Huh. I learned a new word today! “Id-fic.” Something that is satisfying on a deep and primitive level despite the fact that you A) recognize it is horrible or B) recognize that it is dreadfully ridiculous or C) are deeply ashamed that you enjoy it or D) all of the above.
Does not necessarily denote fan-fic, although I will suspect that fan-fic contains this in its purest and most concentrated form. (Anne Bishop comes immediately to mind on the published side, and we could make a big case for Jacqueline Carey. Hell, probably Twilight, too, now that I think of it.) Opinion is divided on whether it has to be bad, although I would imagine that one could write something very good and which was similarly satisfying for a segment of the population, and probably people do every day.
Jane Eyre and a number of other Gothic-style novels were referenced on one post, with the point that “Nice girl is repeatedly crapped on by life, triumphs over adversity, and Totally Wins In The End,” is pure id-fic for some. I’ll give ‘em that one. Cindarella is an archetype for a reason, and I like this plot as much as anybody, preferably with a side-order of stomping Someone Who Was Mean To Me And Also Prettier But Definitely Mean into the ground, and ideally some My Ex Is Now Filled With Burning Regret And Also Syphilis*, which is why my iPad contains a great deal of Mercedes Lackey and ilk, held in reserve for certain times of month.
(Good? Of course it’s not good! What does “good” have to do with it? I read for pleasure, not so that I can whip out my reading list at parties. If I want self-improvement, I will take a yoga class.)
Anyway, this is a useful mental hook to hang things on, even as I step back from the Dark And Terrifying And Why Is Everything In Here Slightly Damp Places Of The Internet that seem to be attached to it.
*For proper wish-fulfillment, this should be contracted AFTER the relationship. Otherwise your id may need a round of meds.