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I'm tempted to add, in the "General" section, a list of the different kinds of things fanfiction can do: Some fanfiction seeks to close loopholes in a source text or to explore character motivations; some fanfiction is designed to co-exist with canon, and some is designed to branch off from canon; some fanfiction turns minor characters into protagonists of their own stories; some fanfiction translates a given story into a new genre (television series into noir detective film, epic poem into screenplay form.) (etc.) Does that seem like it would be helpful? Kass 15:27, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I would say yes. I know there's already a glossary entry for crackfic, and if there isn't one for fixit fic there oughtta be. Even if it's just a clearinghouse for wikilinks, it would be convenient to have them all in one place. --Vee 15:57, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, cool; I'll go ahead and add what I've got, even though it's incomplete. I look forward to seeing what others add! Kass 16:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
wouldn't this be a link to the story tropes and Singular Tropes By Fandom pages?

I'm wondering about the Utility of a (sub?)page called "Creator reactions to fanfiction" with maybe sections for "Supportive" "Against" and "Conditional Approval", or something. I know there's already a vast index out there, somewhere, because I've tripped over it, but I can't remember now where it is. --Betty 19:23, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Um, we do already have a Rating page, which sums up a lot of what you said; also, the use of these categories, not so universal, especially after the whole MPAA copyright kerfuffle. Maybe a briefer description of possible ranges of content? --Emma 16:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree, the ratings information here is best merged with the existing Rating page; it's a big topic with a lot of room for discussion about ratings in different fandoms, different rating systems, rating debates, etc., and there's no point in splitting it between two pages.--Penknife 16:10, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, a pointer to the Rating page is probably a better idea, and merge any relevant info over there -- including the rating format, which isn't there yet. (I would do it but I'm late for work!) --Arduinna 16:12, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks so much, Rache! --Emma 17:02, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It's moved over to Rating now, but I really need someone to go in and look at the flow. It's tough trying to balance out other rating systems, and I think I am missing one somewhere that has the PG-14. Is that the TV rating system for American audiences? --rache 17:20, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Consistency in "fanfiction" vs "fan fiction"

We have it spelled "fan fiction" some places and "fanfiction" in others, in this article. There's even a section on varying terms. We should choose one and stick to it through the article (and explain it in the variants section). And that one should be the name of the article. So if we switch to "fanfiction", we really should move this page and do a redirect. I don't care much, I just feel weird saying one thing and doing another. --Msilverstar 00:42, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm in favor of making the main entry one word. FWIW "fanfiction" gets 10,600,000 google hits "fan fiction" 7,720,000 and "fanfic" 6,090,000.--Ratcreature 00:54, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Also I think that the claim that writing it as two words was somehow an indicator of outside perspective is just wrong. There are tons of fan sites, from HP archivesm to Star Wars message boards to anime sites which come up for that spelling. --Ratcreature 01:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
To me, fan fiction seems either very formal (hence it being used in archives) or a sign that the person using the word is a newbie or an outsider. Obviously other people don't see it that way, but the "fan fiction = outsider" thing is definitely true for me. -- Rodo 01:21, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I think that perspective is perfectly valid. I've seen fan fiction, mocked as a clear indicator of outsider status, and this is how I use it as well: fanfiction as intra-fandom usage, fan fiction as the 'correct', official term as it is used in, for example, academia (fanfiction does not fly there *at all*.) The fact that parts of fandom *also* use that term does not invalidate that. I need to see if I can dig up some citation, but please don't count on it ^^; --lian 13:50, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Any chance we can revisit the usage in this article itself, and the fact that the title is fan fiction, and the usage is fanfiction throughout? Any chance of cites for the usage as marker of noob status?--facetofcathy 00:55, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I still have the same opinion as before, I'd rather move the article to the spelling we usually use, i.e. fanfiction, rather than artificially impose some dictionary spelling within the article to match a title if consistency is that important. I don't think there is any chance however to force a consistent spelling throughout the wiki anyway, so I don't care much if the article title is spelled like in a dictionary, as long as I'm not forced into a usage I dislike when I'm editing.--RatCreature 12:11, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind the inconsinstency because it reflects reality. While the dictionary included it as fan fiction (most likely because it is the preferred spelling in publications about fanfiction, see the discussion about it in the OTW blog), the more common usage by people who are involved in the activity is fanfiction. I agree that if we change anything at all to make it more consistent, we should move this article to Fanfiction.--Doro 12:38, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
In general Fanlore policy is consistency within a page, but not necessarily across the site--as in color vs. colour. I think this situation is very much an necessary exception to that because there is no right answer, and fans use the terms they like for many different reasons--for that reason I don't care which spelling the article title uses, as there's a redirect, and anyone can wikilink fanfiction or fan fiction in a page. I'd like to rewrite the entire section on usage--but leave the usage withing the page alone. The section now seems to be trying to set up a binary noob vs. old hand or aca vs. non-aca that is way oversimplifying things, totally lacks any cites whatsoever, and ignores a lot of other reasons for preferences. I did a DW search for both terms and got max hits for both--but the Fan Fiction quiz on OK Cupid that's going around accounts for most of the fan fiction hits due to the title. (It uses the term fanfiction almost exclusively within the quiz itself, interestingly.) ETA: I've changed it around, found some two word usage cites, can't find a cite for the two word usage as outside other than to recursively cite this conversation. And any change or no change in page heading is fine with me, for the record. --facetofcathy 18:43, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
As most people seem to think that moving it to fanfiction would be a good idea, I'll wait until tomorrow and then stick a gardener tag to it (if there is no major disagreement and no one beats me to it) so that the page can be moved. Btw, I really liked your edits, facetofcathy. --Doro 21:17, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed very much on the edits! Don't worry about a gardener tag, Doro; I just caught up on the conversation and I totally agree (both that "fanfiction" seems more fannish and that the page should move to reflect that), so I'll move it now. --Arduinna 08:45, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for moving the page! :D --Doro 11:18, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Is it still a stub?

