What One Should Know about Fandoms
What to Know When Starting in a Fandom
There are many fandoms out there that one could start in. In fact, if you read, watch or listen to any sort of media you might already be a fan of a fandom.
However if you don't enjoy the media at all be it a movie, television show, band, radio drama, play or game that does not make you a fan. Were you to look around hard enough and sometimes it doesn't even take much to find out just how popular a fandom is. Take the popular Harry Potter or Twilight series for example, there are a lot of fanfiction written for both series. Not all of it is canonical and each fan has a different view of things.
One does not need to write fanfiction in order to be a part of a fandom or to have an idenity within a fandom. They can be a silent fan without ever reviewing a fic about their favorite fandom, they simply have to like the fandom. Furthermore no one has to like everything about their fandom and need not defend it, because in some fandoms there are some unsavory things which should never be used to tantalize.
Be Careful of the Trolls
As with all things, there will always be a troll waiting in the shadows to emerge and annoy the hell out of fans. They might be other fans, they might not be fans at all. Possibly they might not even know anything about the fandom at all, but that there are so many people interested in it.
They want attention and they always go about it the wrong way. If one is able to spot a troll, they should just ignore them and report them to an admin. Now if one is the admin of a forum they're running, they can easily ban the account. It might not be wise however to ban the IP address as it could be a library computers IP that more than one member uses. It's unfortunate, but even if one were to ban the IP address, some trolls have a way of working around the IP address ban.
Don't let the Trolls get to you, because if they do, that means they've won. No one wants to give a Troll that satisfaction. What do Trolls of the internet hate the most? Being Ignored. So, ignore them other than to get them banned from the forum and any social media website they might be upsetting you on if its not a forum per-say.
Watch out for the Fanatic Fans
It's not just the internet Trolls which can be a nuisance, but so can the Fanatic Fans. They take things too far and can often wind up ruining a fandom for the other fans. In fact, some of them might even double as a Troll.
The Fanatic Fans most of the time, if not always, believe that they're right about everything regarding the fandom. They possibly think of themselves as the number one fans in general and that what they think of canon, is only actually head-canon. Yes, sometimes head-canon can become fanon. Fanon is not Canon, but what fans perceive to truly be part of the fandom. However not everyone takes it at face value. They might accept it, but they know the difference between canon and pure fanon.
One might go so far as to say that some fanatic fans are overly obsessed with their fandom. There are however two different ways they could go once something new pops up in the fandom, or goes in a direction they never thought it would take. Some of them will go with the new changes, while others will have an outcry of rage having expected something much different to happen. Sometimes it can just be the death of a beloved character, a favorite hero turning villain or a villain turning hero. It can also be caused by two characters hooking up whereas the fanatic fans might have expected a different relationship between the characters.
Some Fanatic Fans, because they don't like the changes at all, may become Trolls and/or Haters of the Fandom they once loved.
Its strange how fans think of the fandom as theirs when it has always been the fandoms creators.
It was not the fans who came up with the story-lines, the characters or the couples, but the writers themselves. Not only that, bands have real people in them, so no one can control whom a band member is dating or marrying. Real people fanfiction is a whole other can of worms.
Unfortunately disgruntled fans may bash the author and their choices, sometimes even for the smallest things that its ridiculous.
Sure a writer, writes for their audience, but that doesn't mean they can satisfy everyone. Besides a writer usually has a plan long before publication even with book series. Just take a look at the fans of Harry Potter when it comes to the fans who thought Harry Potter and Hermione Granger would get married, but in the end Harry Potter married Ginny Weasly. One would usually refer to something like that as a ship war. The word ship in this case is a shortened form of relationship.
Try and Keep Clear of the Haters
Often, haters also happen to be trolls. Not all the time, because haters might hate the show, but they don't go around besmirching the series with ridiculous commentary. They actually probably know the show, movie, book series or otherwise better than a troll just looking for attention. No, what they did was actually give the fandom a chance and for one reason or another never got into it and in fact may hate it.
Unfortunately not all haters can keep their dislike to themselves. Some can be downright frightening by saying death threats, if only ever anonymously online and not going through with it. Not going through with it is probably a good choice for them. I do know however that I myself once joined an club that was for people who disliked twilight. Some of them had good arguments as to why.
However others said things that made me feel ashamed of even being there. I read one saying they wanted to kill Kristen Stewart. This only because she played Bella Swan. To me, Kristen Stewart was only doing a job, she wasn't Bella Swan. Who cares about that? Just don't read the books or watch the movie, right? Eventually the hype will die down. There are plenty of things I don't enjoy reading or watching, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go out and be a jerk. Hell, Twilight ruined my surname for me, but I'm not so irrational that I'd make even such a comment like that. I have a feeling the person wasn't an adult though, but it still irks me to this day and thus why I warn people to try and keep clear of the haters. It will only bring grief to try and reason with them.
Now, knowing what one might be getting into, they can begin getting further into the fandom of their choice by joining clubs, forums or writing fanfic for that fandom. It can be an enjoyable experience, especially if there's enough people to start a community. Hopefully things are moderated enough that nothing horrible happens.
Remember that starting in a fandom means immersing oneself in a new subculture, the subculture of fandom.