All content by Shay Bloom '19, 2017.


Fanfiction is a form of writing that elaborates and changes the original story of a video game, book, movie, etc. It allows fans to dive deeper into the characters and invent new storylines.


I love it because it keeps the world and characters I love and puts them in new and different situations, as well as diversifying and representing groups that are generally ignored in mainstream media.

If you are new to fanfic, chances are you've stumbled across some terminology that may be unfamiliar. Here is my quick guide to terms you should know.


  • Het- stands for heterosexual
  • Slash/Femslash- queer romantic pairing
  • Gen: A Fic where the plot is not focused around a romantic pairing
  • AU- stands for Alternate Universe ( putting a set of characters into an alternate setting)
  • Crossover Fanfic: A fanfic that mixes two or more sources together
  • RPF: real person fiction (about people who have really existed, weather they are still alive or not)
  • Canon- original storyline by the original creator- not touched by fans
  • Canon Compliant/ noncompliant- either does or doesn’t comply with the original storyline
  • Fanon- details about the plot or characters that is generally accepted as "true" fandom-wide but is not mentioned in canon
  • Crack- tends to be funny, more absurd storyline
  • Fluff/Schmoop- light hearted story that does not delve into angst
  • Ship: Short for “relationship” and indicates a romantic pairing between two characters
  • Angst- feeling of sadness or depression(can be used to describe unimportant teen problems or serious problems depending on the fandom)
  • Drabble- short piece usually under 1000 words
  • Headcanon- particular belief you might hold which might be just yours or it might become fanon(see above) or even canon(see above)
  • Tropes-overused plot device (bury your gays, etc)
  • Whump- used to describe when physical or mental abuse is loaded onto a character (sometimes followed by Hurt/Comfort)
  • Slow Burn- the characters will take a long time to get together in a story like this
  • Fix-it- changes or fixes what fans see as a misstep such as a character death or particular plot point
  • Podfic- audio style of fanfiction(read aloud, usually includes the length of the podfic in the description)
  • Hurt/Comfort (H/C)- when someone is hurt but then comforted, tends to have a happy ending
  • Ficlit- short and only one chapter
  • OC/OMC/OFC- stands for original (female or male) character
  • OOC- stands for out of character

Ratings are important. They help you navigate what material may appear in a given fanfic story. Lines can be blurred with any ratings system. Just remember: this is a starting point to give you some context about content.




Find the fandom

At the top there is a filters button which allows you to decide on the ship, rating, genre, language, as well as the without filter which allows you to avoid fanfics of a particular genre, or ship

when you're signed in you can follow a fanfic or author to receive notifications

You can favorite a fanfic or author

at the bottom of the page there is a place to review the fanfic and you can view previous reviews by going to the description section and clicking the number of reviews

good layout and much simpler than AO3


You can favorite a tag such as a particular ship etc and then see it on your home page

You can find your preferred fandom and filter by ratings, warnings, relationships, and more as well as being able to search for other tags or search within the results if you're looking for a particular fanfic

when deciding if you want to read a fic, look at the tags and the description! see what the rating is and what the ship/fandom is

the tags are super helpful because they give you a sense of what the fic is about, what to expect and any warnings or triggers that you might need to know about

Once on a fanfic, you can mark for later so you can come back to it, you can read or write a comment, you can share it, subscibe to it so that you get notifications when it is updated, give kudos, or bookmark it

When you bookmark something, you can add it to a collection, recommend it, and write about what you liked about it








CSW Collection on AO3:

If you have an account on AO3 make sure you add to it!