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Fanfic - where have all the guys gone? Or how we discuss things in Fan Fic...

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by geo3, Jun 19, 2007.

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  1. geo3

    geo3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Back in the day when I was running long story threads, I used to be especially thrilled if I picked up a reader who was male. I took that as a positive indication that my story was well balanced and had a fairly broad appeal, because I was beginning to notice that the fanfic audience seemed to divide quite clearly along gender lines. I was especially delighted one day to find out that a reader had thought all along that I was a male author, and was shocked to find out that? well? I?m not :p

    I?m now wondering, as I look around the boards, whether the male influence is on a steady decline. Very few male authors seem to have significant readerships and the majority of stories seem to be written by and read by women. I beta-read for more male than female authors, so I?m keenly interested to know why there appear to be so few in the wider posting population.

    Or maybe I?m just looking in the wrong places? I hang out mostly in Saga. I could be completely wrong about the other eras.

    I've also noticed that women seem to dominate fanfic activites--from modship to awards, to story responses, to writing. Even challenges tend to appeal to the female fanficcers. That's not to say the men are absent--there's the GWG, though it goes through crests and troughs in participation; and there's the occasional action-oriented challenge that pops up now and again. But on the whole, I wonder if we're missing something with the small representation of men. Are we seeing the world of fanfic in a particular way, and thereby missing something important?
     
  2. GunraysLawyer

    GunraysLawyer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 23, 2003
    I will watch this thread's future with great interest....

    Of course, I must comment as a male fanfic author (the bare majority of whoose readers have always been women) that I have always found the male/female dichotomy in reader responses very, very interesting. Perhaps, I can sum it up as follows: The female readers often put a very different spin on events than their male author or counterparts.

    Some explanation of that later...when I don't have a nine-month old in arms. ;)
     
  3. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Actually, just off the top of my head I can name five male authors. No, wait, six! No, another! :p Seriously, when I think of the authors I get update PMs from, at least half are guys.

    There's the GWG for sure, but I know there are also a bunch of guys in the Seedy Side thread. In Beyond they write everything from action to romance. As for the female-dominated activities, maybe that says more about the kind of women who write fanfic than the overall Fan Fic community itself - we're the take-charge type! [face_mischief]
     
  4. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    All the men are in lit. :p It may be that we have too much of a good thing, in that there are mostly women here, and it could be a deterrent. Rightly or wrongly, they might think it wouldn't be a comfortable place to hang out. We do miss out on additional good ideas without them and I would love to have more men here. :)
     
  5. Jedi-Ant

    Jedi-Ant Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Um... not to sound silly, but what exactly is "GWG?" [face_blush]
     
  6. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    GWG = Gentlemen's Writing Guild :D

    Rightly or wrongly, they might think it wouldn't be a comfortable place to hang out.

    See, and here I thought that the high number of women would've been a draw rather than a turn-off. :p
     
  7. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    The Gentlmen's Writing Guild, a thread where the guys hang out. Haven't seen it floating around for a while.
     
  8. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 1999

    How little you understand us.
     
  9. Jedi-Ant

    Jedi-Ant Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Ah :D Thanks Jade & furry!
     
  10. CodyMonKenobi

    CodyMonKenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Actually it is on page one. There aren't a whole lot of us around. I know I started hanging out in the GWG pretty close to the beginning and at one time it used to thrive but there has been a decline in male readership over the last two or three years. All except for one of my fics has been read mostly by women. I have eight people on my pm list for the Storm Trooper epic that I am working on right now and all but one of them are guys. But there are more guys around than those of us who hang our hat in the GWG.
     
  11. Exeter

    Exeter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2005
    We were wiped out, all of us. They didn't hesitate...they showed no mercy. I guess they did what had to be done [face_plain]

    It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    But seriously, I don't think we should be considered endangered just yet. I think a lot of us work in phases, to be honest. The GWG really spiked the summer after ROTS came out (that's when I first got involved there) and we've kind of hit a bit of a drought, but I know a lot of us are just pretty busy. I bet we'll see a lot of guys when the Clone Wars 3D show comes out, especially with all of the action shown in the trailer. Guys will have a lot to write about.

