Twisting the Hellmouth

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Archive
Name: Twisting the Hellmouth
TtH
Date(s): 25th November 2003[1] - present
Archivist:
Founder: Jinni
Type: Fanfiction Archive
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, Panfandom
URL: http://tth.moonlitpaths.com/storyline/ (archived link), http://www.tthfanfic.org/


A graphic from the site in 2003
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Twisting the Hellmouth is a fanfiction archive for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series crossover fanfiction.[2] It also hosts non-crossover fanfiction and fanart. It was originally the Crossover Zone of The BtVS Writer's Guild. As of 2nd December 2020, the site holds 25,663 stories, of which 20,963 are crossovers between BtVS and/or AtS and another fandom.[3]

Twisting the Hellmouth has been praised by many for its well-organized archive and its functionality.[4] As a fanfic archive that allowed filtering by crossover fandom, pairing or character, it often compared favorably to much larger archives like FFN and later Ao3.[5][6]

TtH organized the Crossing Over Awards, where registered users of the site could nominate and vote for the best crossover fanfiction in various categories. It was also home to a huge number of challenges and created several LJ challenge communities, including twistedshorts. Many who contribute to TtH also frequent the TTH Forums, a discussion board where users discuss topics related to various fandoms, crossovers and writing fanfiction. Twisting the Hellmouth Lite (twsthellmouth) is the archive's associated LiveJournal community (last active in 2017), and uses the tagline We never met a crossover we didn't like!

Users can make donations to help pay for the site's dedicated server. Donors receive some perks.

Posting Rules

The site rules state that at least 50% of the stories posted by individual users must be crossovers between BtVS and/or AtS and another fandom. This is to preserve the theme of the site as a Buffy crossover archive [2]. The rules also state that at least 50% of the total wordcount of stories posted by individual authors must be crossovers. However, these ratio restrictions are waived for site donors. For 'ratio' purposes, crossover stories between BtVS and AtS with no other fandom involved, or between other fandoms (for example, between Harry Potter and Stargate SG1) are not counted as crossovers. A user's first story must be a crossover.

RPF was formerly banned completely, and a WWE story category was deleted in November 2005 after it was pointed out that all of the stories violated this rule. After rules changes in 2010, real people were allowed "if using that specific person is required to portray a scene realistically," with various guidelines on suitable and unsuitable portrayal. The effect was to ban RPF pairings, both het and slash, while allowing in-character portrayals of e.g. the Top Gear team as seen on TV.

In 2004, stories based on the published works of Anne Rice and Anne McCaffrey were banned on the site.[7] The list grew to also include stories based on the published works of Anne Bishop, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, all of whom are authors who have taken a stance against fanfiction of their works.

Ratings

Prior to 2005, TtH used the MPAA ratings system, requiring all stories to be rated on a G to NC-17 scale. However, following concerns over cease and desist letters sent to fanfiction writers over the use of MPAA ratings in stories [8] a new ratings system was developed by the user Houses[9]:

  • FR7 - Suitable for your seven year old cousin. No nightmare inducing material of a sexual or violent nature. No naughty language. As fluffy a fluffy bunny as you can get.
  • FR13 - Behold the wonders of dirty words. But only saying them. Not doing them.
  • FR15 - The sexual exploration begins! But nothing explicit, and the violence is kept to Super Mario levels.
  • FR18 - Violence ho! But nothing extreme. Be reasonable. If it'd give an 18 yr old nightmares, move it on up a level. Nookie, but not porn.
  • FR21 - No holds barred, Skinamax experience. Should that be no clothes barred? Or maybe just a round of particularly descriptive violence. Regardless, not for the faint of heart. Place stories with explicit warning labels here. Those under the age of 18 may not read or post stories of this rating.[2]

Challenges

Twisting the Hellmouth is home to almost 9000 Challenges. It also hosts Fic For All, an ongoing crossover pairing focused challenge.

As well as hosting challenges on their own site, Twisting the Hellmouth started multiple challenge communities on Livejournal.

Example Works

Fan Comments

The Buffy: the Vampire Slayer and Angel: the Series Crossover fanfiction archive. All genres, all pairings, all ratings. Browse by fandom, author, category, pairing, character, or search engine. Archive is automated, in the style of FF.Net. Has grown quite large and more like FF.Net everyday. Not necessarily a good thing. [10]
The largest collection of Buffy crossover stories outside of FF.net. If you look hard enough on this archive, you can find crossovers for just about everything, including obscure cartoons, vaguely known literary sources, and fandoms so small they're only comprised of two people. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but that's how it feels.[11]
[stonewar]:[...]

