Fanfic vs. Canon: Female Characters in Harry Potter

As we well know, fanfiction is dominated by stories about male characters, which can appear a bit paradoxical at first, since it is predominantly written by women.

Several explanations can be advanced on the subject:

  • Canon books, movies and TV series are more often centered around male characters than female ones
  • Even when there are canon female characters, canon male characters are deemed more interesting than female ones in terms of story development and character arcs
  • Or it could be due to internalized misogyny: we would be taught since infancy that men are more of the hero-type than female

The aim of this post is not to solve the question entirely. However, I was thinking that in the case of fandoms based on books, it could be relatively easy to measure how often female characters appear in canon and make a comparison with their presence in fanfiction.

With this question in mind, I naturally turned over to Harry Potter:


Continue reading “Fanfic vs. Canon: Female Characters in Harry Potter”

Popular tropes in fanfiction

This week, Elizabeth Minkel and Flourish Kink asked Twitter what their favorite tropes in fanfiction were. This resulted in this interesting chart … and also inspired us: what can we say about favorite tropes or genres with our data about long fics published on AO3 in 2015?

Continue reading “Popular tropes in fanfiction”

All about mpreg in fandom! a surprisingly popular niche

Today, let’s dive in a subject a lot of us heard about, but might prefer to ignore… Mpreg! As in, male pregnancy (learn more on the Fanlore page). Yup. As usual, we studied fanfictions that are 10K+ words.

Mpreg is kind of a controversial fanfiction subgenre: people are either fascinated or put off, with very few stance for a middle ground. On AO3, actually a tiny minority of fics are labeled mpreg: in 2015, we counted 1357 fics tagged with mpreg published on AO3, that is 1.9% of the total of 10K words + fics. However, those fics are widely read: they attract way more readers than their number alone would predict.

Continue reading “All about mpreg in fandom! a surprisingly popular niche”