Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'essays'.
This is an essay that I've been working on for... sadly, almost two years now. Writing it was one of the reasons I signed up for BZPower in the 1st place! But it sat on my shelf, and, after a few revisions, I've decided to release it into the world. I'm not sure if my views today are 100% in accordance to the arguments I've made herein, but they're generally close-enough & I'm willing to stand by most of what I claim here. To begin, Bionicle is... not well-known for depicting a large variety of female characters; mainly because most female characters are exclusively confined to the Water element (at least when it comes to the female characters that get set and story space) and are subsequently saddled with Water's stereotypes. In particular, Bionicle is lacking in positive depictions of female leaders. Pomegranate talked about this in a much earlier post: As mentioned, Gali, Hahli, Macku, Vhisola, and Tuyet are not leaders (at least officially). Helryx is one, and Roodaka, while a leader (and someone who I'll probably talk about in a post after this one) is both a villain and has her own representational hangups. While I could talk about Helryx, I'm instead going to talk about a character that is given greater focus and who serves as an example of what happens when female leaders do exist but aren't acknowledged. Yes, we're talking about Toa Nokama. Nokama is not the leader of the Toa Metru, yet she suspiciously does everything an actual leader would do (as well as things the actual leader of the Metru should be doing but isn't). For the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to concern myself with how Nokama is depicted in "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui" and "Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows". I might veer into comic book territory in a separate post. Why do I choose the films and not the books and/or comics? I’m choosing the films for a variety of reasons. For one, the films probably reached a larger audience of children than the novels did, and thus, from a broader cultural standpoint, the films are perhaps more important. Plus, it dishes out more of the story than the comics do. Finally, given my preclusion for being long-winded, this material is more than enough for me to work with. Comparing the depictions of Nokama across all Bionicle’s media would be time consuming and ultimately pointless, because how she is depicted in the novels is going to be different than the video games and the comics. (Just as a note, I'll reference most of my observations--the ones that didn't slip my mind, anyway--with a timestamp, so you can follow along with me, if you want). For starters, Nokama is the first Matoran who Toa Lhikan gives a Toa Stone to (LoMN:3:05). In doing so, he tells her to "guide them with your wisdom." That Nokama is chosen first singles her out (admittedly Vakama, by virtue of being chosen last, is also accorded a special position), especially given the advice Lhikan gives her. Guiding her fellow Toa could be taken as a directive to lead them, especially since none of the other Toa are given advice that singles them out as leaders also. Vakama, treated as the actual leader of the Toa Metru, is told to "save the heart of Metru Nui" (LoMN:7:55). While Vakama's task is important (perhaps the most important directive any of the Toa are given), it does not explicitly call him out for a leadership position. This isn't the first time Nokama comes first, as it happens. She is also the first Matoran to place their Toa Stone into the Suva, inadvertently calling the other Matoran to action to do so themselves (LoMN:1147). When Vakama receives a vision (from Mata Nui, don't let Greg fool you with his talk of glitches ), all the other Toa are convinced he's gone haywire; only Nokama decides that the visions should be trusted (LoMN:14:54). And it is partly on Nokama's word that the Metru go along with the plot to find the Great Disks. Vakama suggested it, but none of the others apart from Nokama appear enthusiastic about the idea. This isn’t really a majority vote either; Vakama and Nokama is still 2 against 4. Onewa states that he's "doing this for Lhikan, no one else," but this line doesn't follow--the Great Disks have nothing to do with Lhikan to Onewa's knowledge. Onewa is also one of the most emotionally defensive of the Metru; what he says isn't always how he feels (for example, he cares about his brothers after they've been captured, yet he disparages them the entire time). His reluctance could be a cover; Nokama's leadership qualities convince him somewhat, but he doesn't want to admit it. I want to shift gears a moment to when the Toa are tasked with crossing the sea of Protodermis. Here, Vakama (future leader of the group) freezes up and issues no commands to his team; when Onewa asks "what do we do now," Whenua, not Vakama, answers him (LoMN:19:02). Rather, it is Nokama who tries to lead the group out of danger; after a quick "follow me" (LoMN:19:12), she directs Vakama to shoot at the statue of Lhikan, ultimately securing escape for herself, Vakama, and Matau. Nokama also takes initiative to use the Le-Metru chute system to escape Nidhiki