As the output slowed down in the X-files fandom, I jumped into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom and discovered it was not as organized. There was no master archive, only a small percentage posted to usenet and stories could be found in very specialized pairing archives. There seemed to be way more output but it was harder to find. Especially since I didn’t involve myself in show discussion much as I found it distracting from the canon material and blurred the line between canon and fanfic too much for me. Crossovers galore (Twisting the Hellmouth) Willow-centric stories both het and femslash, Xander-centric post-show and YAHF (Yet Another Halloween Fic).[12]

When I first started reading Spuffy fanfic, I scorned the idea of crossover fics. I wanted to read about my favorite show and my beloved characters and no one else. Now I know, that there are gems to be found in crossover fics. If crossovers are your cup of tea, I highly recommend the fanfic site Twisting the Hellmouth, which is solely devoted to Buffy crossover fanfics. You will find every kind of crossovers there - Buffy with Harry Potter, Buffy with Dean and Sam from Supernatural, Buffy meets Dr. Who, and even Buffy and Mr. Darcy.[13]
Oh, TtH, how do I love thee, let me count the ways:
  • Excellent archive interface that lets me view a story by chapters or as a single file.
  • Allows me to filter stories by crossover fandom > BtVS character > specific pairing involving that BtVS character, aka, you can look at all the Anita Blake shenanigans or you can just gorge on Buffy/Nathaniel.
  • DEDICATED ARCHIVE OF BTVS CROSSOVERS; NEVER HAS AN ARCHIVE BEEN SO SUITED TO MY WHIM. WHY ARE THERE 46 GILMORE GIRLS CROSSOVERS, WHO CARES, LEMME SEE.
  • There are also non-crossover and even non-BtVS works allowed, as long as they're from one of the site's established authors.
  • Really accurate, if pretty static, Top Tens, which you can ALSO filter by crossover fandom! (The site limits the number of favorites per user, so you only bookmark stuff you really like.)
  • TRACKING OPTIONS. You can NOT ONLY get email updates for new chapters, the site marks which stories you're tracking, what chapter you last read, and how many chapters have been posted since. I can look at the Tens page and see a generic summary and think hmmmm, but it's okay! TTH HAS MY BACK. I read all 60 chapters already![14]
One of my favorite fandoms is Buffy, and Twisting the Hellmouth is one of the best organized sites out there. It's primarily crossovers.

And user recommendations actually mean something there, as you can only rec 10 stories. Period. Find an 11th you adore? You have to revoke one of your old recs before you can add the new one. Therefore, the Top Fic link can really point to some great stuff. remember to also look at "all" and not just "crossovers", as one of the very best stories is a non-crossover (I Am What I Am).

Top Fic is also filterable by main character and crossover fandom, to allow you to drill down a bit more.[15]

References

  1. ^ Wayback Machine First record of "http://www.tthfanfic.com" on the Wayback Machine, accessed 5/12/09
  2. ^ a b c Twisting the Hellmouth Site Rules accessed 5/12/09
  3. ^ Twisting the Hellmouth homepage, accessed 2/12/20
  4. ^ Amusewithaview's profile states The site is the best-organized and maintained fanfic site I have come across in all my years of reading. Yes, it's better than ff dot net. No, really. Check it out." Last updated 2010. Accessed 28/11/2020.
  5. ^ My New Fanfiction.net-Filtering Userscript states "After spending so much time on fandom-specific sites with much better search systems (like Twisting the Hellmouth), Fanfiction.net’s search system feels really constricting." 2015-10-30
  6. ^ What are some good fanfiction sites? answered by Paul Johnson, October 2018.
  7. ^ Site rules ammendment, July 2004, details the decision to ban stories based on Anne McCaffreys' works. Anne Rice related fanfiction was already banned.
  8. ^ See Heidi8's post regarding a cease-and-desist letter sent to Jori over the use of MPAA ratings in fanfiction: MPAA, 14 February 2005. (Accessed 5/12/09)
  9. ^ [1] Discussion over new ratings system on TtH forum, 12/02/05, accessed 5/12/09.
  10. ^ Moonbeam's Fanfiction Predilections. Fanfiction Quicklinks, Archived version (Last updated July 2005, Accessed 05 December 2015)
  11. ^ Fanfic Recs - Authors & Websites - for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at TVTropes. Accessed 22/11/2020
  12. ^ comment on How We Lost Our Fanfic Virginity, 2015
  13. ^ flow's Spuffy fanfiction recommendation list by flowspuffy, 2019
  14. ^ And Yet Another Reason TtH Is My Beloved... posted by strina on Dreamwidth, 2010.
  15. ^ Online Literature, comment posted by timepiece on March 28, 2012
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See also Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, Crossover
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