Longfic

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Synonyms: long-fic, novel-length, long story, epic-length
See also: Story Length, Standalone, Ficlet
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Longfic is a term in the fannish community that refers to a long fanfic. Longfics usually have multiple chapters and more complex plots.

"Epic-length" fanfiction or "epics" may or may not be considered a category distinct from longfic. If the two categories are distinguished, epic-length works are longer than longfic.

Criteria

Exactly what word count a story must meet to be considered a longfic is not defined. The subject was discussed on fail-fandomanon in the thread How long is a "longfic" for you?[1]

I'm actually surprised that some people think +20k fics are "long", is that because my usual fandoms are ridiculous verbose? What about you, nonnies?
50k+ Though in my first fandom, long ago, it had to be 100k+ to be considered long. My first fic was 800k and it wasn't the longest in the fandom. Someone hit 1000k a year later.[2]
To me anything above 10K is a long fic, but that's mostly because my definition comes from the writing side of things. I write anything over 10K, I count it as long (since I'm usually around the 3K mark).[3]
In most of my fandoms, I'd say +20k fic is long, and that suits me just fine because honestly I don't have time for most 100K word epics. I haven't encountered very much fic over 50k that maintained consistent quality and basically made me want to keep spending my time and effort on them. I can read a 20-50k fic quickly, and if it's disappointing it's no big deal.[4]
Oh no, in my fandom just chapters are usually 10-15k. When we have 'one-shot' contests, the word limit is usually minimum 10k, max 15k, with this being understood to be the fandom's baseline 'short story'. However, I've found that (and not to inadvertently offend long-ficcers, as I enjoy writing them myself) fandoms with a trend of long long long fic usually end up being cesspools of shitty quality. Fandoms with shorter fic seem to have greater quality. If you're writing a 300k story, then you're either an amazing storyteller, or you are a really awfully bad one. You can guess which of those is most likely on any given day.[5]

Reception

Longfics purportedly are more popular than one-shots, getting more hits on AO3.[6] However, this may be due to longfics being multi-chaptered.

Many fans enjoy longer stories more than short ones. For example, in a poll by kestrelsan of over 330 participants more than 55% answered that they get most enjoyment from stories over 20k words length, and over 64% said they think stories they read would be better if they were longer.[7]

The Longest Fic

A five-million-word Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Silmarillion work titled At the Edge of Lasg'len claims to be "the world's longest English language narrative fanfiction".[8] As of February 2021, it is the longest work posted on Archive of Our Own, at 5,078,036 words and counting.

Previous record-holders include two works posted on Fanfiction.net: Ambience: A Fleet Symphony, a Kantai Collection fanfic 4.5 million words long and last updated in 2019, and The Subspace Emissary's Worlds Conquest, a Supersmash Brothers fanfic 4.1 million words long and last updated in 2018.

References

  1. ^ 2013-07-03 11:00 am (UTC) by Anonymous
  2. ^ 2013-07-03 11:16 am (UTC)
  3. ^ 2013-07-03 11:22 am (UTC)
  4. ^ 2013-07-03 11:22 am (UTC)
  5. ^ 2013-07-03 11:32 am (UTC)
  6. ^ pegacornicopia. Posted on 22 December 2016 at /r/FanFiction. (Accessed 22 May 2018.)
  7. ^ kestrelsan. 5k, 10k, 20k.... posted 19 Nov 2008 (accessed 31 Mar 2010)
  8. ^ At the Edge of Lasg'len by AnnEllspethRaven and SonaBeanSidhe, Archived version (Accessed 6 February 2021.)