Everyone reads fanfics. Okay, maybe not, but at the very least everyone has read at least one fanfic. It’s a medium that’s hard to avoid.
When you’ve read a lot of them, though, you start to see the stitches in the blanket-those little oddities that pop out now and again. I’m talking about things like these:
Troll fanfics: These are fanfics that are so bad, so grotesque, that they have to be fake, written by someone who clearly hates the original work and wants to piss off the fandom. An example? I’m loathe to give it, but it belongs in the My Little Pony fandom, and it is by far the worst thing I’ve ever read.
...Okay, fine. It's called Big Apple Massacre. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Secret Fetish: Less said about this the better, but there are a number of fanfics out there that, with a careful (or not so careful) read, reveal the presence of a secret kink of the author, especially if every fic by the author contains the same elements. Some are more obvious than others, and sometimes the author doesn’t even bother to hide it.
Why do I like this?: These are fanfics that are poorly written, but you like it anyway. The language may not be there, the writer may use way too many adverbs or the characters may act a bit out of character, but you don’t care. You’re so desperate for this type of story/this pairing that you will overlook all the bad qualities.
Why do they like this?: Flip the above statement around-these are fanfics that you find to be objectively terrible, but they have about ten thousand views and all the reviews shine to the moon. Sometimes, the answer to this question is that the author has a ton of friends, but other times the author is just answering a desire many people didn't know they had-and you don’t share it.
Why is this here?: These are fanfics that aren’t really fanfics. It may be that the characters are all completely original and the world is borrowed but changed enough that only the very basic elements are there, or the characters are borrowed but they inhabit a completely different world (These are referred to as AU, or alternate universe fics). These are very often stories that started out as original ideas and the author wanted to find an audience, and are the most likely candidates for future deletion and attempts to publish as original work.
The gems: These are fanfics that are so utterly phenomenal, and so much better than the majority of published work you’ve read, that you are left wondering why the author didn’t just write and publish an original story. Often these fit into the “why is this here” category, but they are so excellent that you are left flabbergasted as to why the author bothered with the fanfic step in the first place and didn’t just find a publisher.
These are the oddities in the fanfic world that I've noticed-if anyone has any other examples, feel free to leave them in the comments!