Why fan faction is (generally) rubbish

A couple of traumatic experiences make us write off fan fiction forever.

angelOne of the worst afternoons of my entire life was spent reading a Firefly/Buffy fan fiction mash-up, where both of Nathan Fillion’s characters – Captain Malcolm Reynolds and religious mentalist Caleb – meet in the most contrived scenario ever created since the birth of man. It put me off fan fiction for a very long time.

Then, last night, I decided to give it another try. I’ve always been slightly bothered by the lack of closure at the ending of Angel season five, and since I’m too cheap to fork out for the expensive trade paperbacks of Angel: After The Fall, I decided to let fan fiction decide what happened to Angel and his crew instead.

I stumbled across an Angel Season Six fan project from a few years ago. I read the entirety of what would be the first episode, laughing along the way at some of the hackneyed dialogue – once again, fan fiction had self-destructed for me.

So, lesson learned. I’m convinced there’s some good fan fiction out there somewhere, but I’m not willing to risk it again without some serious prior recommendations. If you have any, please share.