Where Have All the Fan-Fics Gone?

Where Have All The Fan-Fics Gone...?

Beatle Musings:  Posted July 10, 2010


Hiya Folks!

In the past few months, I’ve been contacted by several readers, both on and off this site, inquiring as to where they might find any new Beatles Fiction or new Beatles Fiction sites, (beyond "Your’s Truly’s," naturally!).  Unfortunately, I don’t have the inside skinny about any new Beatles Fiction outside of what can be found accessing search engines and links from other sites just like anyone else can do.  However, not for the first time, this raises a question ….

Has Beatles Fan Fiction passed its heyday?

An interesting question, il n’est pas?  Apparently, it’s not the first time I’ve asked it either, (well, consistency is a good thing, right?). I came across this post I’d written to my cohorts on a private BFF board, and I post it here, (warts and all!), verbatim:

"One thing I've sadly noticed all over the 'net is a discernable decline in Beatles fan fiction and active BFF groups/web rings.  It appears as though there was a burst of enthusiasm and creativity in the aftermath of 'Anthology'among both new & older fans alike, but, since about late spring, there's definitely less activity out there - even from the most prolific BFF writers.  'Rooftop Sessions' has been on hiatus since last December, the only two active BFF sites, ('BFFD'* & 'St. John's Wood'), have had virtually no new stories and very little updates to existing stories to speak of, and, of the three private BFF groups I am part of, not only have they had no action vis-a-vis fan fics, but, (with the exception of this one),  little to no action even in convo.  BFF has been around since the early 70's (though it wasn't always called 'fan fiction'), but, back then, they were few & far between and rarely, if ever, shared.  The explosion of general internet accessibility coupled with 'Beatlemania - Part II' aka 'Anthology,' I feel, really gave birth to BFF in its current incarnation.  However, let's face it, it's been more than a decade since 'Anthology,'   half of the Beatles have now passed on, and, despite the success of CdS's 'Love,' imaginations aren't being stoked the way were back in the 90's.  Certainly the Beatles - as musicians and cultural icons - will remain the perennial example of what it means to be a 'rock & roll group,' and their music will remain paramount in the hearts of the majority of music-lovers the world over for  very long time to come.  But the faces, the smiles, the eyes, (and other body parts I'll leave to your imaginations), that fueled the dreams, the imaginations, and, yes, let's admit it, the hormones of so many females for the past <gulp!> forty years - is this now becoming a thing of the past?  After all, how many people today are even remotely aware that Franz Liszt created such ardour among his otherwise staid, refined female fans that they actually created near-riots just to retrieve a lone glove or used tobacco?  So, here's my question:  Are we experiencing the demise of the phenomenon of Beatles fan fiction?  If so, how does that make you (writers & readers both) feel, and what, if anything at all, do you think can be done to generate that level of passion again?  Or - perhaps you might believe it's run its natural course and should fade away.  Perhaps you, like my fave Georgie, (who still can fuel my hormones!), also feel that 'All Things Must Pass.'  If so, I'd just like add my thanks to those of you who shared your dreams, talents, and imaginations in these wonderful stories.  Although I was only three years old when the Beatles entered my life and my heart, I remember 'Beatlemania' well - thanks for taking me back there....it's been a hell of a ride!"

*Beatles Fan Fiction Directory

I did a double-take when I saw the date I posted on this little piece of shit wisdom….August 26, 2006!!!  “Holey-Moley!” shouted I, prompting a strange look from the hubby, who just shook his head and went back to reading, (He does that a lot….I think he’s developing a nervous tic, poor darling!).  Anyhoooo….at the time I wrote this, I was strictly a BFF addict reader.  Yep, I had yet to write a single word of BFF!  In fact, it would be another eight-plus months before I would even write my first ficlet.  I will admit here that, quite honestly, I’d written and posted this lament largely to guilt the board into activity and the writers into generating more stories. (Hey, I was raised an Irish-Catholic, we boost “guilt” to an art form!).  Alas, while it did prompt several responses, including promises from our board’s writers that they would be posting new material forthwith, it didn’t happen. In fact, if anything, the decline I referred to back in the summer of 2006 continued over the next few years, including the massive loss of those fan fics – both good and not so good – posted to and hosted on “Geocities” and AOL’s “Homestead” when they were both purged from the web. 

