I spend part of my free time writing fan fictions and editing them for others. My efforts concentrate on a single fandom, but my reading has now branched out to three or four different fandoms. I’m slowly deciding that this branching out was probably a mistake. It’s only reinforced something that hasn’t set well with me within my original fandom.
In my fandom, it’s very difficult to find stories that involve only the characters and settings from the manga/anime. Even harder is to find a story where the characters behave in character. Many of those who write in this fandom are younger, and tend to place themself within the fandom. That’s fine. They’re young; they’re learning to write and it’s often easier to work with pre-made characters and settings. I get that.
What I don’t get is when they have an established character doing something completely out of character, and then scream at the top of their lungs about how they’re right. Again, they’re young, they should learn to defend their decisions. They take characters and give the subculture that the fandom does not have. They give these characters issues that the writer faces in their own life that the characters don’t have to face.
When you completely change the nature of the fandom and its characters, are you truly still writing fan fiction? Haven’t you actually crossed the line and developed your own fiction? Wouldn’t it make more sense to present these stories independently from the fandom work. to actually give them their own names and recognize them as your own creations?
It’s one thing to create “what-if”s. Those are fun to create because you can explore different combinations, but you should still keep everything in tune with the fandom. It’s something entirely different to put character names on characters who aren’t anything like those characters (unless the what-if you’re exploring involves something changing or not changing the character’s personality).
Looking at two of the other fandoms that I enjoy reading, I never see this kind of behavior. Stories are kept true to the characters, to the setting. Original characters don’t pop out of the woodwork to draw characters off-character. I just wish that would happen with the one I write for.