Fan Fiction Vocab

The fan fiction networks have created their own language for editing and describing stories.
Some of these terms are common among the publishing world, but others are unique to the world of fan fiction.

These are some of the terms that users should know before navigating through fan fiction:

AKA: also known as
AN or A/N: author's note
angst: fanfic genre dealing primarily with themes of anxiety, guilt, remorse – that is to say, angst!
AU: alternate universe, i.e. non-canon
beta: a draft, see WIP. As a verb, it means to read such a draft and offer constructive criticism for improvement
beta reader: someone who betas another author's work
canon: the world according to the original author; there is (arguably) a LOT of Tolkien canon, definitely including the Hobbit and LotR, (probably) the Sil and UT, and (possibly) also the HoMe volumes, despite internal contradictions; in Tolkien fandon there is also a distinction between book canon and film canon
CD: character death; can also refer generally to a fanfic in which a canon character dies
CO: see XO
crackfic: a story that seems to have been written when the author was on crack; something so awful that you can't believe it was written, but you can't stop reading anyhow
drabble: a piece of exactly 100 words, plus up to 15 words for a title
fanfic: fan fiction; pretty much what it says, stories/poems/etc. written by fans of a particular author
fanon: information developed in a fanfic rather than in the original work, but which has come to be widely accepted and used by other fans in their writing; calling Haldir the "Marchwarden of Lórien" is fanon, for instance, as neither Tolkien (book) nor even Peter Jackson (film) names him so
filk: a song rewritten to fit into a fandom; originally occurred with folk songs at fan conventions
F/F: female/female; see slash
gen: "general" story in which romance or erotica plays no significant part; can be of any genre except romance
HC or H/C: hurt-comfort, subgenre of angst in which the express purpose of the story is for one character to get hurt so that another can comfort them and bring them back to health, either emotionally or physically
HNC: hurt no comfort, AKA “get ’em,” another subgenre of angst, in which the sole purpose of the story was to beat up on one of the characters, usually in loving detail, both emotionally and physically, with little or no comfort
kill: see CD
Mary-Sue: fanfic in which the main character is the author thinly disguised; also refers to that character. If the character/author is male, sometimes called Gary-Stu
M/M: male/male; see slash
OOC: out of character
OC: original character, i.e. non-canon, invented by fanfic author for purposes of a particular story
OFC or OMC: original female character, original male character
OTP: One True Pairing, that is, whatever pairing a given reader or author prefers, sometimes to the point of refusing to read/write about any others
parody: an imitation of the characteristic themes or styles of a particular author or work, usually exaggerated and applied to an inappropriate subject for the purpose of humor or ridicule
POV: point of view
RPS: real person slash, e.g. a story with a romance between Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, as opposed to one between Merry and Pippin
R/R or R&R: read and review
RW: real world
self-insertion: a form of Mary-Sue in which the author uses her/his own real name (or handle) for the OC
slash: story with non-canon, homosexual romantic or erotic relationships between characters - these may or may not be explicit*
songfic: story based on, and usually incorporating quotations from, a contemporary pop song
Sue: see Mary-Sue
XO: crossover, combining two different fan universes in the same story (e.g LotR and Harry Potter)
WIP: work in progress

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