Chapter 11 for HPatHoS has been posted. Now, while I'm sure many of you are clicking out of this page so that you can read this next chapter, I have something I wish to talk about aside from my new chapter.
When fanfiction first started, it was because people were unsatisfied with how an original story turned out. Perhaps the main character was paired with someone they did not like ('cough' Harry/Ginny 'cough'), or maybe they disliked how a story ended. So they decided to do something about it by writing their own story.
I don't know if this is actually true or now. I'm just putting down why I think fanfiction started.
Since fanfiction started, it has grown immensely. There are over a million stories written on fanfiction.net alone and each day one or more new stories are being written. The fanfiction community is still sort of considered underground, but it's growing in popularity with each passing day.
Because of this, there are a lot of stories being written about the same piece of work. Harry Potter is the best example. Harry Potter has the largest amount of stories written on fanfiction.net (647,738 stories, which I think comprises somewhere around 25% of the fanfiction.net's fanfic archive).
Now, with Harry Potter being one of the largest bases for fanfiction, it's also going to be the most read. For everyone 1 person who writes a Harry Potter fanfic, there are probably 500-700 who will read it that have not written their own fanfic.
This may not be 100% true, but it gives you the scope of how large the reading base is. My own stories have, I think, over 2,000 people reading it.
That's a lot of people, and it brings me to my point. With so many people, there are going to be many varied opinions. Some people may love my story, some may hate it to the point where they'll insult me personally by leaving reviews like 'you suck you pansy ass bitch!', which yes, I have received before. Yes, my reviews have varied from praise to insults to everything in between. The width and breadth of the reviews I've received is quite astonishing, and my stories don't receive as many reviews as some of the other writers on this site.
One of the things I've always found slightly amusing is how people can complain about anything no matter what I write. I remember when I first started writing my Harry Potter series, there were a lot of people decrying Harry as a Gary stu, yet when I revealed one of Harry's character flaws, people started shouting about how there's no way Harry would be so imperfect and how he should have seen this coming and blah, blah, blah etc etc, I think you understand where I'm coming from. It's honestly gotten to the point where I'm beginning to think certain people just like to complain. It doesn't matter what they complain about, so long as they have some medium with which they can bitch and moan about whatever they don't like.
There is an old saying that says 'you can't please them all, and if you tried to please everyone you'll end up pleasing no one' and I think this is the most adequate way to explain why fanfiction authors should not focus on pleasing anybody but themselves. If the readers like their work, awesome, if not, that's not the authors problem and you should probably stop reading.
If any of you agree or disagree with this, feel free to leave a comment.