and Krekka, with Matau and Vakama following her example (LoMN:23:05). When the chute's flow changes direction, Nokama is the one who leads the trio out of danger, using her Hydro Blades to catapult them out of the chute (LoMN: 28:00). When the three need to travel to Po-Metru, Nokama seeks out the Vahki transport to use; Vakama (the future leader) instead preoccupies himself with the presently-useless Great Disks, almost missing the transport altogether (LoMN:29:59). When they finally get to Po-Metru, Nokama becomes the first Toa Metru to discover her mask power (something the film treats as an important plot point), which she then uses to track down Lhikan by getting help from the Kikanalo (LoMN:35:26). After this incident, Nokama proceeds to do absolutely nothing of consequence for the rest of the film (don't worry, there's always the next film), as when reunited, the Metru are lead by directives given by Turaga Lhikan, and once Makuta reveals himself, the film's focus switches to Vakama exclusively for the rest of the film. Still, it's a rather impressive run; this is almost half the film's running time! Most of these points could be condensed down into "Nokama does something, then some (or all) of the Metru decide to follow her," and I'm sure it sounded more than a little repetitive. But my point was to show that Nokama's leadership qualities in B2:LoMN were not a one-time event. In a vacuum, the end of B2:LoMN shows that the Toa are, at the very least, taking turns as leader. No one is explicitly called the leader at any rate, and while Nokama shows her value at the beginning of the film, Vakama shows his value at the end of it; forging the Vahi, battling Makuta, following the light, and being the first to give up his Toa power to awaken the Matoran. Who lead the team depended on whose qualities were best fit for the situation, reinforcing Bionicle’s themes of Unity and Duty (if not Destiny). Unfortunately canon, and B3:WoS, have to go ahead and ruin that interpretation. The film begins with Vakama as the definitive leader of the Metru; trying and ultimately failing to rescue the Matoran. Instead, the whole team is captured, and Vakama decides to blame himself rather than motivate the team to look for an answer. While Norik offers support and a potential way out of the mutation, Vakama rejects that offer, instead deciding to abandon and betray his teammates in favour of seductress Roodaka. Granted, Vakama has been suffering depression and lack of confidence for two films in a row and has just been rendered more bestial (whatever that means) by the Hordika venom. The Vakama of B2:LoMN isn’t a perfect leader, but in certain situations he can lead the team effectively in a positive way. But the Vakama of B3:WoS is categorically unfit to be a leader, between getting his team captured, abandoning and betraying his team, and his prior history of low-self esteem and freezing up in dire situations in B2:LoMN. Let me reiterate—this is not Vakama’s fault, per se, but it means that he is not a good choice for a leader. Nokama’s leadership skills, however, are still in full force. She is the one who insists the Metru must believe in Keetongu, even as Vakama and Matau doubt her (WoS:19:04). She also speaks on behalf of the team on staying out of the Great Temple while mutated (WoS:26:31). When the team enters the coliseum to rescue Vakama, Nokama is the first one to call out to him (WoS:46:22). When diplomacy fails and the Toa charge their Rhotuka, it is Nokama who gives the order (WoS:47:25). When Onewa doubts they should keep charging the spinner (instead of firing it), it is Nokama he directs the question to, implying she is in command (WoS:47:34). When they do fire the Rhotuka, it’s on Nokama’s order (WoS:47:43). Given what results, it is implied that the plan to use the Rhotuka to fly is also Nokama’s doing, given that she gives the order to let go (WoS:48:03). Web of Shadows ends with the Toa not only accepting Vakama back into the team but letting him stay on as leader. This is crucial—the virtue of Unity required that the Toa accept Vakama back, but there is no reason why he had to return as leader when his prior experience in the role resulted in such failure. In Web of Shadows, Vakama fails his way upwards, as you will, in that his failures as a leader result not in him being reprimanded, but instead in his authority being upheld without further question. Ultimately, this series of events begs one simple question: Why is Nokama not the “official” leader of the Toa Metru? She approves missions for the team to follow, leads them out of dangerous situations through quick-thinking, and is the first to learn important aspects of being a Toa that her teammates then follow by example. What else is required of a leader? Who among the Metru can seriously boast being a more qualified applicant? Greg, the Wikia, or the canon in general, have explained the above with a mix of "it was Vakama's destiny to lead the Metru" and "Nokama was the Deputy Leader of the Metru, and was acknowledged to be good enough to be the actual leader by herself and her teammates, but decided to step aside from the role because it was Vakama's destiny." In other words, a heaping load of bull. Destiny is