Monday, October 24, 2011

Where to go fanfic hunting

So, I'm kind of on a fanfiction kick right now and I realized that back during Fanfiction Week, I never told you guys how to find fanfiction online. I just ranted about it for while and assumed that you all knew what you were doing.

Which is a stupid assumption. Because fanfiction archives are kind of messy. There's a lot of mediocre writing out there and there's also a lot of writing directed towards an audience that's 18 years and older. Finding good fanfiction can be difficult and ultimately discouraging. Especially if you don't know where to start.

So I'm going to give you some sites to work with. You can explore them, you can ignore them, but if you ever want to read fanfiction, then these are the places to go:
  • FanFiction.Net is . . . well, it's the easiest place to find fanfiction, but it's also the easiest place to post fanfiction. So while there's variety, it's basically a giant slush pile. You have to be careful too, because while they supposedly family friendly and don't allow 18+ fanfiction, a lot of people ignore that rule and things aren't labeled well. If you're gonna tackle, find ONE good story and then work from that author's favorites list--good writers tend to flock together.
  • MediaMiner
    An alternative to, though if I had to make a comparison, I'd say it's like the MySpace to's Facebook. The site is active, but it feels pretty dead. The setup is similar to, but MediaMiner has a heavy focus on anime and is totally fine with 18+ fanfiction. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan and I only mention it because it's a notable contender.
  • LiveJournal

    LJ is the place to go if you're looking for high quality in small doses for specific topics. The way it works is that communities/groups are formed in LJ that revolve around a certain fandom or pairing, and then people contribute fanfiction to these groups. However, LJ is for the older crowd, as this is where the 18+ fics thrive. It's easy to avoid that kind of material, since everything's well-organized and well-labeled, but be aware.
  • Archive of Our Own
    Yet another setup similar to FF.Net and MediaMiner, but AO3's big perk is the fact that it's fan-created and fan-run. Right now it's still in beta, but there are a ton of fantastic fanfic writers flocking here, which has created a higher standard than what's seen at and MediaMiner. However, the archive is open to any and all fanfiction, so many LJ people are present and there's a ton of 18+ material, which is, however labeled.
These four websites are only the ones that I have the most personal experience with. Hopefully they'll help the curious on their journey into fanfiction land. However, just remember that there's more out there. For example, if you're a Harry Potter fan, FictionAlley and all of its offshoots might be the place for you. Just make sure to have fun with it!

And before I leave, a quick disclaimer: Fanfiction can involve a lot of crazy stuff. Adult themes run rampant and you need to be careful when perusing material. Make sure to read story summaries and warning labels so you aren't surprised later on. Only you can decide what you're comfortable with, but just remember that fanfiction is supposed to be fun, not traumatizing. :)

Now, if you're the type to read fanfiction, where do you go to get your fix? One of the places I mentioned above, or somewhere else? Or do you prefer to avoid fanfiction? Tell me in the comments.