It's a pretty good page. I think there's more to be done (always!) but that including the "stub" banner sends the wrong message to readers. Remove the banner Y/N? --Msilverstar 04:21, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Removing the "stub" would be a good idea. And I can't figure out why the "needs citation" template is still on there. I don't see anything that needs citation. Maybe we should remove that one as well? --Doro 10:54, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Two of the footnotes actually contain question marks; they're in the "variants on fanfiction" section. I'm sure someone could come up with more stuff to add to the page, but I agree that it's no longer a stub.--æthel 15:13, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

term in other languages

The comments on quinara's post a few weeks ago contain interesting tidbits that are relevant to this article: what terms are used for fanfiction in other languages.--æthel 17:57, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


Placeholder link about fanwriters turned pro. I don't know where to put it, but it's interesting:

Also, you know what I want? I want a subpage of *professionally published fanfiction*, for rubbing in the face of anti-fanfic hysterics. Notes for when I can be bothered to look stuff up, (and only a little bit in the hope that someone else will do it):

  • Those Sherlock Holmes Mary Sue novels.
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Are Dead.
  • That Cthulhu story by Neil Gaiman.
  • That Peter Watts story that was published recently about some movie.
  • The Wind Done Gone.

--MegR 14:12, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • OMG: "Frederick Rolfe's The Weird of the Wanderer has the hero Nicholas Crabbe (based on the author) travelling back in time, discovering that he is the reincarnation of Odysseus, marrying Helen, being deified and ending up as one of the three Magi." (from wikipedia. has anyone read this? It sounds like Mary Sue crackfic.)
  • That book Anne Rice wrote about Jesus.
  • All of the Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe RPF. --MegR 14:23, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
This post has a bunch of links on the Peter Watts thing. Also we have a page Fans Turned Pro --facetofcathy 14:37, 26 March 2010 (UTC)


What is the zine image doing on this page? It's the only image here and for such a general term like fanfiction it seems to lack relevance and context. --Doro 18:50, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

I put it there not so much as a zine image, but because it illustrates a fannish desire via fanfic to "talk back" to the official broadcast companies, in this case taking a "shot" at ABC. Edited: Maybe it's too vague. Or just dumb. In any case, I'm not married to it, just liked the fannish fourth wall feel to it. Feel free to delete it if you want.--Mrs. Potato Head 19:08, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

origins missing

The origins doesn't provide any real information about when people started writing fanfiction in earnest. I would mention Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, and Star Trek/Media Fandom. But I'm sure it arose independently in other fandoms. When did anime fans start writing fic? At what point can we distinguish RPF writers from writers of historical novels?

Wikipedia says:

Before about 1965, the term "fan fiction" was used in science fiction fandom to designate original, though amateur, works of science fiction published in science fiction fanzines, as differentiated from fiction that was professionally published by professional writers; or fiction about fans and fandom.
However, the modern phenomenon of fan fiction as an expression of fandom and fan interaction was popularized and defined via Star Trek fandom and their fanzines published in the 1960s. The first Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia (1967), contained some fan fiction; many others followed its example

Do we have independent confirmation of this use of the term in sf fandom?

Totally unrelated: I think there should be a page about eReaders so we can talk about how fans use them to read fanfic. --æþel 03:05, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I'd put in a bid for mentioning Tolkien fandom, where the first piece of published fanfiction appears to be in 1960 (poetry was slightly earlier). (See the timeline for details.) Fanfic in 'Little Women' is another interesting note -- suggests fanfiction was being circulated long before the Writers' University timeline cited in the article suggests. Espresso Addict 03:33, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Way Nicer, the Link to Categories

Thank you, aethel. That's way better. --Mrs. Potato Head (talk) 21:12, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

example question

One of the examples illustrating the sentence In the 2010s the use of "fanfiction" as a singular rather than collective noun has become quite common. is not an example of fanfiction as a count noun but an example of the word fanfic as a count noun. As such, I think this example needs to be moved elsewhere: "One of the main things I look for in a fanfic is emotion."--aethel (talk) 02:35, 8 November 2019 (UTC)

I moved the fanfic example into a different list and moved the bit about fanfictions in the 2010s into the English Usage section with the other sentences about fanfiction as a mass/count noun. So that topic is consolidated in one area. However, the grandparent section (Variations on the Term "Fanfiction") is also probably specific to English. If it is specific to English, then I think we can dispense with the intermediate section First Language Variations and just have the header Variations on the Term "Fanfiction" and its subheads for each language, with more info on English Usage because that's what we've got. On the other hand, if the information in the section before the specific language sections applies to more than just English, it should be explicitly stated.
(By the way, my impression was that using the word fanfictions before the 2010s was an indication of being a non-native English speaker, but I don't know this for a fact.)
--aethel (talk) 01:47, 2 December 2019 (UTC)