Reviews for Why Some Fanfics Are Just Terrible
Kellise chapter 6 . 4/1
Have you considered that the size of the Fandoms are possible errors in your logic? Naruto has around 200K more fics then Animes second largest section. Harry Potter does the same in books but by a margin of JUST under 500K. A more accurate way, if you had a logic engine to help or such, would be to take the number of fictions work out a percentage that are "firsts" or "suck at summaries"

For example, lets say HP has 7000 in a 700000K story population (Im rounding up for the example, these figures arent checked either) it would have 1% of the fics with a bad summary or firsts tag.

If Hunger games (rounded to 40000 fics) has 4000 of these though, despite being less then HP it would result in HG having 10% compared to HPs 1%. I think your summary doesnt take into account the complexity required to measure actually how much of each fandom is corrupted by such fics.

Of course...that would be a helluva a task, and Im probably over thinking this.
Kellise chapter 4 . 4/1
First story seems to often be a "please dont shoot" get out of jail free card type thing. People seem to think it excuses not using spellcheck.
Kellise chapter 3 . 4/1
Yeah I received hate once when I posted a critical review. If it had been my first I probably would have never reviewed again, but luckily I met a lot of nice authors before that ... well.
Kellise chapter 2 . 4/1
No rules against smut as long as the title and blurb is K rated.

Entries not allowed: -stories: lists, bloopers, polls, previews, challenges, author notes, and etc.
or two liners.
: comments inserted in between the flow of a copied story.
with non-historical and non-fictional characters: actors, musicians, and etc.
form of interactive entry: choose your adventure, second person/you based, Q&As, and etc.
/script format and keyboard dialogue based entries.

Actions not allowed: entries of the same material. There can only be one copy of any unique story on the entire site. No exceptions.
names of characters/locations of one story in order to upload to multiple categories.
from a previously published work (including musical lyrics) not in the public domain.

General rules: title and summary must be rated K for all audience. No exceptions.
must be given the proper rating. No exceptions.
must be placed in proper category. No exceptions.
of the same story are not allowed to be submitted as separate entries. All chapters/segments must be grouped together using the 'edit/upload chapter' feature in the left menu.

However I have seen most of the rules broken for your reasons and I do agree with you most on these points. Enforcement is scarce on FFNET.
Persnickety Fox chapter 3 . 11/6/2012
I might have an answer to your questions.

I had a similar experience with an author on Fictionpress. I noticed many grammatical errors, misuse of words, and misspellings of foreign words in that author's work. I wrote a review to help that person, but the response I got was disheartening. That person blamed Fictionpress formatting for his own lack of English language knowledge and said he was too exasperated with the foreign language's conventions to bother using them. He basically thumbed his nose at not one, but two written languages in one PM. It was clear that he didn't want to learn or take responsibility for his own mistakes. I didn't waste my time reviewing his work again.

Despite that debacle of a PM, I don't think he was intentionally writing badly. For all his horribly-formatted work, there is a sincerity in his storytelling that somehow resonates with people. Other reviewers either willingly overlook the flaws and enjoy his work, or don't know any better and enjoy it accordingly.

Using my experience as an example, I think that some writers who write for fun but post badly-written stories are not trying to act like trolls. Some people don't *mean* to not care; maybe they just care about the story and not the craft, as if the content will somehow outweigh the flimsy, inconsistent, badly-constructed packaging.

Some of these writers will not get reviews because of this and their work will simply exist on the Internet. But other writers, like the one in my example, do get reviews. These reviews are not only positive and encourage the writer to keep writing, but they have no constructive criticism at all.

This brings me to my next point. I think some uncaring authors post their stories for feedback, but not for the constructive kind. From what I've seen on Fictionpress (and FFnet), a majority of reviews are not constructive. They are short and vague, and usually exist to cheer-lead the writer to update a story. Reviews like these are what an uncaring author wants, and to be honest, these are probably all he or she is going to get.

That's why I don't think fear is what stops potential reviewers from giving constructive feedback. I think lack of motivation might be a bigger culprit. Constructive reviews require a lot more time, thought, and effort than one-line reviews. An average reviewer doesn't read a story to analyze and criticize it; he or she is there to be entertained. Explaining how to write something better takes effort and time and tact. Who has time for that when all a reader wants is to find something good? A reader will probably spend more time searching for and reviewing things that are already well-written (or what he or she *thinks* is well-written) than reviewing lost causes and hoping his or her efforts are not in vain.

If an author is not motivated to work on the craft, then his or her work remains unimproved. Improvement doesn't matter if an author posts his/her work on the Internet for adoration. It doesn't help that good aspects of a badly-written story may bleed through its framework and resonate with readers, because that could generate positive reviews which perpetuate the cycle of not-so-awesome storytelling. Readers who can see the flaws in such a writer's work may choose not to respond to it because of lack of motivation or time.

That's just my theory. Hopefully, it answers your questions.
Ghost in the Machine chapter 1 . 10/28/2012
Went through the six chapters you have so far while I agree with some of your premises, I can't agree with all of them.

While a bad summary usually does indicate a bad fic (fanfic or original fic), it's bad writing that makes a bad fic. Use of a first person viewpoint is merely a style choice, although I will admit it is harder to pull off in fanfiction than original fiction for the reasons you gave. I find it works best for characters who are self-centered. (Since the universe revolves around them anyway.) It can also be a challenge to write a story when restricted to a single viewpoint. Things happen off panel and the first person character has to infer them in a way to let the reader know instead of having it spelled out from an omniscient viewpoint.

Uncaring authors and rule-breakers aren't two sides of the same coin. They're the same side of the coin. Rules, either site rules or grammar rules, don't matter to them. They do what they want and simply don't care about other's opinions, be they readers or site administrators. (But you can pretty much guarantee a whine-fest if anyone objects in the slightest to their work. I feel this is an unwarranted self-esteem issue, but will save you the lecture.)

Looking forward to the chapter on author names.
Desa chapter 6 . 10/23/2012
Couple of typos.

I'm just wondering, when you do this story research, do you leave short reviews and/or report the stories at all?

(Also, is English your first language?)
Desa chapter 5 . 10/23/2012
The way you're wording this is kind of odd. Doesn't all fanfiction have the potential to be bad?

I would have thought that you would be putting more focus onto how to identify these issues as opposed to the issues themselves. It's not an issue that you're presenting it differently, of course. I just find it somewhat odd.

Also, you might consider paragraphing differently and restructuring some of your sentences, as right now it's not the easiest thing to track ever.

(Also, Grammar Nazi is a rather offensive term.)
Lord Mephystroph chapter 6 . 10/22/2012
I'll have to point out a minor fallacy in chapter 6 concerning a 'correlation between bad summaries with certain categories'. This 'suck at summaries' plague really exists in most fandoms, but it's more recurrent in entertainment that is designed to reach out to 14 year olds and younger. The three categories you've mentioned are all generally at the top of the list for number of fanfics posted. Other fandoms like 'yu-gi-oh', Bakugan, and MFBeyblade also have this problem.

Other than that, the logic is pretty sound. Nice piece of work, keep it up!
HerpDerp8215 chapter 2 . 10/14/2012
Very interesting... I didn't even know that there were rules against sexual content on FF. The entire practice has such a prominent reputation for it that it seems like a contradiction. I can't wait until you get to titles and pen-names, by the way. They're the kind of things that I would feel bad about tearing apart, but there really is a whole set of unique cliches for them. I'll admit that I've facepalmed at my fair share.

Keep it up. I look forward to seeing where you take this. :)