Now, we seem to be in a holding pattern, so to speak.  As I’ve pointed out in my replies to those inquiries about where to find new BFF material, with few exceptions, any regularly posted new offerings, as far as I’m aware, seem to be limited to three sites:  BFFD’s Community,” “Beatles Fanfic Journal,” and, to a lesser extent, Beatle Review.”  All of them are on LiveJournal, which appears to be the last bastion for continuing activity in BFF, although it will more often than not be of the “slash” variety, (yeah, yeah, I know…but that’s a discussion for another day!).  Noting there are still at least three active communities can be misleading, however, as they each tend to have the exact same stories posted.  One can almost get away with checking one of them and safely assume the other two will have identical posts. 

What that really leaves us with then, is a handful of authors who are currently writing and posting new BFF, and, among these writers’ stories, the quality varies.  I can say, though, that there a few good writers and others who look very promising.  With genuine critique – that is, honest feedback, (and what writer doesn’t need that?!) – they can actually be quite good, (yes, that does mean doing away with the disingenuous declarative – “OMG! This is the best freakin’ thing I’ve read since ‘Twilight’” – type sentiments that so often passes for actual critique)

Okay, so we’ve seen an obvious waning interest in writing BFF, but that prompts another question….

Are readers no longer interested in Beatles Fan Fiction?

This is much easier to answer.  In my experience….no, I don’t think so, or, if there has been a decline in readership, it is to a much lesser extent than we see with the writers, and this makes sense.  While reading anything may be time-consuming, it’s not nearly as time consuming as writing, and if the statistics on my site alone are any indication, there is still substantial interest in reading Beatles Fiction.  Consider this:  I started this site at the end of November and only began to lightly promote it among a few hand-picked Beatles sites over the next month, mostly Beatlelinks and a few communities over on LiveJournal, including my own.  So, even with little to no promotion, coupled with the fact that this site didn’t even start to appear in search engines until just a couple of months ago….it’s already closing in on *3,000 visitors!  (Thank you, by the way!)  This tells me that there is no lack of interest in Beatles Fiction, just a lack of active Beatles Fiction sites and stories!  After all, in order for a reader to read, a writer has to write, right?  So, what’s to be done?  Are we doomed to being forced to repeatedly re-read BFF that we’ve read ad nauseum just to get our BFF fix?  Are we doomed to resigning ourselves to a world without BFF?  Are we doomed to subscribing to Das liebchen kind’s site? (heh-heh, sorry!)  Or, how about this idea…?

*[DLK’s host, Viviti, bases visits by IP addresses.  In other words, if an individual logs on repeatedly from the same IP address, Viviti will only count it the one time.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t retain in any way, log, or show anybody’s IP, so your secret’s safe!] 

 What if BFF readers tried their hand at writing?

Whoa!  Radical, I know!  Remember, I started writing Beatles fiction eight months after I’d written and posted my lament for the demise of Beatles Fan Ficdom….and do you know what?  I found out I wasn’t half-bad! (I’m not sure I was half-good either, but folks were kind!)  I discovered that I really enjoyed writing and that I had a flair for it.  I even enjoyed the [steady now.…brace yourself] research! 

So, here it is, the conclusion of this first ever, official DLK, (What can I say?  I’m a whore for acronyms!), “Beatle Musings”…uh, muse…?  In the spirit of the ever-lovely George Harrison, who was once known to have said in some film, “I’ll have a bash!”  I am challenging readers to pick up that pen, (or keyboard as the case may be….although, on second thought, it might be easier to type if you just leave it where it is…um, yeah), and “have a bash”  Try a short story, a bit of dialogue, something you’d always wanted to read in a BFF, anything!  You just may surprise yourself!  You could be great! Okay, you could suck, too, but, what the hell?!  You tried it!  You might even start thinking that your masterpiece is so wonderful, others should read it.  The sites listed above are a great place to start posting.  If your story is really, really good, you can even try submitting it to Rooftop Sessions.  Sue, the webmistress, editor, and all-around queen bee of RS, has said the resurgence of that wonderful e-zine is contingent upon the submission of enough high-quality stories - uh…yeah…but please read the submission guidelines over there first.  I wouldn’t want her coming after me for causing an overflow in her mailbox.  I’ve met her, she’s formidable, (j/k Sue, I think you’re great!  Wouldn’t want your job to save my life, but….)

So, there you have it, dear readers!  Ya want more BFF to read?  Start writing!  It will catch on!  I hope you’re all having a great summer, and, for our friends “down under,” I hope your having a great winter, (yeah, and I’m saying that with a straight face!)


Peace, Love, & Beatles,


P.S. - You can also try taking a gander at the "Links" page on this site.  You'll find some BFF sites and stories linked there as well!

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