Authorfic

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Synonyms: metafic, self-insert
See also: Tuckerization, Fandom RPF
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Authorfic refers to fanfiction in which the story's author appears in the story and interacts with its characters. The term is used to describe several distinct types of stories:

  1. A type of metafic in which the author and characters converse, with the characters understanding in a fourth wall-breaking way that the author is the author. Often, the author can exert god-like powers over the characters' world.
  2. Stories in which the author gets "sucked into" a canon's universe or otherwise appears as a character with a real-world awareness of the canon.
  3. Obvious or explicit self-inserts, in which the author is represented by a traditional original character.

In any of these scenarios, other fan authors can sometimes appear alongside the story's author, a practice somewhere between fandom RPF and Tuckerization.

Authorfic may have originally gained popularity in Babylon 5 and The X-Files fandoms.[1][citation needed]

Archive Policies on Authorfic

FanFiction.Net

FanFiction.Net permits most kinds of authorfic and even, until 2002, had dedicated categories for it: an "Authors" category and a specific "Harry Potter Authors" category. The "Harry Potter Authors" category in particular caused a lot of confusion about what kinds of fanfics it was intended for.

FanFiction.Net staff announced in August 2002 that it would be removing the "Authors" categories—and all stories in them:

Effective today, both "Books [>] Harry Potter Authors" and "Originals [>] Authors" categories will no longer be accepting new entries and the two categories will be removed on September 26th, 2002. These two categories no longer represent the original intent of their creation. If you have stories in these two categories, please visit them through the links provided by the "Statistic" page in the members area and download them for backup purposes.[2]

The Harry Potter Author Fics category had 818 stories in July 2001, over 1150 stores in March 2002, and over 1280 stories in July 2002. During this time, it was one of the 50 largest non-original categories at FanFiction.Net.[3]

FanDomination.Net

FanDomination.Net did not allow authorfic. Its Content Control and Weeding Guidelines stated:

What's the problem with Authorfic? AuthorFic, outside of humor, is often a fantasy of the author's. Fantasies, especially other people's fantasies when it comes to sex, are often boring. These stories also, for the most part, seem to be written by beginning authors who don't generally know how much these stories can suck. They deal very little with the exploration of characters. As such, most of these stories tend to be well, bleh and unless there is a good reason, most seem like good candidates for weeding... not all but most. (lhale)[4]

ThunderCats Fan Fiction

ThunderCats Fan Fiction, the archive of ThunderCatsFans.org, has an Authorfic category, described as "Stories that feature an author's avatars or those of their friends." As of 2017, there are six stories in the category, written between 2003 and 2007.

The archive's FAQ defines authorfic and a related genre, "riff":

Riff: A term taken from the TCATGR, this describes a story written as a retaliation to someone else's fiction (typically where the posting author's avatar got humiliated or teased) and usually involves heavy use of author avatars (i.e. when the author takes his/her persona and inserts himself/herself into the fic - different than mary sue as this is done rather obviously and intentionally).[5]
Authorfic: As mentioned in the riff category, an authorfic usually entails the writer using his/her fandom persona and/or that of other fandom members and inserting them in a fan fic. This can also include a story where the cartoon characters get transported to our time and meet you and/or your friends.[5]

Authorfic Examples

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

References

  1. Laura Hale, Authorfic at Fan History Wiki: "Authorfics were frequently used on mailing lists as a form of community building. This was best evidenced on b5creative during the mid 1990s. Authorfics were also done to make obvious "corrections" to canon, like getting a favorite pairing to finally see the light by having the author directly intervene. This was done by a number of authors in the X-Files fandom," 01 June 2006. (Accessed 10 March 2017.)
  2. Quoted by werechick at FictionAlley Park, FanFiction.net... no longer hosting HP?, posted 28 August 2002. (Accessed 10 March 2017; archive.is capture.)
  3. Mary Ellen Curtin a.k.a. Doctor Science, Fanfiction.net Statistics Tables, part 2, updated 14 January 2003 (accessed 10 March 2017). Additional numbers: Peter Meilinger at rec.games.frp.dnd cites 1172 stories in the category as of 15 March 2002 (HP RPG, or lack thereof); Teresa Nielsen Hayden cites 1253 stories as of 23 May 2002 (Literary Diggers).
  4. FanDomination.Net Content Control and Weeding Guidelines via Design and Implementation of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: FanDomination.Net by Laura Michelle Hale. (Document metadata dated 25 November 2002.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 ThunderCats Fan Fiction, Help: Fan Fiction Submission, accessed 10 March 2017.