Monday, September 28, 2009

Fan Fiction Basics

Last updated: 8/9/10

So this post is explain the in's and out's (in laymen's terms I hope) of what fan fiction is, what it accomplishes and where to read it.

I just happen to have some spare time, coffee and a love that rivals the heat of 1,000 suns for Twilight to write this up. That said, let's begin.

Definition:
Fan Fic, Fan Fiction, FF: n. a story written using the same characters/places/plot lines/or any other previously copy written material. This material, also known as the cannon, may be changed to either expand or delve into alternate story lines.

Why would someone write fan fiction?
There are many reasons.
  1. One could be that in the cannon text, the author could have a gap in the timeline and a fan fiction may be written to explore what could have happened during that gap. For example: "What did Carlisle do when he was with the Volturi?"
  2. To write the pasts of characters in more detail than was is written in the cannon. Sometimes an author will hint at a previous event or experience that isn't necessary to the telling of the story but fans will want to expand on the story and develop it further. For example: "What happened in Texas when Maria turned Jasper? How did he eventually leave her?"
  3. To write the future of the characters. Often when a series of books end, you don't want to give up on the characters and the possible stories they could have. Fan fictions often pick up where the published book left off. For example: "Renesmee is grown up, how does her and Jacob's relationship grow?"
  4. What I see the most are the fan fictions that explore the "What if ___ happened..." and go from there. For example: "What if Edward never left Bella in New Moon? What would change? What would happen?" or for another example: "What if Edward and the Cullens weren't vampires, what if everyone was human but explained their story in a different way?" There are a lot of fan fictions that go into the "What if..." realm. It's a world that has endless possibilities.
So now you've got a feel for what a fan fiction is. There are a few things you should know before you start looking for stories.

Terminology:
Like everything else, people who write, read and distribute fan fiction love their acronyms. Here are a few key ones that you should know.

  • AU: Stands for Alternate Universe. An AU fan fic will most certainly contain vampires but might not necessairly take place in Forks or in this time. I've seen some that go into the far past or the near future, take place in Chicago or in another city (sometimes country).
  • AH: Stands for All Human. This fan fic gets rid of all the fantastical creatures. It won't contain any vampires or werewolves. This might seems weird. Why get rid of one of the main things that makes Twilight stand out? Well, it's easier to deal with characters that are all human when you put them in a relationship-since-I-could-walk, explore sexy times, or make them react to emotions how we would react. Sometimes you will see a fic described as AU/AH. This just means that they're all human and their world isn't what is written in the books. 
  • OOC: Stands for Out Of Character. An example would be describing Edward as a foul mouth talking deviant who smokes and does drugs. Clearly that's not the Edward we know and love in the books but this Darkward (Dark Edward) can be fun and sexy written the right way.
  • Lemon: A fic that contains lemon(s) will describe penetrative sex. Smut, we call it.
  • Lime: A fic that contains lime(s) will have the sexy times of a lemon but with out penetration. Finger fun n'stuff.
  • Slash: A slash fic will have same sex pairings. Like Edward and Jasper, or Bella and Alice (with chicks it's sometimes called Fem slash).
  • UST: Stands for Unsatisfied Sexual Tension. A lot of the fan fics that are AH will have teenage Bella and Edward's hormones raging that make for good drama and some interesting UST.
  • Shipping or 'Ships: Refers to "Relationship-ing". A lot of fans prefer cannon shipping. Example: Edward x Bella, Alice x Jasper, Rosalie x Emmet. But there are some fics out there that will have a Jacob x Bella ship. What kind of shipper are you? 
  • H/C: Stands for Hurt/Comfort. This usually means that one of the main characters is going through a bad time (they hurt) and the other character is trying to comfort them. These may contain lemons if the comfort is of a physical nature.
  • Fluff: The romantic stuff that makes you go "aww". It's usually what separates the lemons.
  • Angst: It's like all the emo stuff.... Remember how you felt when you read New Moon for the first time? Yea, that's angst. High School drama is full of it. Like everyone went to Angst High.
  • A/N: Stands for Author's Notes. Sometimes an author will set you up for the chapter or write what inspired the chapter. They can be found at the beginning of the chapter, at the end, or sometimes both.
  • RPF: Stands for "Real Person Fic". This incorporates a real live person into the story or makes the story about them. An example would be a fan fiction base upon Robert Pattinson meeting and falling in love on the set of Twilight.
  • R&R or R/R: Stands for Read & Review. Authors really appreciate feedback from their readers. Whether it's a "I really liked this" or "you've misspelled princiPAL". Even if the story has been completed for months, authors like to know what you think of their work. 
  • Beta: A beta is someone who reads a chapter of a story for grammatical errors and flow. They're a proof reader for an author. You can find out more about what a Beta is and how to become one at the bottom of this post under "Get Involved".
Start reading!
There are a bunch of sites that host Twilight fan fiction. Listed are the most popular sites.
  1. FanFiction.net This is a hub for fan fiction of not just Twilight, but a lot of other fandoms too. If it's popular, chances are someone wrote a fan fiction about it. I think the biggest group on ff.net is the Harry Potter fan fiction with Twilight coming in second.
  2. Twilighted.net This is a web site solely dedicated to Twilight fan fiction. You need to create an account to log in and read the fics but all the fics have been validated by someone so you know that each and every story has been proof read by someone.
  3. ADifferentForest.com This site is for more than just reading fan fiction. It's a general fandom site that deals with news, art, events, etc. I think you need a log-in to participate in any of the discussions and/or read the stories posted to their library.
  4. TheWritersCoffeeShop.com This is a great fan fiction site. It's well run with a growing library, discussions, forums, contests, etc. You will need a log-in but it's quick and easy. 
  5. AdultFanFiction.net This is for adults only (18+) so it will contain mature material.
I have posted a few fan fiction recommendations here. I keep this post updated so if I read something new and incredible I'll add it to the list or I'll update the status of the story. I have summaries and pros of each story as well as a little key in case you forgot all your acronyms.
You can always find a link to my fan fictions recommendations on the far right side ----->
of the window under "Fan Fictions 101" anytime you visit.

Get involved!
I highly recommend that you review as often as you can. I know sometimes you just want to know what happens next so hitting that "Next Chapter" button is so tempting.

Other ways of getting involved is becoming a Beta. Check out Project Team Beta for more details. There are also great sites that recognize great fan fiction writing, you can find more about them by visiting the Twilight Awards and Twific News which will link you to various fan fiction contests, awards and more recommendation sites.

1 comment:

  1. It's Twilighted.NET! I'm sure you know that but you might want to fix the link!

    Also, another reason some people may read Twilight FF in particular is if they don't really like the books, just appreciate the characters and the romance Meyer set up and want to see the characters in better stories!!! Just my humble opinion.

    ReplyDelete