Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fanfictionary: Fan Fiction Terms for Beginnners

What does THAT mean?!
Sam & Dee

We’ve all been there, you get a review or witness a twitter conversation between to fellow fan fiction writers and eventually they start speaking in a foreign language.

Writer 1: Just finished my WIP! It’s an AU with an OC
Writer 2: Really! I just read a darkfic with an OC (and a smutty lemon). Once my beta's done I'll post my O/S. It's in canon.

WTH?! For most beginning fan fiction writers there are enough acronyms being tossed around to warrant the creation of a dictionary just for us (hmm…there’s a thought). But if you’re one of the legions of confused newbies who needs to know what these things mean RIGHT NOW, never you fear! You Write What is here! (can you see our cape and tights?).
Here’s a crash course in Fan Fiction Terms for beginners. You can thank us later.

A/N- Authors note
Something the author writes before/after they finish their story. Sometimes an author puts them in the middle, but people tend to hate that.

Physical or emotional torment of characters.

Abbreviation of anonymous. For when people don’t want to type it out or don’t like how to spell it (like me)

Many stories written by different authors set in one location. is an archive.

A plot theme in a show. Example: Seddie Arc on iCarly. Trip to Nationals in the second season of Glee.

AU - Alternate Universe
Usually ‘what if’s. Generally refers to when the canon is changed drastically or completely. Example: No magic in Harry Potter. Twilight with no vampires or werewolves.

Something that happened before the show canon. Example: Mr. Schuester’s wanting to be on Broadway (Glee). Bella living with her mother in Arizona before moving to Forks (Twilight).

Someone who checks spelling, grammar, punctuation, canon, characters and/or plot flow. The beta of a story edits the chapters and may or may not put their input on the chapter.

The official material & storyline  the story is based on (book, movie, TV show).

Certain rules are established and authors can submit their work. For example: change a part of the show canon and write how it changes the show.

Character death
Someone dies

Constructive criticism. When someone gives you tips on how to make your story better.

Two fandoms come together in a story (Bones/CSI crossover; Vampire Diaries/Twilight crossover; iCarly/Victorious crossover)

Dark Fic
A story that involves heavy themes of loss, betrayal, violence and/or death. Example: Harry Potter becomes a Dark Lord. Bella becomes a member of the Volturi. A member of the Bones team becomes a serial killer.

It’s how we tell the world that, sadly, we don’t own the characters or settings.

Short, short, short chapter(s).

The group of people who enjoy a particular movie, TV show, book, anime or other part of entertainment/culture. Fan fiction is a part of fandom but fandom includes more than just fan fiction.

Fan Fiction
Something a person writes based off of a book, movie, television show or other things they are fans of (cartoons, anime, real people).

Similar to canon, fanon is a storyline that has been used so often in the same fandom of fan fiction stories that it becomes accepted as its own canon. Usually this happens to fill in a gap left in the TV show, book or movie. Example: In the iCarly fan fiction fandom it is generally accepted that the hour before Seddie broke up was spent getting frisky in an elevator.

A review that is rude, offensive and not helpful. They are generally left anonymously by cowards hiding behind their screens. A flame usually contains insults against the story and sometimes even the author. Flamer should be set aflame.

Future fic
A story written after canon – set in the same universe as canon but written in the future. Example: A story set after the Final Battle in Harry Potter.

A sexually explicit story. Rated M on most sites. The story goes beyond merely describing adult situations and gives descriptions (sometimes graphic) of sex acts. The more graphic lemons are sometimes (affectionately) called ‘smut’.

A story describing sexual acts but with far less graphic terms or description. Would still be rated M on most sites but often ‘fade to black’ at the most intense moment.

The most annoying ‘people’ on the planet. Basically when the author makes themselves a character and makes that character perfect, all knowing or all powerful. Well it’s not based on themselves, but Mary-Sue’s are irritating (to most people).  Probably not to the people who write them.

National Novel Writing Month. Nothing to do with fan fiction really but important to many writers and we think it’s awesome so we’re putting in here.

Out of character. When the character is basically the complete opposite of how they’re supposed to be. Example: Ron Weasley is really intelligent. Sam Puckett is prissy. Bella Swan is decisive and not clumsy (sorry….had to say it)

Original character. Someone you create that previously didn’t exist in canon.

O/S: Oneshot
One chapter story

Putting two people together (Bella/Edward)

A story created to mock another story or created to mock a book, tv show, movie, etc.

Overall story line. It’s the reason for the story, the central point the story revolves around.

POV -Point of view
The ‘voice’ you write your story in. It’s the perspective the story is told from or meant to be seen from. It determines the way the story sounds.
First person POV tells the story in the voice of the characters as if they are detailing the action (I’ve always wanted to go to Mexico).
Second Person POV tells the story addressing one of the characters as ‘you’, making the reader feel as if they are a character in the story.
Third Person POV is told from the point of an observer outside the characters with every character being addressed as ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ or ‘it’. In third person POV the reader can see into the lives and thoughts of multiple characters.

Porn without plot. Smut written for smut’s sake without any discernible storyline.

Self-explanatory. When someone leaves a comment on your fan fiction work.

R&R - Read and review
Usually written in an author’s note as a request to a reader.


You Write What?! official stance on RPF’s is that they are not really a fan fiction story. It is our opinion that fan fiction deals with fandoms based on creations. Actors are not creations and writing about them (in our opinion) is creepy. We will never rec, review or post a RPF. If you write it…more power to you. But since it’s our site we don’t have to like it. And we don’t (in case you didn’t get that already).

What couple a person loves. Kind of like Team Edward/Team Jacob. You ship Edward & Bella or Jacob & Bella. Sometimes the ships are given names. Seddie (Sam/Freddie), Finchel (Finn/Rachel), Drarry (Draco/Harry)

Same-sex pairing.

A story that’s tied together with a song

Not usually termed this way by the author but more by the people reading it. Squick stories usually deal with something that is usually (in society) viewed as taboo or ‘off-limits’ that can include: incest, pedophilia, bestiality or any number of sexual taboos. Slash fics are not in this category (nor should they be)

A particularly nasty breed of human…sorry, this is supposed to be objective.  Trolls exist in every part of society. The basic definition is someone who speaks and/or writes things just to get a rise out of someone else. In fan fiction, trolls are people who write stories in a fandom just to cause problems or who post things to other peoples stories just to cause problems. Examples: Edward/Bella shippers who review Jacob/Bella stories just to post negative comments about the pairing (this could also be a flame). Also could be someone who hates the Harry Potter fandom and so posts a story that they know will piss off nearly everyone in the fandom. Trolls makes us want to throw our computers at their faces.

Troll Fic
A story that is purposely written badly. ‘My Immortal’ in the Harry Potter fandom is generally believed to be a troll fic.

Work in progress. Any story left unfinished that has not been discontinued or put on hiatus.


It's funny how we learn these words from obsessive fan fiction reading!


Original Fiction/Non-Fiction by Fan Fic Writers

How to Write Fan Fiction
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