Changes to fan creative practice are various and telling. Posting fiction that has not been beta read and is thus riddled with errors relating to both show canon and to writing is now routine. Leora Hadas (2009, 5.2) has described this attitude in the context of Doctor Who fandom as the sense of a “basic right” to create and post fic, and it points to prioritizing individual desire to create over any sense of obligation to produce something others will find worth reading. Similarly, some of the old rules about acceptable content, such as the prohibition on real-person fiction described by Henry Jenkins ( 2006), are no longer widely used, again gesturing toward individual creativity over concern for what the community might find objectionable (see also Hadas 2009). Moreover, the reciprocity of feedback as payment for creativity seems to be decaying, with frequent pleas or demands for feedback appended to chapters of large works, often as a condition of continuing the story, suggesting that there is no longer a norm that such response is freely given. Finally, the aesthetic conventions of vids are changing, such as incorporating show dialogue rather than simply having the music provide the soundtrack, or producing trailers for fan fiction stories; while this is not as clearly an individualistic move as the other examples, it does demonstrate a move away from previous modes of producing creative fan work. It is unclear whether these fans know that the older modes exist and have rejected them; or whether the influx of new fans was too great to teach them all how it had been done before; or whether they don’t know at all because searchability provides different routes to finding out that there is such a thing as fic or vidding in the absence of knowing how it has traditionally been done. However, change is clearly in progress.
Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons ift.tt/1N4tO6b