I have never posted on any community before this. I rarely do, it makes me feel nervous and I much love to be a lurker.
Before I joined this site, I used to read and sometimes anonymously review works of fanfic in Tolkien on a few archives. I was, and still am awed by the wonderful writers that I came across.
The LOTR, Silmarillion and The Hobbit are something that stays with a Tolkien-fan forever. I guess it is so in my case too. But reading fanfic often makes me wonder if there is more to love about the wonderful stories that fanfic writers spin than the original Master's works.
When I came to this site, I had only lurking in my mind. I have been lurking for nearly two and a half decades now. And I have no other fandoms, proves that I am a devout Tolkien fan.
But then I saw that you did not have to write stories to review somebody's fic. Surprising that it took me so long to know that reviews are always appreciated.
I have come across many bad stories and plots, I admit. But the sheer enthusiasm that writers have truly amazes me.
The first story that I read on this site proves why Tolkien's world continues to entice us all.
The Song Of Sunset, by JDE, is a true tribute to everything that we all love about the wonderful world of Middle Earth. Her compelling narrative, vivid descriptions of all her characters(and she certainly has a ton of them!), the beautiful relationships and the plot! There are so many intricate subplots woven within her main plotline that one does wonder if she is not a professional writer in disguise, who dabbles in fandom. But she is a first-timer and this massive work is her first work of fiction. The depth of her plot and the smooth flow between the POVs of her characters makes one awed.
Works like this makes me marvel at the brilliance of fandom writers. There are so many published books that cannot simply match these wonderful stories. That is a reason why fandom still goes strong.
I have heard people complaining of AUs spoiling canon. This is not true. AUs complement the canon, spawning a whole new diverse set of characters and places that intrigue us just as much as Tolkien did. The Song of Sunset is a case in point. There is a seamless interweaving of AU, canon and OCs in the novel that we do not really become aware of the gradual flow of the plot from canon to AU and back.
Mary Suing, well this is a much debated point in any fandom. But since no writer asks the readers to compulsively read the work, I do not think that relentless persecution of MarySues has anything to accomplish. People have the freedom to write what they want. And they have the freedom to read and review what they wish. As long as we keep away from malicious reviewing and dorking and flaming and what-nots, fandom becomes a wonderful place.
I just want to thank all the wonderful writers out there, whose works I read but feel embarrassed to review. I comment on a few works nowadays since my first few comments on JDE's works and xFanatrix's essays had such glowing responses from the said authors. They have helped me feel bolder. Bold enough to attempt an essay on fandom,
Now, to find the boldness to add this to the archive. I am nervous, but this little work is long overdue.