The Many Types of Fan Fiction
You have without a doubt heard about "Fifty Shades Of Grey" at least once before and you may also have heard that it was originally written as a fan fiction for fans of "The Twilight Saga." Well, that is true. And if you read both the Twilight books and Fifty Shades it is easy to spot the similarities. However not all fan fiction is about bondage-sex and romantic relationships. Fan fiction has about as many sub-genres as original fiction. But if you do not deal with fan fiction on a regular basis you can't be blamed for not knowing this. This article will cover some of the more popular types of fan fiction. There is something in here for everyone.
It gets its name from the symbolic slash that is used to separate the two names in a romantic pairing (e.g. Harry/Draco). Slash fiction is the term used when referring to romantic fiction between two characters of the same sex. Originally the term included only two males but the term is now used to describe the relationship between two females as well, however those stories are usually referred to as femslash.
AU stands for "Alternate Universe" and is the term describing a story, which places the characters in another setting than the original one. The most common ones are the Modern Day AU, which places the characters in the 21st century, and the High School AU, which ages down the characters (if necessary) and places them in a modern American High school where the characters have to deal with ordinary teenage problems and the characters are typically written as ordinary human beings without the magic, superpowers or other non-human forms they might have in the original source material. However the term AU also covers stories in which a significant event is changed, resulting in one or more characters' lives to be completely different. An example of this could be that Harry Potter's parents were not killed, hence they would have been able to raise him and love him throughout his childhood and change the story completely from the books.
A piece of fluff has no conflict. It centers around one event or the growing relationship between two characters. It's sweet and romantic and is really just about two characters being cute together. A fluffy moment is a quiet, peaceful moment between two characters in-between conflicts.
A lemon is the term referring to a sex scene. When we say a story contains lemons it means that it contains sexual content. An example of a story with lemons is Fifty Shades Of Grey. If the story contains only mild sexual content, the word you are looking for is lime.
A parody is not restricted to fan fiction only. Most people probably know what it is already. For those who don't, a parody is when someone makes fun of something by the means of exaggerated impressions. It is very common in the world of standup comedy. But of course in the world of fan fiction a parody is a story written to make fun of the fandom (fan domain) or character that it is written for.
A cross-over is the mixing of two or more fandoms. The writer will either include characters from another world in his story or simply place the whole cast into the world of another story. Or two stories that take place in the same world meet (Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series has published several cross-overs for his series). An example of a cross-over could be placing the characters from The Twilight Saga into the world of Harry Potter and have them attend Hogwarts. Did you happen to watch Disney Channel a few years ago and see The Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana? Yeah, that was a cross-over. Disney placed both the cast of Wizards Of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana on the set of The Suite Life On Deck. And it was brilliant.
There is no limit to the craziness of fan fiction writers. They love to experiment. A lot of stories include one or maybe only includes characters who have been given a sex change. Harry becomes Harriet and Hermione becomes Herman. Those are just a few examples. Genderswap stories are stories that contain one or more characters whose sex has been changed.
A missing scene is an added scene, made up by the writer that was not in the source material but according to the writer should have been. It is a scene, which compliments the source material and adds to it rather than changes it. An example of a missing scene could be the scene between Harry and Aunt Petunia that was cut from The Deathly Hallows Part 1, although such a scene was never in the book. It features an exchange between Harry and Petunia, where Harry tries to convince her that she needs to leave the house for her own good, to which she replies, "You think I don't know what they're capable of? You didn't just lose your mother that day in Godric's Hollow you know. I lost a sister".
A Different Point of View
I do not recall if there is a name for this type of story. But another popular type of fan fiction is the original story told from a different character's point of view. It could be the Harry Potter novels from Draco Malfoy's point of view for example or Ron Weasley's point of view. This is a concept that fan fiction writers love to play with as it gives them the opportunity to add missing scenes and dig deeper into a character's mindset.
Reading the Books
A lot of writers liked to play around with the idea of the characters reading their books. The same goes for watching their movies. Usually some sort of time travel is involved as well, bringing either characters from the past or future to read the source material with the main characters. An example of this could be either Harry Potter's parents reading the books or Harry's children. Though this type of fan fiction is not easy to find on the popular fan fiction platforms anymore as most of the stories were removed because of copyright issues, although if you are willing to flip through your own physical copy of the source material then you may be able to find some good ones still.
Slice of Life
A slice of life-story is a story describing a character's average day or just a normal day. A lot of these stories have some fluff in them and a little bit of humor. Think it sounds boring? Then think about how a lot of fictional characters' average day is a lot more interesting than ours. How would one describe Voldemort's average day for example?
The comedies have a lot of humor in them. And it doesn't have to be a normal story with a lot of jokes added to it. No, there are several stories written for the sole purpose of entertaining you and making you laugh. The characters could be playing a drinking game or truth or dare. Or the characters are placed on a talk show and they have to talk about their show (or movies etc.). The possibilities are endless.
Fan fiction allows people to delve deeper into the fictional worlds they love and practice their writing skills as well as offering them lots of free reading material. Fan fiction is almost its own kind of literature and should not be so easily generalized. Most stories combine a few of the types and do not exclusively belong in only one category. Some stories make only a little change and otherwise follow the events of the source material completely. Mentioned in this article were only a selected few types of fan fiction but there are many more available for you out there.