OTW Fannews: Fanfiction in the lexicon

Banner by James of a quill pen resting on a sheet of paper with writing on it

  • Gamescene hosted a paper on Fanfiction as Critical Play. “By allowing the larger fan community to access and interact with the fanfiction, the piece contributes to the larger agency of the fans over the source universe. This allows for more fans to participate in the remolding of a fiction that they did not create, examining societal, cultural, political, and personal themes through both the inherently subversive act of writing fanfiction, and through the content and themes contained within the individual fanfiction. The fanfiction writer employs concepts such as unplaying, reskinning, and rewriting in order to acknowledge and further explore the subversive elements of their version of the source. This makes fanfiction a form of critical play.”
  • The Asian Age discussed Bollywood fanfiction. “’The joy lies in weaving new narratives with the characters you love,’ says Aayat Malik, a DU student and Fanfiction writer whose present work-in-progress brings Harry Potter’s Patil twins to Mumbai after completing their magical education at Hogwarts, also incorporating characters from the recent Hindi movie, Hasee Toh Phasee…She goes on to point out how visiting many popular Indian entertainment websites brings to notice that the largest volume in terms of the sheer number and length of Fanfiction writings exists in the realm of Indian television.”
  • Gizmodo explained design fanfiction. “There’s actually an existing analog for this trend: Fanfiction. The comparison isn’t as far flung as it seems. It’s just where fanfic writers turn their own creativity upon existing characters and plot lines from their favorite books or TV shows, designers turn to their favorite Brands. Spec episodes of My Little Pony and ludicrous concepts for the next iPhone have a lot in common.”
  • Various media outlets took note of the fannish terms, such as fangirl, being added to the dictionary by Merriam-Webster. The Times of India devoted some time to explaining ‘shipping’. “Usually, fans will give a couple their own moniker, often a portmanteau of their names. X-Files fans liked to use Sculder or MSR (quite simply Mulder-Scully Romance). Any kind of relationship can be acknowledged. From the obvious ‘will they, won’t they’ couples to inter-species intimacy, one rule of the shipping community is that if at least one person wants to see a certain pairing, then it’s a legitimate ship. Nor is it limited to modern-day culture; you’ll find sites dedicated to shipping the heroes and heroines of classic literature, such as Jo and Laurie in Little Women.”

What fanfiction terms have you learned about? Create some entries for them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.