Were you disappointed by the ending of books, famous tv series, or films? And have you ever read a fiction and been amazed by the different ending created by fans? Fanfiction is a work of fiction written by fans for other fans.
“Fanfiction are texts written by fans about pop culture and media. Authors of fanfiction use their imagination to extend the original story or plot. They creatively create new characters, setting, and themes, and develop new relationship between characters that already exist in the original story. (Black, 2006)
The authors take up the characters and plot then rework them. The fiction works can be inspired by anything; famous books, singers, tv shows, or even boyband members. Fanfiction is usually free and published serially. Why do many fans of famous works write fanfiction? Writing fanfiction allows fans to see characters/plot with different outcome. Writing fanfiction also improves skills as a writer. Some popular authors started writing fanfic before they published their original works.
If you are new to fanfiction, you might find some strange terms, acronyms, and slang used in the fanfiction world. The following list provides you an easy explanation what those terms really mean. The terms are divided into genre, rating, and length.
- AU (an abbreviation for Alternative Universe): the setting is very different from the original work, e.g. Naruto lives in Indonesia trying to learn Silat, Indonesian traditional martial art.
- Canon: The story is the same with the original work.
- Angst: The stories around angst are unbearable anguish, sad, and tragic.
- Smut: the stories contain sexual content that might be restricted to NC-17.
- Fluff: This fiction is typically happy and has no angst and smut content. Sometimes it involves flirting between characters.
- Crossover: The type of fanfiction where characters of different tv shows, books, films, or anime interact, e.g. Sherlock Holmes solves a case assisted by Detective Conan.
- R: all readers are allowed to read or see, regardless of age.
- PG: it means Parental Guidance Suggested.
- NC-17: no child under 17. it means that the readers must be 17 or older to read the story.
- M (Mature): it means the fiction is not for children since it may contain sexual content, violence or coarse language.
- R (Restricted): This is for those who are 18 or older.
- One-shot: the fiction only has one chapter, more or less like short story.
- Two-shot: two-shot is two chapters long.
- Ficlet: it is named for a short fiction, but not as short as a one-shot.
- Drabble: a type of fiction which is very short, 100 words in length.
- Chaptered/ series fic: this types of fiction is similar to novel which has many chapters.
Other common terms
- Ships: It is an abbreviation for “relationship”, if you ship someone or a couple, it means you want two characters to be involved in a romantic relationship. Example: I ship Naruto and Sakura.
- Bias: It is more often found in Kpop. If you are a die-hard fans of a Kpop idol, you might say “S/he is my bias”.
- OTP: It stands for One True Pairing. It means the reader’s most favourite fictional couple.
- Disclaimer: a declaration that the story shared is not yours and stated that you are not trying to perform copyright infringement.
- Hiatus: this means that the author is on break and will continue writing fanfictions in unspecified time.
- Beta reader. The one who edits and proofreads a work of fanfiction that has been submitted to him/her.
- A/N (Author’s Notes): It refers to what the author wants to tell to the readers regarding the story, writing experience, or any personal notes.
- POV (Point of View): It refers to stories written from a certain character’s perspective.
Here are some fanfiction websites that I have successfully compiled.
Which one is your favourite? Mine was winglin.net. But this site has shut down, maybe for good.
And how about the copyright? Copyright has been a subject of debate because borrowing characters/plot to create fanfiction arguably infringes author’s copyright .However, some authors use fanfiction as media for promotion, some argue that fanfiction is act of stealing. If I were the author of the original work, I would be flattered because they use my work of creativity to unleash their creativity, BUT if they use fanfiction to earn money, I will condemn it as some sort of copyright infringement.
So, what do you say about fanfiction and copyright?
Reference: Black, R.W. (2006). Language, culture, and identity in online fanfiction. E-learning. 3 (2), 170-184.
Picture credit: goodreads.com