Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Fan Fiction Dictionary

I tend to use a lot of fan fiction terms here, and if there's any new fan fic authors around, I'm sure it's confusing. So I've created a little fan fic terminology dictionary. Some of them are more common to other fandoms, but I included them anyway.

Alternate Universe (AU) - This is where an author will choose to stray from the canon of the show and create events which are on their own timeline for their fan fic. For example, the A-Team taking place on Mars, in some time in history etc. Fan fictions that take place after the end of a show are not alternate universe, however, because there is no canon for them to contradict. Pre-show fics aren't necessarily AU. It can sometimes be related to sci-fi in the sense that supernatural elements can be present.

Angst - A fan fic piece that is emotionally wrenching or a piece where a character deals with an emotionally distressing situation. Lots of drama usually.

A/N or AN - Author's Note. A note at the end of a story (usually...preferably lol) where the author discusses something featured in the story that may be confusing, asks for reviews on certain sections or makes a comment in general. Common at fanfiction.net

Archive - Either a note indicating you want your story archived at http://www.ateamarchive.org or a reference to that fan fiction archive.

Beta or Beta Reader - An editor of fan fic before it's released to the general public, the beta catches canon problems, spelling errors and anything editorial.

BINFF - An acronym meaning "Bancroft Is Not Face's Father". Some fans believe that AJ Bancroft is not Face's father, sometimes writing in that Hannibal is.

Canon - All of the events which expressly happen in the TV series. A-Team canon is notorious for contradicting itself. Most people do not considering the books as canon.

Challenge - A challenge to write a fan fiction with a certain, theme, line or idea. For example, someone might throw out a challenge to write a fic where the A-Team is trapped underground or the entire Team is drunk etc.

Challenge Fic - Any fan fiction which answers a challenge.

Character Death - A heading or warning put on stories warning the reader that in the story, one of the canon characters dies.

Consensual or Con - A heading/warning in fan fiction that says that all the parties that have sex in the fan fiction are consenting and want to have sex.

Crit - Not commonly used, but I'm guilty of it thanks to my days in writing groups. Means "criticism" but is usually just another word for a review of a chapter or story. Can mean the comments regarding what to fix or change in a fic.

Crossover - A fan fiction which incorporates characters, events, places, ideas, etc from another fandom. For example, the A-Team encounter MacGyver or Knight Rider would be a crossover.

Dark Murdock - Where Murdock is written as a dark and dangerous character, often really mentally ill or disturbed. Some love it, some hate it.

Disclaimer - A header that MUST be put before all fan fiction which acknowledges that the fan fiction author is not the original creator of the characters and acknowledges the copyrights to the source material do not lie with them. This is both a courtesy and necessity among fans who write fan fiction. An example of a full header with disclaimer is listed under Header.

Drabble - A fan fic that is exactly 100 words. (Can also mean a very short fic, under 100 or 500 words, definitions vary).

Fanfiction.net (ff.net) - a fan fiction collective where you can read and review and post your own fan fiction in thousands of different fandoms. Often abbreviated to ff.net. Its sister site for original fiction is fictionpress.com. It has a good collection of A-Team fic, although the Archive is more common.

Fangirl - Fan who is obsessive about a particular character or fandom, in an immature and almost "teenybopper" manner. Can be insulting, but also used by fangirls themselves as a badge of honour.

Fanon - Things that are not strictly canon, but do not contradict it and are widely accepted by most fans.

Feedback/Reviews - Commenting on another person's fan fiction. Always welcomed and wanted.

Femslash - A story depicting sexual situations between females. See also - slash.

F/F - A notation telling readers that a story contains a sexual situation between two females.

Fic - Short for fiction, and refers to a story.

Ficlet - A story usually 1000 words or less.

Flame - A negative and purposefully hurtful comment to the author of a fan fic, meant only to anger them. It is not a helpful way to give feedback and is seen as quite rude.

Fluff - A light fiction piece which is usually has a day-in-the-life feel to it that is cute and humorous.

F/M - 1) A notation telling the reader that sex between a female and a male is going to take place. 2) A slash piece indicated Murdock and Face are the pair. Because of the double meaning, it's preferable to list Face/Murdock rather than F/M in this fandom.

Gen - Fan fiction which does not contain sexual situations. It is fan fiction that would be rated G to PG. It contains no sexual or overly graphic violence and relatively little cursing.

