I've written before about the scary side of fandoms, but I figured it was time to tackle it again.
Mr. Crilly mentioned being a little frightened of making it big because the fans can be so... aggressive, and I'm with him on that. I would love, love, love to have a huge following, who are anxious and eager for my next work. I'd love to see my books in majors stores, be in talks for adaptations, and get invited to big conventions. But I'm with Brandon on this one. The prospect of having to deal with aggressively entitled readers is daunting, to put it mildly.
I understand loving something fiercely. Those of you who have heard me gush about Pan's Labyrinth or The Malazan Book of the Fallen will get it. But simply loving something doesn't entitle you to it.
Beyond the stupid irritation of fans pestering writers all the damned time about hurrying up and finishing a work (which, word to the wise, folks, if you just leave them alone to write, then they're not taking up precious hours filtering through your nonsensical comments and letters and they have that time to write. They're also not burdened with your expectations, which can really stymie the creative process), authors have received death threats because something happened in their stories that a sub-section of fans disliked.
Look, fans, I love you. You're the reason I write. It's so much fun to write something and hear that you loved it. But there is a flip side to that, and it's a dark, scary place. If that dark, scary place gets too loud, it can kill whatever creative spark a person has. Or it can make them too irritated, angry, or afraid to share what they've written with the world, and then you, dear readers, lose out.
A further note: you are not entitled to what a writer produces. It is not yours. It's theirs. You do not have the right to dictate to a writer what they should do with their characters or plots, and it's not up to you to crack the whip to get them to write. The minute a writer starts to pander to the loudest subset of fans, the work starts to suffer.
I know mine would.
Writers create something they share. You get to partake in it. But you don't own the thing being shared. Someone is sharing it with you, not giving it to you.
Loving it doesn't give you ownership of it, nor ownership of the person who created it.
Please, for the sake of the writer and the work, check your impulse to be scary.
That is all.