I love looking at how many stories get added or subtracted from major archives. One of the things I’ve noticed is that for smaller fandoms, it seems like there are a lot more people removing stories than there are adding stories. At times, it feels like a ratio of for every three stories added, one gets removed. Or that some fandoms just look like they are losing stories. Example fandoms? Animaniacs, Angelic Layer, American Dragon, Battlestar Galactica, Bad Boy, Baby-sitter’s Club, Captain America.
I have no idea why these fandoms would have these patterns. Most of the fan fiction authors I know don’t delete their stories. And they keep them on FanFiction.Net because FanFiction.Net is probably the single best archive for smaller fandoms in terms of getting readers. (Reviews is a different matter. I’ve heard lots of complaints that people don’t get the reviews there that they get elsewhere… but they do get the readers.) So why remove stories?
So I badgered a few friends, nagged at them to get their opinions. What they thought was that authors in smaller fandoms were more likely to be writing for more noble reasons. They wanted to write a good story. They wanted to improve their writing. And authors who write for that reason are, according to their point of view, more likely to delete/remove their stories if they don’t think that the stories are written well. They don’t want to have stories they aren’t proud of hanging around. They don’t want to subject their readers to those stories that don’t meet their quality standards.
So what do you think? Are those writers deleting stories because they are more self aware when it comes to their writing? Less focused on reviews and more focused on quality? Or is there another reason at play for why authors are deleting their works?