was either somewhat agree or uncertain. And that’s because it’s not really part of my identity: I’m gen, het, and poly writer who occasionally writes femslash. (And poly wasn’t even an option on your survey; it may include het/slash/femslash depending on the relationship, but it’s a different thing entirely. Plenty of femslash and slash fans won’t touch poly.)

    Slash was strongly disagree with both writing and reading; I’m simply not interested in it. The only fandom where I actively sought out m/m was the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I generally ship canon in Tolkien, and when I don’t, it’s either poly or femslash, so…

    Neither genfic nor het are particularly embattled; it is difficult to protest genres that describe the original work one is writing about.

    Sadly, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of, “Ewww, het; why would anyone want to write it? It’s heteronormative/homophobic/gross/too common/insert complaint here.” So yeah, in some areas, it is embattled. Thankfully, I think it’s not a common opinion. But it’s common enough that I have seen it.

    • Dawn says:

      Yes, in retrospect, I would probably add something about writing poly! That’s always the problem with things like this for me: The results make me wish I’d done so many things differently. :)

      I think there are areas where pretty much anything becomes embattled. I mean, I’ve never personally understood the idea of being strongly opposed to genfic. The original works were genfic, and the term is so broad as to give no indication of what is in the story (except that it doesn’t contain graphic adult content). I can see that not being someone’s cup of tea, if they like reading only adult/graphic/kinky/whatever fic but to be opposed to it?

      I wonder if sometimes these things spring up in reaction to the negativity toward some of the other genres, like, “You hate on my slash/femslash/erotic/poly/whatever, so I’m going to hate on your boring-ass genfic.”

      • Independence1776 says:

        I think that’s everyone’s reaction to doing things like this!

        I am honestly curious about the numbers for poly. Even AO3 stats aren’t much help given that the multi option is used for both poly and for those fics containing some combination of het, slash, and femslash. I don’t think it’s too popular in Tolkien fandom, though; the Silm has 221 fics (225 logged in) with multi and femslash is almost double that, out of 5950 fics. (It’s completely opposite in the LotR category, with respectively 299 and 164 logged in, out of 11,739 fics.)

        I wonder if sometimes these things spring up in reaction to the negativity toward some of the other genres, like, “You hate on my slash/femslash/erotic/poly/whatever, so I’m going to hate on your boring-ass genfic.”

        I think that’s probably a huge chunk of the reason. The other might very well be that gen is not considered progressive enough because there are (supposedly) no LGBTA+ relationships in it, due to the perception for many years that het background relationships in gen were okay when slash and femslash weren’t, something that has changed in many places. (Unless you’re one of the people who define gen as no romantic relationships whatsoever, not even canon ones. AKA gen has no real definition.) Also, I think part of it may very well run up against the various reasons people are in fandom: someone who wants fic that blends seamlessly into the canon world has different motivations for reading and writing than those who are in fandom for representation of modern issues in their fics. And then there’s the perception that the only relationships that matter are the romantic and sexual ones… Basically, like anything in fandom: complicated complicated complicated.

  5. […] Writing and Reading Habits Related to Fan Fiction Genre […]

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  7. […] One of the statements I included in my survey was “It is important to keep my stories consistent with Tolkien’s moral beliefs.” This statement has a loaded history in the Tolkien fan fiction community, where morality was often invoked as a reason to exclude or even attack writers of certain genres and pairings. Amy Fortuna, the founder of Least Expected, the Internet’s first Tolkien slash archive, wrote in a comment on the post Reading and Writing Habits Related to Fan Fiction Genre: […]

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