What Is Fan Fiction?
Everyday, we are inspired by movies, television, novels, and other forms of media. They engage our minds with a variety of stories and characters, their plights and triumphs, their everyday minutiae. Fan fiction authors are so enamored with these other worlds and their inhabitants that they must partake in the stories which have brought them so much enjoyment. They expand on the current universe, explain gaps in the narrative and delve into characters' motivations.
A good fan fiction (or fanfic) is more than simple borrowing another writer's characters and universe. The fan fiction author must immerse his or her readers in the story, make them believe it is a natural extension of the source material. Characters have their own mannerisms and quirks; each universe has its own history and rules that need to be followed. The fan fiction author must master the nuances of those characters and the world they inhabit (unless purposely writing a parody).
Fan Fiction On deviantART
Fan Fiction has its own gallery, located inside Literature. Here are two screen shots of the "Browse Art" screen, showing Fan Fiction's location and its sub-galleries.
Inside the Fan Fiction gallery are several sub-galleries: Drama, General Fiction, Horror, Humor, Romance and Sci-Fi. Any submissions to Fan Fiction should go into the most applicable sub-gallery.
Fan Fiction Terms
When browsing fan fiction, there are many terms that pop up repeatedly. Here are some of the more popular ones.
- Alternate Universe (AU) - Also Alternate Reality (AR), Alternate Timeline (AT). An AU fiction has some detail or details that differ significantly from the source, be it with the characters or the setting.
- Angst - Angst stories revolve around emotional trials and/or suffering.
- Canon - Canon is the source material that fan fiction is based off of. It is any information provided by official sources, connected with the franchise.
- Crack/Crackfic - Crackfics are fan fictions written with the intention of being ridiculous, beyond normal humor standards.
- Crossover - Crossovers take two or more franchises and combine them into one fan fiction story.
- Drabble - A drabble is a short story, usually one hundred words long. Some people consider any extremely short story to be a drabble, regardless of word count.
- Fanon - Fanon encompasses commonly held beliefs by the fandom that have not been confirmed by official sources. Many fanon concepts are depicted so often in fan fiction that they become considered canon.
- Fluff - Fluff stories are happy, light-hearted stories, and usually not serious.
- Hurt/Comfort (H/C) - Hurt/Comfort stories involve one character's emotional pain and another character helping the first, comforting him or her. Often these stories involve pairings.
- Lemon - An erotica story that focuses mainly on its explicit aspects. Because of the nature of these stories, they usually do not comply with deviantART submission guidelines and are therefor not allowed on deviantART. If you discover any fan fiction on the site that falls under this classification, you can report it.†
- Mary Sue/Gary Stu - This character is an overly perfect character. He/she outshines the canon characters, often preforming tasks better than them. Many times, the Mary Sue/Gary Stu is related to a canon character or becomes involved in a romantic relationship with one (or more). Mary Sues/Gary Stus are often a way for an author to insert a projection of themselves into the story.
- Name Smooshing - Formally known as Portmanteau. This occurs when two names are "smooshed" together to indicate a specific pairing (e.g. Chandler and Monica, from Friends, smoosh into Mondler).
- Original Character (OC) - Also Fan Character (FC), Original Male Character (OMC), Original Female Character (OFC). An original character is a character created by someone outside of the official source.
- One True Pairing (OTP) - Also One True Threesome (OT3), and can continue upward as long as the author desires. This is the speaker's perfect couple (threesome, etc.) in that franchise.
- Pairing - A pairing is a romantic relationship between two characters.
- Porn Without Plot (PWP) - Also Plot, What Plot? An erotica story that focuses mainly on its erotic aspects. Because of the nature of these stories, they usually do not comply with deviantART submission guidelines and are therefor not allowed on deviantART. If you discover any fan fiction on the site that falls under this classification, you can report it.†
- Real Person Fic (RPF) - This stories involve real people, usually movie stars or famous singers.
- Songfic - Songfics are fan fictions inspired by songs or song lyrics.
- ! - An exclamation point, placed between two descriptors, can be used to qualify a certain aspect of the story. The first descriptor explains the variable; the second tells us what is affected. This is often used in conjunction with alternate universe stories, to clarify the difference from the canon storyline, or to specify in which universe a story takes place. Examples: Movie!verse, Child!Thor.
Fan Fiction helps us explore new and thrilling stories of our favorite characters from the big screen and the small, and from our favorite novels and video games. A myriad of stories await you, ready to be enjoyed, right here on deviantART. We would love to share our visions with you!
Do you have any fan fiction stories you would like to share (your own or someone else's)? Link them in the comments!
†FAQ #251: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic literature'; what do you consider this to be?