Fan Fiction Crash Course
While fanfic has many genres, and subgenres, for our purposes, let’s concentrate on its two biggest: cannon and alternative universe. Canon fanfic follows the overall construct of the original show, or story. It goes along with the general storyline, filling in the blanks, expanding a plot or character development. Didn’t get enough from that Calzona scene in the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy? A canon fic might start where their scene ended, and give you a more intimate look at the lives of these characters off-screen. This is perfect for fans that prefer their fan fiction not to deviate too much from the main plot.
Alternative Universe (AU) fan fiction allows the writer/reader to really play with the construct of a story. AU can be anything from changing a character or major plot point within a story, to taking characters and putting in completely different worlds or circumstances. Brittana in the Civil War? Yep, there is a fic for that. Rizzoli and Isles fighting together in a dystopian, zombie filled Boston? Here you go.
Photo courtesy of shipsrus.gotchemistry.com
What are your thoughts on alternative universe fics? Here are some of the great responses I received.
@danapiccoli it depends on the story, but I do enjoy both. Fan fiction is like those pick-your-own-adventure books I read as a kid.
— Cleo (@cleopatrarivera) February 8, 2013
— skeeler (@krayzdreamr) February 8, 2013
@danapiccoli Canon is nice when you start.But once canon is done 5000 diff ways, AU really comes into it’s own to freshen things up
— Alexia (@glassnails) February 8, 2013
@danapiccoli When I first entered the world of ff I was a purist, but no longer! I love stories that fills in “what you missed on glee!”
— Madeline Stacy (@MadyStacy) February 8, 2013
Since it would take me a decade to read all of the amazing fanfics out there, I asked you, dear readers, to lend me a hand with some recommendations for fics from a variety of fandoms. Here are just a few. Thank you to all who participated. Check the description at the beginning of each fic for additional genre information. The characters listed are the main protagonists.
Betty/Kate – Learning Curve
Bo/Lauren – Faethful (First part of a trilogy)
Emily/Naomi – Tell Me a Story (Also features Katie “F#%king” Fitch)
What are your favorite fanfics? Please tell us in the comments.
This Fic is Rated M, for * ahem * Mature
Because the world of fandom is so vast and includes fans of all ages, ratings are in place to protect and notify readers to the level of content in a fic. Fanfiction.net uses a letter system similar to the one used to rate movies. K (suitable for all, including the little ones), K+ (suitable for children up to 9), T (Suitable for teens over 13) and M (Suitable for teens over 16). Archiveofourown.org, another large source for fan fiction, lets their writers rate their stories as Teen and Up, General Audience, Explicit, Mature and Not Rated.