Not!fic

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Synonyms: Not fic, Not-fic, Notfic
See also: chatfic
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Not!fic emerged as a term in Bandom to refer to a story written in a particular style - generally more like a story outline or summary than a traditional fic, and with a liberal sprinkling of chatspeak, lolcat and references to various memes. Not!fic has since spread to other fandoms.

Origin?

skoosiepants had a not!fic tag in her livejournal with several Bandom fic posts, but the first was actually a Stargate Atlantis fic in December 2006, which she introduced as:

So I had a hankering for a buddyfic with slashy undertones, but nothing overt. And then I had a eureka moment, because Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of my favorite Thanksgiving movies, and the end always makes my heart ache, and I totally don't want to write it, so I kind of... didn't write it. The 'they're drunk' line was only slightly amended from the movie, because that part is absolute genius. Also, someone slicker than I could've made it all heartwarming and stuff, and more with the hilarity, and also threaded in John's life better, but! As I said, this is not a fic. It's important to remember that.[1]

The SGA fic was written in the same breezy summary style as later Bandom not!fic, but lacked the emoticons and chatspeak. skoosiepants posted her personal definition of not!fic on AO3:

Just a note on what I deem not!fic: a story that's not fully realized and also where the premise or plot is not mine.[2]

skoosiepants happened to be a member of damnyouwentz, where posting chatfic and unfinished fic ideas was popular. A few of the members lived together or close enough to hang out in person, so their AU crackfic brainstorming sometimes occurred in person, resulting in a need for one person to summarize the discussion after the fact. For example, see It's a speakeasy!, Archived version posted in May 2006 and high school teacher AU, Archived version posted in August 2006.

skoosiepants posted "Ryan of Green Gables", which she described as "not a fic" to the community in July 2007[3], though it was posted with the label not!fic in May to her own journal[4]. Also in May, damnyouwentz mod callsigns made a post with the title "not fic re: brent"[5]; however, the post did not contain not!fic, but a ficlet instead. These are the only two public references to the term not!fic on the damnyouwentz comm.

shoemaster, who was not a member of the comm, posted a due South crossover labeled as not!fic in August 2007.[6] However, it lacked the effervescence (and emoticons) of later examples.

Another possible source for the spread of not!fic is wolfshirts. The wolfshirts community wasn't created until November 2007, but it was mentioned in the author notes for "This Never Happened" by Bexless in 2008 and did reflect the same emoticon- and all-caps-laden writing style[7]. Example of a beautifully wolfshirty comment:

And it starts to get REALLY AWKWARD because Gerard is like, okay, Frank is not letting go, there is so much snuggling, I can't help but get, uh, sort of...excited, after a while and Frank is like STOP IT, I JUST WANT A HUG :( :( :( THINK OF MY PLIGHT :( :( :( I HAVE BEEN POISONED BY CUDDLE POLLEN, CAN I PUT MY FACE IN YOUR NECK AND FALL ASLEEP AGAIN? :( :( :([8]

Of note, Bexless also named shoemaster in her author notes, but did not explicitly label her fic a not!fic.

Not!fic likely got a very slow start and may have become more popular in the early 2010s, but it's hard to be certain since the term is difficult to search on. By 2010 someone on frerardrec had posted a short list of recs for not!fics: not!fic - Frerard Recs, Archived version. By 2011 fans were podficcing not!fics.

Examples

So for a few torturously long seconds they just stand around going

:OOOO
DDDD:
:|||||||||||||

at each other, and then Frank blurts out, "Nice to meet you," and steps forward and holds his hand out to shake, like, what the hell, when did he become his Dad.
So okay seriously Frank is SECRETLY A VIRGIN because this is my story and that is my favorite trope ever (except perhaps werewolves who are secretly sick and hiding it and ALSO secretly virgins, because that is like Christmas IN MY BRAIN, except maybe if they were arranged to be married to someone as well, BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY ENTIRELY, perhaps for another time).
Then Spencer does something awesome and he totally gets back together with Brendon and they ride off into the sunset on Brendon's tour bus I DON'T EVEN KNOW, OKAY, CHRIST. /o\ Forget all of this, I will MAKE UP SOMETHING BETTER. MY BRAIN IS CLEARLY DEAD TODAY.[9]

References

  1. not!fic tag, archive.is. First post: Not!Fic: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Archived version, posted to livejournal 5 December 2006.
  2. The Blue Castle - skoosiepants - Multifandom [Archive of Our Own], Archived version
  3. Ryan of Green Gables by SkoosiePants: damnyouwentz, Archived version, 2007-07-19
  4. skoosiepants. Not!Fic: Ryan of Green Gables, Archived version, 22 May 2007.
  5. not fic re: brent: damnyouwentz, Archived version, 2007-05-01
  6. shoemaster. not!fic: Gerard is Fraser's Illegitimate Son pt 1: shoemaster, Archived version, posted to livejournal 2007-08-17.
  7. See quote at Mikey_Way#Facial_expression
  8. comment by blondiusmaximus in i think i'm addicted to this community, Archived version, posted to wolfshirts, 21 November 2007.
  9. archived, posted to AO3 2009-10-03.