hildlos: A picture of books. (Books_2 by Itzik Gur)
This is an appeal to my fellow fan fiction readers and writers out there: I need your help! I’m currently working on my PhD in fan fiction and popular literature genres, and this includes doing a short survey to gain some sort of overview over fan fiction readers and writers, and their fandoms and genres. I’m especially interested in replies from Harry Potter, NCIS, and Doctor Who fans, but everyone else can reply as well. In fact, the more the better!

The survey is completely anonymous (I don’t even log your IP address), and all required questions have a “Would prefer not to say” option. I honestly don’t know how long it takes, that will depend on how detailed you want to answer some of the questions. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes if you’re really in a rush, but please try to take your time! I also don’t have any reward to offer, except my eternal thanks. If you do answer, the answers may be quoted or included in my doctorate thesis (and in a book version of my thesis if one is made).

Click here to take the survey now. Remember to click the “Finished” button when you’re finished. :)

Please spread the word people, the survey will only be open until the 16th of September!

ETA: This is in reponse to [personal profile] kindkit's post, who was rightly pointing out that some information is lacking.

I'm with the English department at Trinity College, Dublin, and like I mentioned I'm doing my thesis on fan fiction and popular literature genres. I am examining the definitions and formulas of three popular literature genres (romance, humour, and action/adventure) that are also popular categories on FanFiction.Net, in order to highlight the relationship between popular literature and fan fiction.

I am looking at fan fiction from Doctor Who, NCIS, and Harry Potter in an attempt to determine if fan fiction in these genres follows the same genre conventions as popular literature or if the genres have changed in any way.

With this survey I mostly want two things:
1) It allows me to point at a (pretty limited, but still) set of recent facts for my thesis, such as "what is the gender/age distribution amongst fan fiction readers and writers in these fandoms?"
2) As well as using close reading of fan fiction to study genre conventions, this survey will give me an insight into what fan fiction readers and writers themselves look for when they read or write a genre.

Now, it might have been wiser to try and restrict the survey to fans of these three genres, but trying to gain a bigger overview of fandom and its thoughts on genre was very tempting, and it might yield some interesting results.

I don't yet have approval to conduct research on human subjects, but I'm working on it. If for some reason I don't get approval, rest assured that I won't be using this survey.

ETA 2: I now have research approval from the School of English.

Date: August 28th, 2012 18:56 (UTC)From: [personal profile] franzeska
franzeska: (Default)
Very interesting. That isn't a list of fic genres I'd have come up with myself. Did you pick it based on novel marketing categories or big fic archives or...?

Good luck with your research! :)

Date: August 29th, 2012 00:35 (UTC)From: [personal profile] ar
ar: Emile Hirsch holding a sign reading "Every day aboveground is a good day." (misc - every day aboveground)
They appear to be the genre choices available on FFN.

Date: August 29th, 2012 14:46 (UTC)From: [personal profile] ar
ar: "It's a lot easier to tell the truth usually." - Elliott Smith (Default)
I think it's a clever way to go about it! It was a fun survey to fill out, though I'm afraid I'm not sure my answers will be much help, considering the fandoms I read. ♥

Date: August 29th, 2012 19:48 (UTC)From: [personal profile] franzeska
franzeska: (Default)
I don't think about fic genre all that consciously most of the time, but when I do try to divide fics, it's usually by a handful of common tropes or general plot types. I'd probably pick... Hmm...

deathfic, h/c, crack, pwp, AU

I might add a few things like 'casefic' that you'd only use as a label in some types of fandom. The genres listed on FFN are definitely much more genre-like, but they're also mostly not something I use outside of the interfaces of archives that force that categorization on one.

I would not consider "crossover" a significant category or similar to genre in any way. Mentally, I class most crossovers as exactly like a single-fandom PWP or crackfic or whatever but with multiple fandoms, especially if it's just one character crossing over, the canons could plausibly be the same universe, it's only two fandoms, etc. If it's one of those fics with the author's favorite 30 characters from 30 different shows, I probably think of it as both crack and badfic not as a crossover per se. (It depends on the fic, of course. I've just seen a lot of dreadful ones of this sort.) If one of the fandoms has magic and the other doesn't, that fic would also be a magical/vampire/whatever AU for the non-magic-having fandom.

But, all in all, I just don't care about "crossover" as a top-level category for classifying fic. This is a big difference between FFN site culture and some other places. (I've seen some interesting comments from FFN users trying out AO3, for example.) I want to say views on crossovers also vary a lot depending on what the canon is like and how big the fandom is in addition to by site culture. I'm not sure I have enough of a sample to make a good generalization, but it seems like there are fandoms that are defined in some broad, less single-canon-focused way, especially fandoms for actors who are in a lot of movies. (C6D, what's going on currently with Jeremy Renner's characters and to a lesser extent everybody else in Avengers, Velvet Goldmine fandom around the time that came out, etc.) Most movies can't sustain an enduring fandom without new canon (yes, yes, I know, Avengers, but lots of movie fans never get into comics), and surprise crossovers with everything that actor has been in seem to be the norm. Canons that are already explicitly part of a multiverse of some kind tend to get tons of crossovers even between characters who didn't visibly cross over (crime dramas are especially prone to this). But HP is so huge that you could read fic for a major pairing forever without bothering with crossovers. I think that tends to make them more worth remarking on and treating as a significant classification.

I do go back and read on FFN occasionally, but I stopped being an active user around ten years ago. I can't remember what the genre system was like back then if there even was one, but the large single-fandom archives I remember using in the late 90s/early 00s were much more pairing or kink/trope-focused. At least, that's how I remember them. I'm pretty sure "BDSM" or "first time" would have been more common divisions than "comedy" or "adventure" or whatever. (And, truthfully, archiving was often an afterthought: I was on a lot of Yahoo Groups where people would put any damn thing they pleased in the headers just like people label all kinds of ways on LJ/DW. If an archive had a specific system of labels, they'd put those on when they reposted the completed fic, but it was the serialized mailing list version that counted.) I'm certainly not discounting the enormousness or influence of FFN, but the current site structure hasn't had a particularly significant impact on my schema for fic.

Maybe you'll mostly get people responding who do use these genres in their personal schemata. I don't know.

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hildlos: A picture of books. (Default)
Hilde L. Losnegård

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