Author has written 32 stories for Inuyasha, Harry Potter, Super Smash Brothers, Sailor Moon, D N Angel, 24, Teen Titans, Last Unicorn, Avatar: Last Airbender, Twilight, Sweeney Todd, and Yu-Gi-Oh.
You know, I've been around fandom for much of my short life. From the age of maybe eleven to up until now, I have read thousands of fic at the least, as dorky as that may sound.
It's been rewarding; it's made me grow as a person, I think. I have become a better writer for it. I have learned to sift through the muck and single out the best things to read. I have learned to recognize cliches, faulty characterization, crappy plot devices and the dreaded Mary-Sue.
I have inherited a world of fanart, kink memes, communities, the tentative discovery of the Gay and then the subsequent immersion (head first) into its wonderful depths.
It hasn't always been good. More than once, I have found myself frustratedly seeking some excellent fic I could not find again, left only with its memory. Other favorites of mine I have seen discontinued as those who authored them tired, or lost inspiration, or got caught up in the Dreaded Real Life (I had understood that we were all here to escape that nasty thing!).
My favorite authors (not properly listed here) have at times disappeared or moved on to strange fandoms, and sometimes I have followed them (here's looking at you, Maiden of the Moon) and sometimes I haven't. Sometimes, upon a reread many years later, I find that some beloved fic I had enjoyed was not quite so perfect as I had imagined, and yet the satisfaction never quite leaves.
In one case (a miss Kristine Batey) the authoress has died. Very sad, yes, but at least we have her writings still on the sterile preservative of World Wide Web, yes?
Anyway, my perpetual struggle with fandom has been that the very best of it ends, or those who proliferate it Leave. Harry Potter and Inuyasha, my two originals, are technically over. There is always, of course, the vague sense of betrayal one has when an author leaves fic or fandom, not only for the loss of their completed works--but also for the loss of one more player in this little escapist game. Nobody wants to grow up, you see.
Even if I one day outrun my Peter Pan syndrome (a part of me never will), I have a list of at least three wonderful magnum opuses (opus? opi?) to remember my time here by. Galatea by Sage of Angst, Possession by Wheezambu, and Faust by Ryuujitsu are, for me, shining literature even excluding the fandom ties. Stumblers would do well to check these stories out, having followed each (the first two for years now), they have grown with me.
To all the rest of you starting out in this or still capable of really immersing yourselves (however clandestinely) in it, happy hunting to all.
THE BASICS: Camille, seventeen, fanfic in all its flavors and incarnations still makes me melt into a secret puddle of happy mush.
THE BASICS PART 2 (11-05-2015): To my shock, I have grown up. But fandom, I will always love you. Because of you, my vocabulary is amazing (yes, the side effects of reading thousands of pulpy descriptions of character eye colors!), and because of you I know the joy of being emotionally affected by writing, great or not.