Original Slash

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Synonyms: Original Yaoi
See also: slash, original fiction, profic, uber
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Original Slash is a term used to describe homoerotic original fiction by slash-aware authors that use the fannish tropes with original characters. The term is not uncontroversial; many slash fans feel that slash can only refer to fanfic, never original fiction.[1]

The terms original slash and original yaoi can be used synonymously. However, as the term is used because of certain tropes and a difficult to define "feels like slash" feeling to begin with, some people differentiate between original slash, original yaoi, and original gay fiction to indicate certain styles, tropes, pairing dynamics, esthetics and traditions.[2]

When an Original Slash universe is opened up to other writers, some authors call it Friendfiction which is analogous to the shared universe concept. [3] (needs better references)

Original Slash Fandom

Original slash fandom is difficult to classify as a fandom because there is no canon that unifies original slash writers. They come from a variety of fandoms and for the most part there isn't any single fandom tradition influencing them.[3] One way for them to find common ground is to divide along the lines of subgenre, for example original darkfic writers or original slavefic writers from different fandoms and with different traditions coming together and creating stories within that subgenre.[3] According to some fans, well-written original character slash is hard to find because it is often buried on the authors' personal homepages and doesn't get nearly as much exposure as slash fanfiction.[4] The Original Slash Archive tried to remedy that by offering a central archive for original slash[4] and webrings offered ways to connect original slash fans.[5]

German Original Yaoi Fandom

The situation in the German original yaoi fandom is a different one. It evolved out of the German yaoi fandom which had a main archive (Yaoi Germany) and a main mailing list (yaoiger). The archive used to accept original slash and at one time the site index showed 40 separate pages for yaoi fandoms and 19 pages for original m/m fic,[6] which made original yaoi one of the largest fandoms in the archive. The admins of the mailing list appealed several times to the list members to post more fanfic because by the end of 2001 most of the fiction posted there was original yaoi.[7]

After several discussions about what was and wasn't appropriate for the list -- people wanted to post their Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter slash because for them the main function of a central yaoi list was to allow everything m/m, not just fiction based on anime/manga and original fic -- it was decided to restrict the submission guidelines instead of expanding them. The main yaoi archive would be exclusively for fanfic yaoi, and original yaoi would be moved to a separate archive (BoyxBoy); slash (defined as m/m fanfic that wasn't based on anime/manga sources) would not be allowed.

When this was announced in January 2002, the decision got mixed reactions. Some fans approved because they were primarily interested in the anime/manga fandoms and wanted to read fanfic about these characters, some fans joined the new boyxboy mailing list; others were unhappy because they preferred original slash, wanted to be part of the yaoi community, and didn't want to belong to a list that didn't allow both.

The controversy resulted in a second mailing list and archive for original slash (Original Bishounen) and this one allowed all kinds of m/m fic. However, most of what was posted there was original fiction, which is why the German fandom ended up with two main original slash lists and archives, both heavily influenced by the traditions of the German yaoi fandom. When fandom moved from mailing lists to livejournal, activity in the German original slash fandom decreased.

Notable Stories

Archives

  • BoyxBoy (German). The archive is now an automated archive and the old version, together with everything that hasn't been moved to the new archive, will disappear at the end of 2009.
  • Original Bishounen (German). After a hacking incident in 2006 and the loss of the domain in 2008, the archive is now defunct; link via Wayback. Currently there are plans to bring back a new version of the archive when the Archive of Our Own software becomes available.[8]
  • The Original Slash Archive

Recs and Review Pages

References

  1. See Defining Slash. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
  2. Khana. Original-Slash vs Original-Yaoi?, 30 April 2008; entry and discussion are in German. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Duskpeterson in A request for the Hurt/comfort and fan history people accessed October 14, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Original Slash Archive - FAQ (Accessed November 14 2008)
  5. See the Original Slash Web Ring and the Boy’s Love Original Fiction Ring. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
  6. Yaoi Germany, via Wayback, archived in September 2001. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
  7. Was ist Boy x Boy? gives some details: 70% of all the stories originally posted to the yaoiger mailing list were original slash. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
  8. See new Original Bishounen page. (Accessed 14 November 2008)
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