important to Bionicle, no two-ways about it, but Vakama's actual destiny is shown to us; forge the Vahi (for himself) and save the Matoran of Metru Nui (with the other Metru). Nothing about his destiny requires he be the leader, other than the fact that he's: A) The protagonist B) Male C) The red toy These three points are interrelated, but to give a counterexample, Matoro was arguably the protagonist of the "Ignition" arc, he was male, and he was one of the most marketed of his team (though not red, both he and Vakama are right up front in the posters). Yet he isn't the leader of his team; he doesn't have to be, and no one expects it of him. His role is even more important than Vakama’s but said role is not diminished by the fact he’s not the leader. This is all to show Bionicle’s strengths and weaknesses as a storytelling medium. We have strong female leaders in this story. But while the story-verse is gracious enough to treat these female leaders not as a rarity or an odd-quirk, it also doesn’t acknowledge their contribution nor fully reward them for their efforts as often as I think is probably warranted. And that's it! I regret to inform you that T-shirts declaring 'I read Mukaukau Nuva's essay & all I got was this lousy T-shirt' are not forthcoming, but I wish they were. Thanks for reading
Naturally, we can surmise that Bionicle G2 ended for the same reasons all LEGO themes do—the theme was underperforming sales-wise. We can ballyhoo around exactly how badly G2 sold to warrant an early expulsion, but in my opinion the degree to which it failed to sell isn’t the important part. What everybody wants to know is why it failed to sell, or what factors the theme had that may have contributed to why it didn’t meet financial expectations. Most discussions surrounding why G2 failed are centred around G2’s story—don’t get me wrong, this is important. Yet, while we’re talking about the profit potential of a product (a product that isn’t a story, mind you), we should keep our thoughts reticent of the fact that most consumers who buy the sets don’t care about the story. Therefore, we should expect that the reasons why the sets failed to sell are unrelated to the story. I posit a few major reasons why the G2 sets underperformed; naturally, I have no evidence beyond the sets themselves and marketing materials already made public. However, even from those, we can gleam some picture of what didn’t work. For the most part, I’ll be staying away from directly comparing G2 to G1. When I do, it will only be to G1’s first two years (2001-2002); the only two years G2 got. Even then, I’ll only try to bring G1 up when discussing something about G1 that is demonstrably true (e.g. that the sets came in canisters, for example). The first factor is simply a lack of (effective) marketing. I’m not the first to mention this. G2’s primary marketing outlet was the Netflix show Journey to One. Ninjago was LEGO’s first (successful) foray into this medium, which demonstrated that TV shows were the way to hook kids on a long-running story. Heck, Transformers proved that in the ‘80s. There’s one caveat here though—on Netflix, the viewer must actively seek out the program. As a result, no kid is going to search for Journey to One without already having heard of Bionicle beforehand. As a result, Journey to One isn’t bringing new kids to the line—it’s trying to convince already-interested kids to stick with it. At that point, you’re relying almost entirely on word-of-mouth to generate interest. Contrast this to 2001-2002, which used traditional print ads (posters, cardboard standees), an online presence as a part of the fledgling internet (Bionicle.com, Bioniclestory.com, and the MNOG), a promotional campaign with McDonalds (the Tohunga), and a short comic book series. It all served to generate hype, and it worked. Even so, this says nothing about the quality of the marketing that’s being implemented. Journey to One does not actually seem to be poorly received (its IMDb score sits at 6.4/10 as of this writing, a smidge higher than the 6.1/10 held by the most eminently watchable Bionicle movie, Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui) (1). However, many reviews were simply lukewarm (2). Even among the positive ones, not many of those reviews were enthusiastic—they recommended watching the show to support the theme (3). At that point, the show isn’t pulling its own weight—the brand is promoting it, it is not promoting the brand. Bionicle G2 also took on a concerted light-hearted tone. While not necessarily a limiting factor, a more mature tone had already become what was expected of the brand. Besides, that tone was part of what made the early years so much of a success. 