Fading Blossoms: When a Fandom Wanes

It is that most glorious of seasons right now when the maple trees outside my window are in the midst of changing colours.  I watch the winds of autumn play with the red, gold, and orange leaves which, more and more, with every passing day, let go of the branches they’ve clung to so the breeze may carry them where it will.  What was once green and vibrant and bursting with life, has now taken on that last richness of colour before giving way to the new which will come in springtime. 

It’s been over three and a half years since the original Eternal Love:Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms drama first aired.  I was a latecomer to it, only discovering the show, Tang Qi’s novel, and the early fanfiction works inspired by it about a year later.  

I started writing my very first 3310 fanfiction, The Scales of Atonement, in April 2018; a springtime, when all was fresh and bursting with life and the fandom was still in its heyday.  I remember the excitement and the debates on the comment boards whenever a chapter was updated.  Reader engagement was so high and there was no lack of motivation to write.

And through the grand summerlike season of my fanfiction writing, that engagement was a driving force that got me to create and compose those stories clamouring to get out of my head.  

Fast forward more than two years… the seasons have passed… the number of readers has greatly declined, the pace of view counts slowed to a crawl. There are no longer debates or discussion. 

When Netflix brought the original drama into their selection in early 2019, new viewers were introduced to the story and a new wave of fanfiction readers happened by. It was an influx of warm, fresh air that carried the fanfic stories over for another year.

Time passes and interests change. People have moved on. Yesterday’s vibrant passion has become the stuff of nostalgia; its colour having peaked and now fading, like the autumn leaves outside my window, like the peach blossoms in my daydreams. 

New fanfiction readers still come on occasion, but they are fewer and fewer. Those readers who stay on and continue to vote and comment are a precious treasure I cherish.  No words I come up with can ever adequately convey how valued and appreciated they are.  If it weren’t for them, my 3310 fanfic writing journey would likely have ended long ago.   

Nothing lasts forever. I know this.  I know this very well.  But it’s not something easy when it comes to the Eternal Love fandom because it’s not about embracing change.  It’s about letting go.  It is about being that leaf that has ripened to its richest hue and that the wind is calling to be carried away, to allow for the new to come in.

There has not been a single day in the last two and a half years when I haven’t been thinking about what I’m writing in a fanfiction story.  But fiction it is.  And as much as I would wish to be able to script real life, that is a cosmic pen I cannot wield.  I have my sad moments, seeing numbers wane and fewer and fewer comments made.  But life goes on and my imagination is primed to go.  Let the future begin. I will pick the most beautiful and fragrant petals that I still may and press them with care within the pages of the last 3310 stories that remain for me to pen.  I hope their scent of heaven will linger there with their beauty forever preserved, as forever preserved they will be within my heart.

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March 6, 2021 14:36

March 6, 2021
It’s so nice to be able to access here from my email. A BRUSH OF FATE was one of my favorite book that I had the pleasure to re-read over and over again. Chapter 28 was so emotional and uplifting for me in many ways because Ye Hua realized and acknowledge his heart was Bai Qian all along and Bai Qian serenity was Ye Hua. Blue was definitely loveable character and became Ye Hua’s Wingman. Such an amazing book, indeed and the trailer was Magnificently done. Great job. Thank you for another new book in new genre that I do loved.

September 28, 2020 07:37

I joined the 3310 fandom after watching the drama and reading the book. This is my favorite Chinese drama fandom.

You Ladies have moved me with your stories and above all your writing.

As someone who follow other fandoms, I always come back to a fandom I follow after having taken a break from it.

3310 was the only fandom I followed on going stories. I am used to only read completed stories to avoid disappointment when a story I enjoy end up not been completed and I am left with my hunger and anger.

My excitement over 3310 stories has deminished not because I do not have interest in it but because :

At one point, I had to wait for specific stories to be completed before I could again enjoy YH BQ story. When this did happen, I had to read other stories which did not get me excited like your stories does even thought it was YHBQ. New YHBQ writers came but the damaged had already be done to my enthusiasm and I had joined new fandom, discovered new stories in other fandoms that I came back to.

I love commenting but also discussing a story I read especially 3310. Unfortunately this can only be done with readers who are willing to engaged in a discussion. This was also a great motivator to me but like you know, my partner in crime has left 3310.

I am still waiting for Golden Lotus story as this has been one thing that I eagerly wanted to know and read. I hope and pray that I will get this chance. I just want to enjoy a YHMY story with no BQ there and I think Golden Lotus story will give me just that until the story reach the part of him been awake by her cry.

I would love to read and adventure with MY and YH travelling with Dong Hua, Lian Song.. meeting new people along the way.

What do I miss in 3310 stories is reading the trials and tribulations 1 or both characters is or will experience. These are things that I enjoyed in Tang Qi story ” Susu part” , the pending discovery by BQ of her past as Susu and the what will she do? The loss of her love ….all were painful but extremely angst to read.

Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining at all but I do love extreme angst. I have noticed that most writers seems scared to put the characters in trials and very hurtful situations lol.

I look forwards to more stories of YHBQ and YHMY from you ladies. I will be sad if you stop writing them as there is no need to stop unless you have no new inspirations in time of stories for them. If it becomes the case them I will sadly force myself to understand.

Elisabeth Long
Elisabeth Long
September 28, 2020 13:28

There is much food for thought in your comment, Anne. Thank you for having shared your personal feelings and thoughts so candidly. A lot to ponder indeed…

Marie Bisset
Marie Bisset
September 27, 2020 21:40

Reading this post really struck a chord within me, Lisa. It always makes me a little sad as well to realize the excitement surrounding 3310 and its fan works is starting to fade. I’ve been writing about YH, BQ, MY, and all the other beloved characters for so long it’s difficult to imagine not plotting new and crazy scenes for them in my head. The characters and their stories often occupy my time while I’m grocery shopping or sitting in traffic or while suffering a bout of insomnia, lol. It really feels like a huge chapter in my life is coming to an end. But I also look forward to the new adventures to come. I think your words have really captured the bittersweet feeling that goes along with so many transitions from one moment in life to another.

September 27, 2020 17:40

I watched the drama late 2019 in Netflix when I was on holiday in Canada to see my sister and discovered fan fiction early this year. I love your and enjoyed reading your stories. I will continue to reread them and look forward to reading your new stories. Scales of Atonement, A brush with Faith, Silk Blade and If Tomorrow comes are favourites although I really do not like Chen Kai lol 😂

I am excitingly looking forward to reading Sea of Clouds. I’m anticipating a rip roaring, swashbuckling adventures with some bodice ripping spicing thing up 😜

Elisabeth Long
Elisabeth Long
September 27, 2020 17:57
Reply to  Jab

There are lots of good things to see in Canada, eh? Lol 🍁. It is always a great compliment when someone says they enjoy rereading a story you’ve written. Thank you.

Yes, Sea of Clouds is still a story I wish and plan to write… bodice ripping notwithstanding, lol.

September 27, 2020 17:25

I came to the 3L3W late last year and discovered the fan fictions early this year and I’m one of those who admires your writing ✍️. My favourites are Scales of Atonement, A Brush with Faith, Silk Blade and If Tomorrow Comes. And I don’t like Chen Kai lol 😂

I enjoy rereading the stories and will continue to look forward to reading your new stories 😍❤️

Elisabeth Long
Elisabeth Long
September 27, 2020 17:41
Reply to  Jan

💕 Thanks Jan.