I'm much more of a behind-the-scenes person when it comes to the fandom. Most of you don't know me from Adam, but you do know what I do within the fandom, although that's not important for the purpose of this essay/rant.
The snobbery of the HP fandom writers.
I have to admit, when I first entered the HP fandom, I was a bit surprised that there were people my age and older; I was originally from the Star Wars and LOTR fandom, and I was often a] one of the youngest people and b] one of the only girls. So the HP fandom was a rather refreshing change.
It wasn't until I started getting more into the fanfiction writing area that fandom snobbery suddenly surfaced- at least to me.
At first, I dismissed it as a few ardent shippers flouting their preferred writers around, but then...
Then someone asked me if I had read some trilogy- I believe it's Draco Veritas. I said no, because I'm not a huge Draco fan, and someone had told me before that it's a Draco-oriented story. [I still don't know, having never read the story.]
I was then slammed harder than a ninety-pound calculus geek at a WWE match. Plenty of "Where have you been?" and "You're obviously not much of a fanfiction reader." Uh, yeah I was [and still am]. Pardon me for having preferences, but I gravitate towards things not relating to Draco. That's just me. I like different sorts of stories.
Over the past year and a half, I've noticed that fandom snobbery has been getting worse. If you're not buddy-buddy with a certain writer, or if you're not rec'ced/Niffled/featured from here to Timbuktu, or if you don't run a popular site, you're no one.
I've been rec'ced four times, not counting personal homepages/LJ's where people just list their favourite stories. Mirabile Visu and Tell Me a Story are both still the two of the three featured Stories at The Pensieve, and Hermione's Scrapbook was featured at and Niffled Fiction Alley. Hermione's Scrapbook is my story most likely to show up on personal rec sites.
And guess what?
You still don't know me from Adam.
Does this bother me? Not really. I write for me, and one or two people who read all my stories on a regular basis. This is fine, and I don't care. I'm not sure I'd be able to deal with it if I were a really popular author. My stories are better known than my names, and that's perfectly alright with me. I'd rather people just like the stories.
However, if I try to contact another authour [outside MNFF] for any reason, I'm often ignored or belittled because 'my stories aren't as popular.'
Who the hell cares? Really now. I sometimes write authors just to drop a note and tell them I liked their story, or even to get a bit of clarification on something they wrote that I'm interested about. Excuse me for not being Cassandra Claire, but come on! A 'thank you' would be nice. I really don't give a shit if your story has more reviews than mine. Half of all reviews are just 'plz rite mor', and what part of you makes you think you're better than me because you have more?
For a while, I was inclined to ignore it. Given that I'm more of a cause-fic writer, and thus write on more unpleasant topics, I don't expect all the ooh's and aah's. I went into the fandom knowing I'd never be that big as a writer. I didn't mind.
I do mind when my fellow authors suddenly believe they're hot shit because more people read their stories, and thus are above us mere mortals who simply plod along with our simple ideas and simple fics. You're really not, because some stories that I've seen that are popular are, by general writing standards, not that good. Plenty of them just pander to the fandom.
There are the normal sub-divisions. There are some well-known romance writers, darkfic writers, crackfic writers- every genre has their shining star. Some of the writers are generally great, and some of them just write stories that they know will get reviews 'lyke whoa.' I've encountered the snobs in every genre. My darkfics simple aren't dark enough, or sometimes gorey enough. My romance is not sweeping and beautiful.
Your point being? Just as my opinion is subjective, so is yours. Some horror writers are actually quite crappy- they just splatter blood everywhere and attract the gore-hors. Some darkfic writers can't write well, but just randomly inject wangst and suddenly, JKR has nothing on them. I'm a god-damned character writer, so you'll have to excuse my lack of popularity on the fact that there's a noticable lack of blood, tits, and sugary-sweet moments in my stories. That doesn't mean you're a better writer than me, it means we write on different mediums. It's like comparing Anne Rice novels to the Baby-Sitter's Club books- it doesn't work right, because they don't belong in the same category.
What's the point of this rant?
To entreat my fellow writers to get off their high-horses and mingle with us common-folk. We're all writers, and I've found that some of the best-written stories have been totally ignored by the fandom at large. Of course, my opinion is obviously subjective, but still. I don't think myself better than anyone else because I've had good recs or a lot of reviews. I think I still have stuff to learn from other writers. You have shit you could probably learn from my stories. Come, leave your vaulted pedestals of "OMG LYKE WHOA I LUV YER STORY" and the high volume of reads, and claim your place with the rest of us.
In the end? We're all still just fandom writers.