Useful Terms

Terms you want to know when discussing fans, fandom, & fic

alternate universe - often abbreviated to AU, an alternate universe fic takes the characters from a series and places them in a different time and/or place [example: the characters of Harry Potter working in a modern coffee shop]

crossover - a fic in which the characters from one series interact with the characters from another series [example: the characters from Supernatural meeting the characters from MTV's Teen Wolf]

fandom - the fan-created culture that surrounds a tv show, movie, book, video game, comic book, etc., fans participate in activities that are based around the show such a writing fanfiction, creating fanart/graphics, making fanmixes, participating in discussions etc. [example: Trekkies]

beta - a person who reads a fic before the author publishes it on a fanfiction website, this person will check from grammatical errors, spelling errors, organization, an any inconsistencies with canon

rec - short for recommendation, fans will suggest fanfiction that others should read

slash - a fic in which the focus is the romantic relationship between two male characters

femslash - a fic in which the focus is the romantic relationship between two female characters

shipping - this term comes from the word 'relationship', when a fan wants two or more characters to be in a relationship together, typically a romantic relationship but platonic shipping is also common, a ship is one group of characters that a fan wants to see together, for instance if a fan wants to see a romantic relationship between Kirk and Spock from Star Trek, Kirk/Spock is their ship

canon -the rules or facts of a series, anything that is official and a part of the work or deemed to be true by the creator

headcanon - a personal idea about a series that a fan has that is not part of the canon, but the fan likes to believe that this idea is true

fanon - an idea about a series that is widely accepted in the fan community, but the idea is not canon [example: many fans agree that the character Stiles Stilinksi, on the MTV show Teen Wolf, is bisexual but this fact is not canon in the show]

trope - a convention found across all forms of media that most people are familiar with [examples: the damsel is distress, rags to riches tales]