Fan fiction (often abbreviated as fanfic) is fiction that is written by fans of a literary work or series in imitation of or homage to the original.[1] Since it is not part of the original work, it is not considered to be canon. Most fan fiction writers assume that their work is read primarily by other fans, and therefore that their readers have knowledge of the fictional universe in which their works are based.

For a list of Forever Knight fan fiction (alphabetized by title) for which there are separate articles in this wiki, please see Category:Fan Fiction.

History of Fan FictionEdit

Fan fiction as it is now understood began at least as early as the seventeenth century, with unauthorized published sequels to such works as Don Quixote. The turn of the twentieth century saw numerous parodies and revisions of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and fan-authored versions of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. However, modern fan fiction as an expression of organized fandom was defined via the Star Trek fanzines published in the 1960s. Indeed, the first Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia (1967), contained some fan fiction.

Fan fiction has become more popular and widespread since the advent of the World Wide Web. In addition to traditional zines and conventions, Usenet group electronic mailing lists were established specifically for fan fiction as well as for fan discussion. Online, searchable fan fiction archives were also established. Initially, these online archives were hand-tended and fandom- or topic-specific. However, there followed automated databases, such as (1998 to present), which allow anybody to upload content in any fandom. Much fan fiction today is posted to such large, multi-fandom archives. Since the establishment of social networking sites such as LiveJournal (1999 to present), there has also been a move to blogs as a means for sharing fan fiction.

Fan Fiction TermsEdit

  • Adult - stories that include content considered unsuitable for younger readers; though precisely what makes a story unsuitable can vary considerably, any story with explicit sexual content is normally deemed "Adult".
  • Angst - either a plot with strong emotional impact, or a form of characterization in which the protagonists obsess about the negative aspects of their lot in life
  • AU (Alternative Universe) - the world (universe) of the story is different to some degree from the canonical universe.
  • Beta reader - a volunteer editor who reads a draft version of a story and advises the author about problems (such as spelling mistakes, plot holes, and errors in canon).
  • Challenge fic - fan fiction produced when one person provides a set of parameters within which other people write their stories
  • Crossover - a story in which characters from two or more different fandoms interact.
  • Drabble - technically, a fiction of precisely 100 words, though this limit is not always strictly adhered to.
  • Femslash - a romantic or erotic story which has as its main focus a female homosexual relationship.
  • Filk - a parody song, usually set to a popular tune.
  • Fluff - "feel-good" stories.
  • Gen (General fiction) - either stories where the main plot revolves around non-romantic themes; or, alternatively, stories that are not given an Adult rating for sexual content.
  • H/C (Hurt/Comfort) - a plot framework in which one character experiences distress, either physical or emotional, and another character offers comfort.
  • Het - a romantic or erotic story which has as its main focus a heterosexual relationship.
  • Mary Sue - a character who blatantly acts as the author's fantasized proxy in the story.
  • Metafic (Metafiction)- a fiction that breaks the fourth wall, acknowledging fictional characters as such.
  • PWP (originally, "Porn Without Plot"; but more commonly "Plot? What Plot?") - a story that acts primarily as a vessel for pornographic scenes.
  • Round Robin - a story written by a group of authors, who take turns at producing chapters.
  • Slash - a romantic or erotic story which has as its main focus a homosexual or, more specifically, a male homosexual relationship.
  • Songfic - a distinctive format in which an author interpolates the lyrics of an actual song to add emphasis to certain aspects of the story.
  • Virtual season - a compilation of fan stories or scripts portraying episodes of an entire season for a television program, usually one that has been cancelled.
Adapted from the Wikipedia article on Fan fiction and the BBC h2g2 arcticle on Fan fiction.

See alsoEdit


  1. The term "fan fiction" was originally used in science fiction fandom to designate original science fiction that was written by amateurs and published in science fiction fanzines. In this meaning, "fan fiction" contrasted with fiction by professional writers. It should be noted that this usage is now obsolete. Modern definitions of the term exclude original writing.
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