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The Life and Mind of DamnBlackHeart
This is to help me stay actively writing. So expect to see rants, tips on writing, thoughts on subjects, me complaining of boredom, reviews, anime, movies, video games, conventions, tv shows and whatever life throws at me.
Is Fanfiction.net Truly Against Reader-inserts?
I had an interesting discussion with someone and they bring up a good point about Fanfiction.net rule. Under the FanFiction Content Guidelines, of “Entries not allowed," item #5 says:

Any form of interactive entry: choose your adventure, second person/you based, Q&As, and etc.

The question they bought up to me is what qualifies as “interactive" in the context of being firmly prohibited? The rule doesn’t specifically state that they ban ALL second person stories just because of it’s format. Only that “interactive" entries are not allowed.

At first I was confused on what they were trying to tell me, but they explain to me that it’s possible that many people may have been misinterpreting this rule. Second point of view is an legit writing format and to ban it is ridiculous to do because they might as well ban first person too. First person in a way is also interactive, pulling the readers inside the main character’s mind and body.

So when you think of it, any story can be an “interactive" and segregating a point of view just because it’s commonly abuses it is unfair. The rule doesn’t state that “interactive" is about the format of a story it is written in. Instead it refers to stories that are “interactive" which is when authors ask input from their readers of what should happen next and/or giving the readers choices in the story such as CYOA.

I now understand what they are getting at. The rule is a bit of a grey area because it’s not clear and does not explain what they don’t accept, but at the same time it offers a loophole because of the lack of information.

It’s possible that many people are misinterpreting the rule believing that anything written in second point of view is not allowed. But maybe they do ban second p.o.v. but for the wrong reason. Maybe whoever thought of the rule doesn’t actually understand the concept of reader-insert at all and thought of it as an “interactive" story like CYOA?

We will never know. People in the past have contacted those at Fanfiction.net to explain the rule but they’ve never respond. I personally don’t post any reader-insert stories because I always thought of it as against the rules and I continue to think so. Though it makes me wonder why there’s still so many second point of view stories on the site. I’ve seen some that have been there for years and even after purges they’re still around. I even seen some stories in which they’ve been reported for being written in second point of view but were never deleted.

That’s why I think the person who bought this topic to my attention has a point. Maybe reader-inserts are allowed as long as they are not interactive? But the rule doesn’t make that clear and many people assume it means that anything written in that point of view is not allowed. It’s just too general and odd for it to be listed as an example. But again, we will never know what they mean and why it’s really there.

Either way, people continue to post reader-insert. Some people are new and might not be aware of the issue of it on the site. Others are aware of the rule but hope that people don’t take it literally to mean that all second person stories aren’t allow.

EDIT: They finally give an explanation for the ban. I was correct. It’s not the format of the stories that they have a problem with. It’s when it contains sexual content because if a minor reads it and their parents find the story it can result in a lawsuit for the site and the author. The writer becomes guilty of writing child porn and gets the labeled of sex offender for life, which is the main reason why they do not allow reader-insert since most of them include lemons (sex scenes) in them.

The second reason, mostly for CYOA is when it’s interactive with reviewers, and by that it means when reviewers tell the writer what they want in the story - such as adding their OC, adding what pairing they want or what happens next and so on. Basically having reviewers write the author’s own story instead of using their own imagination is frown upon. But the main reason is because the review section wasn’t created for that. Reviews are suppose to give an assessment of what the reader thought of the story.

As long as those kind of stories don’t include sexual content or is interactive with their reviewers than there is no reason to really report them. That’s why some of those stories are still around, because they are don’t violate the true reason those kind of stories were banned in the first place.

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