Reader, Please Follow Me: Fan Fiction, Author Instructions, and Feedback

Maria Lindgren Leavenworth


The article examines forms of communication surrounding the publication and reception of fan fiction: on-line published stories working from an existing fictional universe. At focus are two fanfics that have Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a starting point, and their publication on the large site Already published in their entirety elsewhere, the daily chapter installments of the fanfics are designed to initiate contact with a new group of readers, reciprocated through readers leaving comments. This communication enables examinations of three aspects. Firstly, attention is paid to increasingly private conversations, indicative of a blend between several contemporary social practices. Secondly, the reception of the story’s logic and its downplaying of Austen’s complex renditions of cognitive processes is analyzed. Thirdly, more problematic ramifications of extended author commentary are interrogated, specifically how explicit instructions attempting to guide the approach to and reception of the fanfic result in forms of audience resistance.


author instructions, Author Notes, fan fiction, reader feedback, weblogs

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