Curious About Fanfiction? Start Here: Your Official Fanfic Dictionary

Curious About Fanfiction? Start Here: Your Official Fanfic Dictionary
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So, you’re curious about fanfiction. Maybe you’ve just finished the most amazing book/movie/show and can’t believe that it’s over. Maybe you’re feeling nostalgic and want to read some sweet stories about your favorite Harry Potter ship. Maybe you just want a quick, cute pick-me-up at the end of the day! Whatever your reason for looking into fanfiction, here are some facts to help you find the perfect fic!

The Types:

There are so many different kinds of fanfiction that it can be hard to keep them all straight. However, here are some distinctions to get you started:

  1. AU: AU stands for “Alternate Universe.” These fics take characters you know and love and put them in a totally new scenario. For example, you might take the characters from Harry Potter and put them into a modern-day boarding school. Ten by Ava Kay is a great example of an AU–the author takes the beloved characters from The Maze Runner and places them in the new time and environment of a mental institution.If you want to see your favorite characters in a whole new way, AUs will be perfect for you. These can be short, or as long as whole books!
  2. One-Shot: One-shots are short snippets of fanfiction. These are often focused on a certain ship, but they don’t have to be! One-shots can also just give a short glance into a character’s head. Sometimes, an author will compile a series of one shots to create a longer story. These are great when you need just a splash of OTP (One True Pairing, AKA your favorite ship) HEA to get you through the day. We love this Captain Swan Oneshot written by lucyxswann. 
  3. Reader Insert: Usually denoted as xReader (i.e. Edward Cullen xReader), these fics put you directly into the story! xReader fics usually come in the form of one-shots, written in second person and detailing often romantic encounters between you and the character of your choice. You can find fic about almost anyone, from any media. And if you can’t…why not write it yourself? This Marauder-era Sirius Black x reader is super adorable!

There are SO many kinds of fanfiction. Get out there and explore!

The Lingo:

If you’re diving into the fanfiction world for the first time, all of these new words can be confusing! Here are three big ones you need to know if you’re looking for romantic fic.

  1. Fluff: This is where the sweet stuff lives!  All of the forehead kisses, cuddles and sweet words hide in fics tagged with “fluff.” 
  2. Angst: If you’re looking for a bickering OTP, this is the way to go! Angst fics are all about the bickering and banter between the main ship. The nice thing about fanfiction is that the prompts and any content warnings are usually included right up front, so you know what you’re getting!
  3. Smut: Sex. Just sex. May also be called “lemon” if you’re deep-diving into older fics.
The Sites:

There are a lot of sites where you can find fanfic. Here are some of our favorites!

  1. AO3: Archive of our Own, more commonly referred to as AO3, is a wonderland of tags and ships, all of them meticulously catalogued. AO3 is great for finding longer, more plot-focused fics, and some sweet ship fics as well.
  2. Wattpad: Wattpad is great for reading longer fics, but if you’re looking for xReader or one shots of a specific character, you may be better off with Tumblr.
  3. Tumblr: Tumblr is probably the best place to find xReader fics and oneshots. Creators are meticulous about tagging their content. You can even request specific relationships and plots! Our favorite part about reading fanfiction on Tumblr is finding creator Masterlists. If you’re floundering, looking for the perfect Bella and Edward oneshot and have a favorite fic writer, you can look through their masterlist to find something great!

If you’re curious about fanfiction, what are you waiting for? You’re now armed with the tools you need to explore the vast, exciting world of fanfic. What’s YOUR favorite fanfic? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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