Harry Potter fan fiction on FanFiction.Net

January 10th, 2010 by Laura Leave a reply »

I apologize for the writing quality.  I tend to like to present data.  My analysis and commentary tends to be minimal, stating the obvious and letting the reader speculate as to what exactly the data means.  Insiders can often explain patterns better than outsiders and for the Harry Potter fandom, I’m definitely an outsider.

A friend of mine has been busy pulling data off FanFiction.Net this past week.  He found some rather interesting things:

  • 8,566 Twilight stories on FanFiction.Net with no recorded reviews, 117,578 stories with at least 1 review. 93% of all twilight fics get reviewed at least once.
  • Master of the Universe has28,690 reviews on FanFiction.Net takes gold for most reviewed Twilight story on site.
  • 19 Twilight stories on FanFiction.Net have 10,000+ reviews.
  • The top 3 fandoms by stories on FanFiction.Net: Harry Potter [book] (437,590), Naruto [anime] (221,117), and Twilight [book] (126,590).

After he got that data, he turned to look at Harry Potter.   1.2% of the total stories are missing so there is a certain margin of error to consider.  That said, the average Harry Potter story on FanFiction.Net has 31.8 reviews.  The top ten most reviewed stories have review totals way below that of their Twilight counterparts, which has its top stories with 10,000+ reviews.  Harry Potter’s top stories in contrast have only one story with 10,000 plus reviews.  The top nine fall in the range of 6,200 and 9,300 reviews.  These stories are:

+---------+-------------------------------------------------+------------------------------------+---------+

| storyid | title                                           | url                                | reviews |



+---------+-------------------------------------------------+------------------------------------+---------+

| 2196609 | An Aunt's Love                                  | http://fanfiction.net/s/2196609/1/ |   11532 |



| 2636963 | Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past | http://fanfiction.net/s/2636963/1/ |    9307 |



| 4437151 | Harry's New Home                                | http://fanfiction.net/s/4437151/1/ |    8827 |



| 4240771 | Partially Kissed Hero                           | http://fanfiction.net/s/4240771/1/ |    8676 |



| 2318355 | Make A Wish                                     | http://fanfiction.net/s/2318355/1/ |    7626 |



| 1260679 | Realizations                                    | http://fanfiction.net/s/1260679/1/ |    7136 |



| 2571676 | Not Your Usual Veela Mate                       | http://fanfiction.net/s/2571676/1/ |    7101 |



| 3733492 | The Apprentice and the Necromancer              | http://fanfiction.net/s/3733492/1/ |    6646 |



| 3736151 | Better Be Slytherin!                            | http://fanfiction.net/s/3736151/1/ |    6506 |



| 2900438 | Unsung Hero                                     | http://fanfiction.net/s/2900438/1/ |    6297 |



+---------+-------------------------------------------------+------------------------------------+---------+

These stories are not short and were often written over the course of several years.  The average story on this list has 74.8 chapters.  Some of that is a bit skewed as one story has 251 chapters.  If that data point is removed, the average length is 55.2 chapters.  To put this into a different context, the average story is 289,902 words with the shortest one clocking in at a measly 174,735 words and the longest one at 396,525 words.

These stories were generally not started recently.  The earliest was published in 2003, one published in 2004, three published in 2005, one in 2006, two in 2007 and two in 2008.  Half of these stories are complete and three of the incomplete stories look like they are still being actively worked on.

Gen stories look like they have a slight edge in getting large numbers of reviews with four of the stories on this list falling into this category.  Of the remaining six, three are het (2 Harry/Ginny, 1 Snape/Hermione) and three are slash (1 Harry/Draco, 2 Snape/Harry).  If you’re looking to repeat this formula to launch yourself to a huge number of reviews, this may not be a helpful variable to focus on.

The authors of these stories tend to not be very prolific in writing other stories, with the average total number of stories by authors on this list at fifteen.  If you remove the author who wrote 57 stories, the average comes down to ten.  Some of the authors who have very few stories often follow up with missing scenes and rewrites of their work.  These tend to have substantially fewer chapters, and a smaller word count.  As these seem like important variables towards getting high review counts, that probably hurts their ability to get as many reviews on their other works.  A small number of stories though probably keeps their audience focused on their main work, giving them reason to keep tuning in: The reader knows what they like and they likely won’t be turned off by discovering other works by the author that diverge from their primary interest.

Beyond the data regarding the most reviewed Harry Potter stories on FanFiction.Net, story and review data was obtained and made into the pretty chart below.   The total number reviews for a month is based on the date the story was published, not the date that the review was left. So our Harry Potter story that was published in December 2004 with 11,000 reviews that was last updated in September 2009?  All those reviews are counted for December 2004.

There are certain peaks and troughs.  Some of this can probably be explained by the sheer volume of stories leading to additional reviews.  As people lose interest, less stories are written and fewer reviews are given.  Stories posted in 2009 are likely to not have multiple chapters for them to get huge numbers of reviews yet.  Or, quite possibly, interest in reviewing new one shot Harry Potter stories has totally evaporated.

Edited to add: The following chart shows the total Harry Potter stories on FanFiction.Net.  There are some big jumps but no really big ones.

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  • courtneyheadrick

    i am trying to read the fanfiction story called my first year as a cullen and I cant seem to get the story to come up. can someone please help me?Thank you so very much.

  • Claire

    I recently submitted a story. It has nearly 1000 hits and not one review, although one person marked it as a favorite and another bookmarked it. I wonder how many of the hits are actual people.

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