    There is actually a heavy percentage of guys in the OC community, too. I think we'll always be outnumbered in terms of gender for a number of reasons, but in a way that's helped a lot of us establish some working friendships. I'd say the majority of my readers are guys, and I try to catch up on their stories when I can.

    So I would say: don't worry too much. While there aren't guys popping up out of hyperspace every twenty seconds, we're around. You just have to look under all the rocks. Heck, even dropping a post in the GWG couldn't hurt; women are always welcome there despite the name on the front door.

    Yeah, until they see the modship is exclusively female :p

    When that happens, our innate survival instincts (i.e., the ones where we caveman run around with clubs in our hands poking stuff that we have no business poking) kick in and we tend to retreat to our bunkers until somebody tells us what to do. True story.
     
  12. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    It was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    ROTFL! [face_laugh]
     
  13. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    I think fanfic is about 90% female. On top of that, guys generally stick to pilot-fics and soldier-fics. Which sucks for guys like me who are writing ... unconventional stuff.

    We generally don't mind being outnumbered though ...
     
  14. rebel_cheese

    rebel_cheese Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Fanfiction in general seems to have more female writers/readers than males. Perhaps while the men argue over canon and how sucky the latest installment or episode was and that sort of thing, the women all decide ' Why argue? I can write it better than the original writers anyway'! :p

    Considering how violent my fiction tends to be I am surprised more guys don't read my fics. Then again, I tend to layer a high amount of 'emo' concepts into the action so that might be why my fiction seems to be more popular with women. Not that it's a bad thing, mind you! I just find it interesting.
     
  15. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Do you ever wonder if the guy:girl ratio is the same for the lurker population? I guess it probably is.
     
  16. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Geo, I just clicked on Beyond and at least ten of the authors (listed at 25 per page) on the first page were male.
     
  17. Drabba_the_Hutt

    Drabba_the_Hutt Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    The 90%-female stat goes back in the days of printed zines sold at convention dealers' tables. [My copy of Textual Poachers is a couple thousand miles away, but I seem to recall that he cites a 1988 study that found that percentage fanfic writers were female.] The issue now is what effect the net's had on the numbers, but I only have anecdotal evidence there.

     
  18. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Yeah ... a bit higher chunk of us than normal. Usually, it's 5 or 6 male authors on the top 25.
     
  19. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Well, like I said, maybe it's more the type of women in fanfic than the actual presence of women that scares guys off. :p

    [face_laugh] I can believe that.
     
  20. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2005
    I'm with JadeSolo--astute assesment, rebel_cheese! [face_laugh]
     
  21. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Exactly which type of women are ya talking?
     
  22. bi0nic

    bi0nic Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2006
    I'm not sure where this idea comes from that guys and gals write completely different types of fics. Is it really true that all guys write just Clone Troopers and pod-racing, and all girls write just mush and how beautiful a person Anakin/Qui-Gon/whoever is? I don't think we're that determined by whether or not we possess a Y chromosome, are we? o_O

    It's actually slightly embarrasing the number of female authors I initally assumed were male, because generally-speaking, there is no indication of what sex someone is in their writing. I've even thought a couple of blokes were women, before checking their profiles.
     
  23. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    True, these aren't absolutes ... just trends.

    And I've made that mistake too ... especially if they have an opposite-gender avatar on top of their nontraditional writing style.
     
  24. geo3

    geo3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002

    I hope not! All men I betaread for happen to write incredibly well-rounded fics.

    I'm wondering about something else now... how important is it to know the gender of the author? Does it change the way we view a fic we're reading?
     
  25. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Knowing the gender is a way to avoid awkwardness, nothing more. The only reason it'd change a thing is if a guy was writing something that looked like a 13 year old Legolas fangirl's work or a gal penned a bloodfest piece that made Rambo seem like Bambi by comparison ... and even then, it'd be more of a WT* reaction than anything.
     
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