In five years, 908 entries – stories and art – have been part of the challenge. If this event took place in the real world, it would be considered a literary event of huge significance – seriously the creativity of fandom I awesome. I cannot give enough praise to the wendy and thehighwaywoman. They run the Big Bang with such grace that it appears effortless, yet the level of organisation (and diplomacy) required to manage an event this size is huge. They deserve much appreciation and love.
Last year I did some metas on fanfic in Supernatural fandom "What we write" and also an analysis of what had been produced in the first four years of the Big Bang. Well any good nerd abhors an incomplete data set, so I've updated the stats (with graphs!) to include this years output.
The Big Bang is a very specific subset of fanfic. It is long form fic which must be over 20,000 words: the average story length is actually around 40,000 words. I don't have figures on the average length of a fanfic, but based on some dodgy sampling and a guess I'd say less than 10,000 words.
There were 243 stories and artworks posted as part of this year's Big Bang. This was down from 2010's 278 stories. I think the main factor affecting this was probably the proliferation of other big bang challenges in the fandom – there are now ten other big bang style challenges in our fandom! Check out the great list wendy has compiled of these and Big Bangs in other fandoms here We can also see the shifting numbers of SPN and RPF fic.
The graph above shows this as the relative percentages each makes up of total stories. From my previous work, we know that overall canon based fic makes up around 80% of stories with RPF making up only 20%. This has shifted a bit over time, and for 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, RPF made up 30% of fic.
The Big Bang started with SPN stories in the majority, and this swung around to RPF stories dominating, and this year it was a 50/50 split. I am not sure I have a theory to explain this. Any suggestions?
Of the 122 RPF stories this year, 8 featured pairings other than J2 and there was one gen story.
Unsurprisingly within SPN fic, slash is the dominant genre, although as is typical of SPN fic overall, there is a significant Gen component, with these stories making up from 21 to 33% of stories. This is actually pretty reflective of the proportion of Gen fic in SPN fandom, although it was decreased in the last couple of years, not in absolute numbers but as a percentage of all SPN fic, as the arrival and huge popularity of Dean/Castiel fic swelled the ranks of slash.
When we start to break the categories down a bit further, we see a definite increase in the variety of fics.
This graph shows actual numbers of stories rather than percentages, and illustrates the rise in diversity in the last couple of years. This obviously reflects the rise in secondary recurring characters on the show since season 4.
There were 19 Dean/Cas stories in 2010, and 15 this year. This category is obviously heavily influenced by the deancasbigbang which started very successfully last year, and this year has over 50 stories and artwork due to be posted staring on October 3.
I haven't repeated all the analysis I did last time, such as genres within RPF, as for some of that I need to wait for the completion of the tagging of the 2011 stories on delicious. However from those tagged so far I did have to pic out some of my favourite fic warnings. These included warnings for:
• Mentions of het
• Everyone relies on Misha
• Naked Misha
• Supernatural elements
• Unlicensed therapy
And of course Chad!
No warnings for JDM - however hopefully there were some surprise appearances.