Y'all are some foolish people, you got that?
No, of course I'm not actually Tara. Are you all really that bleedin' stupid? I was never Tara, and I never will be. Listen up.
Odds are, you will never find Tara. It's possible that she's out there, somewhere on the Internet. Is she continuing to write fanfiction in the My Immortal Style? Probably not. My Immortal is (or, more accurately, should be) old news by now. It was published all the way back in 2006, and it's now 2013. Why are we all still so obsessed with it?
Most of you who view this page have probably fallen victim to the easy comedic value of the fanfiction. The characterization is poor, the prose is lazy, there's no semblance of a continuity, the grammar is atrocious, and it's blatant wish-fulfillment. It utilizes a startlingly stupid generalization of the Goth subculture, reverting it to what we can now call the Goffik subculture: copious amounts of eye makeup, Tim Burton, and Hot Topic receipts, all stewed together to create angsty teenagers striving to be more unique than their peers, but at the same time wishing to appear as if they aren't trying. Not only does it completely twist the image of the Goth subculture, it also distorts the image of Satanism (which many level-headed individuals belong to, though I am not one of them). Controversial topics abound, such as sex, rape, violence, self-harm, death, exploration of sexuality (in extremely odd ways that nearly make light of the topic), and the isolation that teenagers face in everyday situations.
Obviously, these are presented in such a way that we view them as ludicrous caricatures instead of believable plot devices - which they are. The awful spelling, grammar, characterization, plot, and formatting near-instantly turn us into judgmental elitists. My Immortal is such an easy target that we all take advantage of it. We hold it up on a pedestal, screaming that this should be the locus of our attention! And why do we do it? Maybe because it's easy entertainment; maybe because we seek to present ourselves as well-read individuals who can pick apart the worst of literature. We're attracted to give trolls attention, whether we believe that Tara is a troll or not. Your stance on that issue doesn't entirely matter, however.
I think at the root of our constant desire to poke fun at this fanfiction is insecurity. Of course, you'll all be rolling your eyes at this point, but you know what? There is a bad writer in all of us - whether we are bad writers at the moment or whether it's our shame from the past. There's a bit of Tara, a bit of Jenna, and a bit of Laura in all of us. We've all written horrible Mary Sues, whether they be shameless self-inserts or simply ludicrously overpowered individuals who slowly take over the entire story in our rampant desire to make them out as the best character ever. We've all written stories where we try to fulfill our own wishes rather than those of the readers - or the one that the story actually needs to tell. We've all striven to be the most unique amongst our peers. Girls, have any of you ever used the phrase not like other girls or claimed that you only hang out with guys because girls are 'too much drama?' Guys, have you ever described yourself as one of the only nice guys out there? Have you ever claimed to be better than another fan because they haven't read or watched as much of a series as you have? Have you ever rolled your eyes at someone who just barely discovered your favorite band? Have you ever directly attacked the fans of Twilight instead of addressing the issues of the series? And - I'm sure this one will ring true with a lot of you - have any of you ever lorded your music taste over those who listen to Justin Bieber, One Direction, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, or Rihanna?
We all need to be realistic with ourselves here. Whether it's now or in our pasts, we've all been Tara. Maybe not to the extent of My Immortal, oh no; we all have different stages, and some of us never reach that extreme. And maybe not all of us have actually shared our horrid creations on the Internet, where older, more experienced people can laugh and poke fun at our stories and art, tearing them apart bit by bit. My own horrible creations - well, some of them are on the Internet (where they shall stay), and some of them are safely locked away in dusty diaries, untouched for years. I want you to sit long and hard and think about what you've locked away. Now pretend you put it on the Internet and thousands of people are now criticizing it. Does that define you as a person now? Are you still that person?
Most likely, Tara is still out there somewhere. And most likely, she's grown as a writer and a person. She probably does not continue her crusade against 'prepz' anymore. She may still be into MCR and Good Charlotte. She may still love Tim Burton films and boys with cool haircuts. She may have read the Harry Potter books at last, or decided to leave that ugly part of herself behind her. She may even be a Satanist, for better or worse. But I doubt that she is the same person who began typing out My Immortal's first chapter back in 2006.
We can all debate about where Tara is now for ages, but I'm going to advise you all to stop your personal journeys to find Tara and rip her apart again. Since she hasn't logged into her account again to post new stories, we should all take that as a clue that she no longer wants to be associated with her past with XXXbloodyrists666XXX. This means that Tara has moved on, and you all should as well. People change and grow. She has matured somewhat and moved on; it's time for you to as well.
When we grow as artists, we grow as people; and when we grow as people, we grow as artists.
I wish you all - including the real Tara - the best. Happy belated holidays, and I hope you will put your time into something more constructive and healthy in the future.