Header - The header displays the title, author, rating, summary, disclaimer, copyright. It's more commonly used on mailing lists and message boards than fanfiction.net, just because ff.net offers it in their story summary page. For example:

Title: A-Team Dream 1/? (first number is the chapter we're currently looking at, second one is the number of chapters total, put a ? if that's unknown)
Author: Marsonfire
Rated: T or R [Note: ff.net uses fictionratings.com ratings, not MPAA movie ratings]
Summary: The Team encounters what looks like a dream client.
Warnings: violence, cursing, mild sex scenes
Disclaimer: The A-Team was created by Stephen J. Cannell.

Some people also add fields like Pairing if there's a romantic element, noting which characters are in a relationship.

Het - Refers to fanfic featuring or fictional situations depicting two people of different genders romantically and/or sexually involved.

Hurt/Comfort (h/c) - A fan fiction in which a character is put through a traumatizing experience in order to be comforted.

Mary-Sue - Any original female character which is too perfect, too extreme, or otherwise badly done. She often represents the author as they wish to be, although putting yourself in the story is more often called Self Insertion. Mary Sue swoops in to save the day, can do just about anything and is almost always so beautiful everyone is either in awe of her or in love with her. She often takes over the whole story and the canon characters are just decoration in a Mary Sue world. A canon character can also be "Mary-Sued" by a writer, for example, if Face was written as the most perfect human that ever lived.

Marty Sue - Often the male counterpart of Mary Sue, and not as common. Also seen as Marty Stu, Marty Lou, Gary Stu and others.

M/M - A heading denoting sex between two or more males.

Non-Con - Non consensual sex between any two characters. Must be placed in the warnings section of a fic header.

OC - An acronym meaning Original Character. An original character is any character that is not in the TV series and is created by the author.

OFC - Original Female Character. Any original character that is female, and not a Mary Sue. (Although the term Mary Sue can be subjective).

OMC - Original Male Character.

OOC - Out of Character. Any moments in a fic that make the character seem like they are acting out of character. Hannibal breaking down in tears over a girl or BA suddenly becoming a pilot are OOC.

One Shot - A fan fic that takes place in one chapter. Often a moment in time snapshot of a character or event.

Original Fiction - Non fan fic. All characters and situations are made up by the author.

Pairing - The selection of characters that are in a relationship together. This is denoted by using the abbreviations of their names together or just their name.

Parody - A story which pokes fun at some element of the book, or is written for pure comic relief.

Plot bunny - A term for an idea that sticks in your head and you just HAVE to write it even if it goes nowhere or keeps going off into other ideas. Bunnies have this odd habit of multiplying, and where there is one, there is often two or three more lurking about=)

Post-show or Post-series - A story which is set after the show ended. Also called a sequel.

POV - Point of View. The character through whose eyes the story is told from or the way the story is told. First person point of view uses one (usually) character as "I". It's best done from only one character to limit confusion about who is talking. 3rd person omniscient is as if a camera is following everyone (he said, she said, they said etc), you jump from person to person. It can be quite chaotic. 3rd person limited uses he/she said, but from only one character at a time. Switching viewpoints to another character can be done in 3rd limited, but it requires a chapter break or scene break so people know a different person is the POV character.

Pre-show or pre-series - A story which is about events occuring before the series began. Also called a prequel.

PWP - Porn Without Plot or Plot, What Plot? This is a piece of fan fiction that contains no other action than an overt sexual act between the characters. Not very common at fanfiction.net, but can be found at the Archive and ficwad.com.

Rating - The rating given to a story. On mailing lists or message boards you may see MPAA movie ratings used:

G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Some material may not be suitable for pre-teens; Mild implied sexual innuendo, mild bad words, or violence or serious (though not quite mature) topics.
PG 13 - some material may not be suitable for those under 13; Some violence, bad language, obvious sexual innuendo, implied sexual relations. May include some topics such as suicide, homosexuality, drugs/alcohol, etc. depending on the fandom.
R - May not be appropriate for those under 17; Not quite explicit sex, torture or violence, rape. Not recommended for minors.
NC-17 - For 17 and older only. Graphic torture, graphic sex, graphic slash