2001-2002 marketed itself as a big kid’s toy (but a toy nevertheless). It was cool to like it, not hokey. The marketing (and sets) were designed with “Bionicle Boy” in mind; a kid who was going to show off how cool these toys were to other kids (4). With a campier tone, LEGO limited their ability to replicate that success. Additionally, what marketing G2 implemented was inconsistent. Its bright colours, campier tone, and less-lore heavy bent signaled out the theme as aimed at a younger audience—kids the same age as the ones who bought the original sets in 2001-2002. However, the theme also attempted to court older fans as well; using the name “Bionicle,” using the original six Toa’s names, having the masks of said Toa resemble their G1 counterparts, as well as hosting contests on BZPower, stronghold of the original G1 fanbase. While this double-barreled strategy could have worked (subsequently pulling both new and old fans together), what resulted was mixed messages. AFOLs were pulled in by the recognizable names and faces, but many felt they weren’t catered to by the rest of the marketing. Kids, on the other hand, may have felt left out, considering that Bionicle was not made into their brand—an older brother’s brand, perhaps, but not there’s. The second factor is that the new sets were sold at a poor price point, which isn’t discussed enough as a contributing factor to both G2 and G1’s demise. The 2001-2004 canister sets were cheap, about $8, depending on the wave (5). LEGO sets are an expensive toy as a rule, but one could enjoy most of what a wave had to offer with just one impulse purchase (as all of the old sets were clones), but if one wanted more there was more available (different masks, weapons, and colours for customizing). The 2015-16 Toa were all too expensive for an impulse buy at $20, so the first purchase was a big commitment; you either had to be aware of the theme or like it already, or you were taking a big risk wasting a lot of (your parent’s) money on a set you didn’t like. It wasn’t as easy to test the waters with the newer, bigger, (better?) Toa. Now, at this point, I’m sure someone out there is screaming at me about the Protectors. Yes, the Protectors were priced at an impulse buy price point. Why, you might be asking, does it matter so much for the Toa to be cheap when other cheap sets are available alongside them? Well, the problem has to do with disappointment. When you’re a kid in the toy store, and you’re looking up at that awesome big red Tahu with the swords and the lava board, you get disappointed when all you can afford to buy is the weeny red Protector next to him, who doesn’t have a unique mask and doesn’t even have a name. Your purchase doesn’t feel important, because you feel you’re missing out on the main draw (the Toa). The 2001 Toa didn’t have this problem because they were the main draw, and they’re the sets you’re expected to buy and be interested in. The final point is not so much a nebulous point as it is a very specific one. That being, G2 suffered from poor set-wave configuration. 2015’s winter wave tried very hard to recapture the feeling 2001 had—there were six Toa sets to choose from, along with a variety of little dudes. However, the subsequent summer wave was a huge misfire. Of all the G2 sets, it was the Skulls most reported to be shelf-warmers. And with good reason—skulls and spiders are cliché choices for theming villains, fit for Hallowe’en but not a great deal else. The same could be said of the beasts from 2016’s summer wave; Hero Factory had done a whole wave of Kaiju-inspired beasts only two years prior. By contrast, the Bohrok were arguably the best-selling wave from 2001-2002. This might not seem like a big deal (after all, all the other sets are quite solid), but what made G1 so successful in 2001 and 2002 was the one-two-three punch of the original Toa, the Bohrok, and the Toa Nuva. G1’s sales were declining ever since 2002 (6). Therefore, we can assume with reasonable confidence that these sets (especially the later two) sold very well to the point of overperforming (after all, the 2003-2004 canister sets weren’t bad, or at least they don’t read that way to me). Both 2001-2002 and 2015-2016 staggered their hero and villain waves (starting with a hero wave, and this is extremely important. The original Toa sets sold very well, to the point it would be unreasonable to say they sold out in many places (7). As a result, when new fans who were brought into the theme by the equally-popular winter wave Bohrok needed hero sets to fight them, the summer wave Toa Nuva sets were just what they needed. But without an equivalent to the Bohrok (both as villains and as just plain fantastic sets), G2 didn’t give consumers enough of a break between the original Toa wave and the revamped Toa wave. There wasn’t demand for the 2016 Toa as there was for the Toa Nuva because the original versions were still on shelves. Putting it this way, G1’s first three waves were all best-selling, well-received sets in their time. Yet, between G2’s first four waves, only two of them (the Toa waves) were marketable, and thus they were the only two that could even hope to be successful. Make no mistake, this was a death-by-a-thousand-cuts. Bionicle G2 probably could have afforded to make a one (maybe two) of these mistakes and survive as a less-than-stellar but still pretty successful theme. Rather, I think it’s a combination of all the factors that made it fail—much like how it was a combination of factors that lead the original Bionicle series to succeed. And none of this is to say that Bionicle G2’s sets were bad. I’m also sure that one of these factors probably did more damage than the other two, or that there are factors at play that I didn’t mention that we may not even know about. Whether Bionicle G2’s failure also served as the end of original constraction lines is still to be determined. We haven’t seen another LEGO original IP constraction line since G2 ended. Maybe that will change; maybe it won’t. In any case, there’s still a lot to be said about G1 and G2 that hasn’t been covered yet. Bibliography (in alphabetical order) (1) a. “Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui.” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387658/?ref_=tt_sims_tt b. “Lego Bionicle: The Journey to One.” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5075942/ (5) a. “Bionicle—Toa Mata.” Brickset. https://brickset.com/sets/theme-bionicle/subtheme-Toa-Mata b. “Bionicle—Bohrok.” Brickset. https://brickset.com/sets/theme-Bionicle/subtheme-Bohrok (7) Breen, Bill, and David Robertson. Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry. Crown Publishing Group, 2013. https://books.google.ca/books?id=OsyEX0nPkygC (6) Farshtey, Greg. “Post 7953744.” Official Greg Discussion Archive, 14 Nov. 2013, (4) Robertson, David. “How Bionicle Transformed LEGO's Company Culture.” Inc, 20 Jun. 2014, https://www.inc.com/david-c-robertson/how-bionicle-transformed-lego-s-company-culture.html (3) RRproAni. “Bionicle: The Journey to One review (spoilers).” Deviantart, 8 Mar. 2016, https://www.deviantart.com/rrproani/journal/Bionicle-The-Journey-to-One-review-Spoilers-595398632 (2) “Quick Thoughts on Bionicle: The Journey to One.” Jangbricks, 4 Mar. 2016, http://www.jangbricks.com/2016/03/quick-thoughts-on-bionicle-journey-to.html
I've been writing Bionicle fanfics for almost eight years now and in that time I've seen a variety of fanfic writers, ranging from the really good to the really bad. And not just on BZP, either, but on other sites that host fanfiction. I've read so much fanfiction, maybe even more than original fiction, which is something because I read a lot of novels and short stories. As a result, I've noticed that fanfic writers, generally speaking, can be divided into six different categories. This doesn't apply to every fanfic writer ever; still, in my experience, most fanfic writers do fall into one or more of these categories. These are: 1) Aspiring Professionals These fanfic writers have dreams of becoming professional fiction writers one day. While they enjoy writing and posting fanfics, they do it as a way to practice their writing skills and to get feedback on their work so they can one day reach professional level. They generally appreciate lengthy, detailed reviews, even if the reviews are harsh and blunt, mostly because they want more than anything else to improve. Aspiring Professionals are not necessarily the best writers around, but they are always striving to improve and are always trying new things. They tend to be fairly prolific and often gain a reputation in their fanfic circles for their work ethic and the quality of said work. Surprisingly, Aspiring Professionals are few and far between in fanfic communities. This is less surprising when you consider that most fanfic writers write purely for the fun of it and have no dreams of publishing original fiction or having a writing career of any sort. Unfortunately, this sometimes causes conflicts between Aspiring Professionals and the other kinds of fanfic writers because Aspiring Professionals sometimes hold others' work to their own lofty standards and can be quite harsh in their reviews when someone else's story is not quite as good as it could be. Sooner or later, Aspiring Professionals stop writing fanfics in order to focus on their original fiction (though whether they become actual professionals is another question entirely). Depending on how good they are and how much they are liked, this can leave a big hole in the fanfic communities in which they wrote, even if the Aspiring Professionals continue to comment on someone else's story every now and then. Then again, sometimes they leave and no one gives a darn, so like I said it depends on the quality of their work and their popularity. I myself am an Aspiring Professional, although I have no idea if I have a reputation for producing quality work or not. Nor have I completely left the world of fanfiction, either, as I am still posting In the End and The Biological Chronicle flash fiction series. Aside from that, though, I think the term fits me well, at least better than the others do. 2) Hobbyists To the Hobbyist, fanfiction is a fun pastime, not practice for a future in fiction writing, like how Aspiring Professionals treat it. Most Hobbyists usually do appreciate criticism, but the degree to which they do varies considerably, ranging from listening to even the harshest of criticism to ignoring/attacking anyone who points out even one small typo in their work. To be clear, I'm not saying Hobbyists are bad writers. Oh, no. There are many good Hobbyists (in fact, some of them are on par with professional fiction writers when it comes to quality). And many Hobbyists do take their craft seriously, even if they do not write as often or produce as much work as Aspiring Professionals do. Nonetheless, their work ethic is generally not as good as that of the Aspiring Professional. They can go months at a time without writing a single word of fanfiction and usually take an inordinate amount of time to finish longer works. If they are in the middle of writing an epic, for example, and some life crisis comes up that they can't avoid or fix immediately, they will generally drop the fic at least until the problem is dealt with, often without alerting their readers until the problem has passed. Some Hobbyists can be quite prolific, but the vast majority aren't, although they definitely post more fics than Contestants or One-Shooters (see below). Hobbyists can also be fairly active in their fanfic communities, participating in critic's clubs or judging contests or whatever. I'd say that most fanfic writers are Hobbyists. They write fanfiction for fun or to connect with fellow fans or to explore their favorite franchise or whatever, but their true passion usually lies elsewhere. They, too, stop writing fanfiction at some point, though unlike the Aspiring Professional, their disappearance is usually noticed less (unless they were very popular or good, that is). 3) Contestants A Contestant is a fanfic writer who only writes fanfics if there is a contest going on. If there is no contest, then they aren't usually writing anything even if they have some story ideas. Like with every other type of fanfic writer, the Contestants' quality ranges from amateur to professional. They probably make up an even larger majority than Hobbyists; however, I generally do not think of them as members of the fanfiction community due to how rarely they write. A Contestant might become a Hobbyist or even an Aspiring Professional, depending on how much they enjoyed writing their contest entry, but the vast majority do not. When they disappear, few people care because they didn't write very much (unless what they did write was exceptionally good, of course). 4) The One-Shooter These guys generally do not write anything longer than a short story; heck, sometimes they stick solely to flash fiction. It's mostly because they are afraid of committing to longer works. These guys may have ideas for longer works, but they lack the will, discipline, and commitment necessary to see them through to the end. And if they have ever tried to write an epic-length story, then it is usually lying abandoned somewhere on the Internet and is often the reason why they stick to short stories/flash fics. Because they stick with short stories and flash fiction, One-Shooters can be incredibly prolific, often even more than the Aspiring Professional. They're usually pretty good, too, at least when it comes to writing short fanfics. They do great with prompts, but sometimes have difficulty in coming up with original ideas as a result. I'd say these guys make up a sizable minority in most fanfiction circles, but the extent to which they do varies from community to community. 5) Collaborators An uncommon group, Collaborators rarely work on their own. They prefer to write fics with at least one other writer, sometimes with more than one. Failing that, they may rely heavily on multiple beta readers for feedback and ideas in their works. Collaborators generally put out much less work than non-Collaborators, mostly because they are working with another writer, which almost always increases the amount of time it takes to finish a fic. Their epic-length stories generally remain unfinished mostly due to the challenges of working with another writer. Like I said, they're not very common at all, so it can be hard to gauge the quality of their work. Nonetheless, I've seen enough Collaborators in fanfiction that I figure they deserve a category all their own. 6) One Fic Wonder Pretty self-explanatory. These guys write one fic--sometimes an epic, sometimes a short story (though usually a short story)--that becomes suddenly popular, akin to the kind of unexpected successes in original fiction (such as Harry Potter, Twilight, or any other breakout series). After the initial buzz dies down, though, these guys often disappear. Most of the time it's because, like Hobbyists, their true passion lies outside writing and so generally do not try to follow up their big hit with another story. When they do write another story, it usually isn't as popular as the original even if it's just as good if not better. Some of these One Fic Wonders, as I call them, do go on to write more fanfics, maybe even become Aspiring Professionals, but that is rare and does not always happen. These are the six different kinds of fanfic writers I've noticed over the years. These categories aren't mutually exclusive (you could be a One Fic Wonder Contestant, for example, or a One-Shooter Aspiring Professional or whatever), nor does being one type mean you'll always stay that type (a Hobbyist could become an Aspiring Professional and a One Fic Wonder could become a Hobbyist). And of course, they don't cover all fanfic writers (although I have a hunch that they cover most of them). To be clear, I am not asserting these categories as the undisputed, undebatable Truth or whatever. I am merely sharing my observations to see what everyone else thinks. Do you agree? Disagree? Notice any other types that don't fit into any of the six I mentioned above? Share your thoughts in the comments. -TNTOS-