The Seven Deadly Fanons of Characterization: a Spotter's Guide

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Title: The Seven Deadly Fanons of Characterization: a Spotter's Guide
Creator: Dorothy Marley
Date(s): October 14, 2003
Medium: online
Fandom: multifandom
Topic: fanon, tropes, fanfiction
External Links: The Seven Deadly Fanons of Characterization: A Spotter's Guide, Archived version  ; WebCite
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Contents

The Seven Deadly Fanons of Characterization: A Spotter's Guide is an essay by Dorothy Marley.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series. For other essays in this series see Fanfic Symposium/Essays.

Marley proposed seven major fanon cliches that characters from different fandoms tended to be shoe-horned into. From the introduction:

"The following Guide is intended to help identify these curious beasts, since they will almost always take the names of actual Canon characters and--sometimes, but not always--adopt their physical appearance as well. This checklist will hopefully enable the cautious Explorer to distinguish those characteristics most often demonstrated by a typical Fanon, and thus avoid being deceived into thinking that they are an actual Canon."

The seven cliches are as follows:

  1. The Wimp
  2. The Cretin
  3. The Villain
  4. The Dirty Angel
  5. The Saint
  6. The Slut
  7. The Lovebirds

Excerpts

Although this Guide was prepared by observing these interesting and prolific creatures in the Domain of Slash, they are to be found throughout Fandom, and inhabit almost all genres. Although some of them are more difficult to find in certain fandoms and genres, on the whole they are a hardy and fecund species, and are also prone to migrate and colonize new fandoms with astonishing swiftness. The following Guide is intended to help identify these curious beasts, since they will almost always take the names of actual Canon characters and--sometimes, but not always--adopt their physical appearance as well. This checklist will hopefully enable the cautious Explorer to distinguish those characteristics most often demonstrated by a typical Fanon, and thus avoid being deceived into thinking that they are an actual Canon.
1. The Wimp: Preferred Prey: Fox Mulder, Daniel Jackson, Blair Sandburg, Methos, Tom Paris, Julian Bashir, Ray Doyle, Ray Kowalski, Remus Lupin...

2. The Cretin: Preferred Prey: Jack O'Neill, Jim Ellison, Duncan MacLeod, Chakotay, Walter Skinner, Sirius Black...

3. The Villain: Preferred Prey: Jim Ellison, Duncan MacLeod, Ray Vecchio, Ray Kowalski, Chakotay, Jack O'Neill, Sirius Black...

4. The Dirty Angel: Preferred Prey: Alex Krycek, Severus Snape, Draco Malfoy...

5. The Saint: Preferred Prey: Daniel Jackson, Blair Sandburg, Methos, Julian Bashir, Remus Lupin...

6. The Slut: Preferred Prey: Almost anyone, but especially Wimps...

7. The Lovebirds: Preferred Prey: Any couple that gets together...