If I choose to use the MPAA ratings, I usually go by the guidelines set out by the A-Team Fan Fic Archive guidelines, since they're very thorough. Fanfiction.net uses fictionratings.com (as the MPAA wouldn't let them use their rating system):

K - Suitable for all ages; 5+; free of any coarse language, violence, and adult themes.
K+ - May not be suitable for young children; 9+; minor action violence without serious injury. May contain mild coarse language. Should not contain any adult themes.
T - Not suitable for children; 13+; some violence, minor coarse language, and minor suggestive adult themes.
M - Suitable for mature teens and older; 16+; possible strong but non-explicit adult themes, references to violence, and strong coarse language
MA - Explicit content for mature adults; may contain explicit language and adult themes.

Fanfiction.net does not allow MA stories anymore (formerly their NC-17). Since 2002 any MA/NC-17 stories have been removed. Ficwad.com does allow NC-17, as does adultfanfiction.net which is exclusively for the NC-17 and MA stories that were required to be removed from ff.net.

Review - A way to tell the author what you think of their story on ff.net. Good reviews usually discuss the chapter's good and bad points and offer suggestions or ideas for improvement. Reviews which aren't as helpful usually just contain the word "update!".

Review Reply - A ff.net feature where the author can reply directly to the reviewer to thank them for their review. This has replaced thanking your reviewers in your Author's Notes or before or after the next chapter of your story, as ff.net has banned this practice.

Round Robin - A fan fiction written by several authors, each taking turns writing a part.

Saint Face - A situaton in which Face gets written as being almost perfect; basically it's Face as a Mary Sue.

Self Insertion (SI) - When the author puts themselves in the story. This my be overt and done on purpose, or it may be the author masquerading as a Mary Sue=) Not usually a hallmark of great fiction, unless done as a parody.

Slash - Any fic which has two characters of the same sex paired together. Comes from the slash used to separate the character pairing - ie. Face/Hannibal

Songfic - A fan fiction which is based on a song or includes a song. Fanfiction.net does not allow entire song lyrics to be posted for copyright reasons, but quotes and lines are okay.

Spoiler - Anything that gives away what happens in a story. For instance, if your big moment in your story is that Face dies, writing it in the summary of your story spoils the event for your reader, since you've already told them it will happen.

Summary - A short description of what your story is about. Some stories are often very badly summarized by their authors. A good summary will let the reader know the basic idea of the plot without giving away big details. For instance - "The Team is trapped in a building during an earthquake, and discover one of their own is injured." is a good summary. "The Team is trapped, someone almost dies, but don't worry, they get out in the end!" is not a good summary. Neither is "This is my first fic, please read" or "I updated! This is my best one yet OMGWTFBBQ!!" or "Fun stuff happens with the Team!"

UST - Unresolved Sexual Tension. When two characters are attracted to each other, and despite nothing physical happening, or they come very close, the underlying current of their attraction is palpable in the story. Yes, I was a big X-Files fan lol. UST can turn into RST (Resolved Sexual Tension) when the characters finally get together.

Vietnam Era - A story set when the Team is in Vietnam.

WIP - An acronym for Work In Progress. A fic posted that is in progress or currently being written as it's being posted.

Here's a brief guide to fiction length, so you know what you're reading.

Micro Fiction - less than 100 words (1 page)
Drabble - A story that is exactly 100 words (definition often varied)
Flash Fiction - 100 - 1000 words (1-2 pages)
Short Short - 1000 to 2500 (3-9 pages)
Short Story - 2500 - 7500 words (10 - 22 pages)
Novelette - 7500 - 20,000 words (22 - 61 pages)
Novella - 20,000 - 50,000 words (66 - 175 pages)
Novel - 50,000 - 100,000 words (over 175 pages) average novel is 80,000 words
Epic - Over 100,000

Fiction under 500 words is sometimes called a Vignette. Chapters in a novel are usually at least 2000 words each.

And some lengths for different genres of original fic:

Picture Books - Up to 3,000 words (ages 6 and under)
Chapter books - 5,000 to 20,000 words (ages 6 to 8)
Juvenile books - 25,000 to 50,000 words (ages 9 to 12)
Young Adult books - 30,000 to 80,000 words (13 and above)
Detective novel - 70,000 to 85,000 words
Thrillers - 70,000 to 100,000 words


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hi! :D What does SPOT mean in the comments section? :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )