Searched: "Fanfiction history," "history of fanfiction," "fanfiction in 1996," "internet communities in 1995," "internet communities in 1996" "anime fansub VHS tapes," "VHS tap eexchanges anime," among other things - which gave me great timelines of fanfiction history, but didn't answer all of my most nagging questions.
So I'm working on a supporting character for a novel set at the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996. My goal is create a twelve-year-old author of truly atrocious slash fanfiction.
You'd think that nothing would be easier to research online than fanfiction, and Googling and Wikipedia have given me some good information, but there are still some nagging questions:
- Am I right in thinking a precocious, tech-savvy, unsupervised, twelve-year-old girl with an internet connection could find slash-friendly fanfiction communities easily enough? How did people find these communities in 1995/96?
- As someone who didn't spend any time online until the 2000s, I'm having a lot time picturing the Internet in 1995/1996 - I know online architecture has greatly improved since then. What would a fanfiction community have physically looked like on the user's end? What would the interface/navigation be like?
- Her anime supply is coming from a friend's college-age brother, who in turn is getting his fansubs through a VHS tape exchange. I know such distribution systems existed as far back as 1986, but I was wondering how they worked, how you got on them, etc...?
- I'm also curious what kind of anime would be available then through those distribution networks. I was kind of going toward inventing my own similar to Sailor Moon, but I suspect the timeframe is too early. How long did it take for these things to get fansubbed and distributed?
- Finally, any first-hand experience of truly awful fanfic from the period would be helpful. Was bad fanfic then the same as bad fanfic now? Or are there stylistic differences in bad fanfic through the ages - things more common in 1990s, or things that would be anachronistic to put before the 2000s? What terminology should I avoid?
Thanks in advance for any help!
ETA: Wow. Just wow. I knew I'd get a couple of good responses here, but I realize in retrospect that I probably should've turned off my e-mail notification :)
Not that I'm complaining. I have all the material I'll ever need for this character, and then some. Thanks, all of you!