Let's be honest, fan fiction has a reputation on the internet and off. Usually, it's crap, it's nonsense, why is that? Well, what do you expect, it's literature written be amateurs, but that doesn't answer my question.
The way I see it, there are two main problems, story and writting.
Let's go with writting since it's the easier.
The biggest issue with this is simple, grammar, spelling mistakes, improper use of words. That sort of thing, and unless it's a pet peeve, it's not going to really through off people, unless you write like this isn't your first language. So what saves it... story.
In the abesence of good presentation, there is nothing but quality and this is where I think most fan fiction falls down. The problem with most fan fiction, is as such, they are just fantasies and not very good ones. With fan fiction, we are making out own stories in someone else's universe. The narrative is there, the premise, the concept and we are exploring it our own way. Not with most people...they just put themselves in the story.
I'm sure you've all heard the term 'Mary-Sue'. Basically it's a cheeky term for a bad character, mainly a bad main character, who seems too perfect, overpowered etc and the audience/critics are claiming the author is having a power fantasy with the character as their representation.
Their hallmarks are, they never fail, they never struggle, they have barely a personality, they always seem to get their way no matter what, they never seem to have to worry about consequences. I must admit, I have been struggling with this
Another instance is when the story just makes no sense. I have said inspiration is when you take stuff from many sources...but one would assume you thought about how those piece could fit together. Sometimes people just throw think into the pot and expect to get a gourmet meal, when all they made was...crud, a nasty mess of conflicting ideas, themes and just things that by their nature don't go together.
I won't talk about....'that' kind of fiction, but sometimes continuities are bastardize just for the sake of the author's fantasy.They are without taste or substance are best left forgotten.
I'll be honest, we are not immune to the failing of Fan Fiction, there are some continuities I will never read because I can't bare the grammar, that's not their fault, I just can't do it. In the past, this all started as such, creating alternate forms of 'real Ultras' and nothing more.
However we seem to have more interest to creating our own original entries to the series than playing around. We may not be perfect, but story, character and innovation seem to be our prime goal