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Fanfiction Vocabulary

Welcome to Fanfiction Friday, your passport into the world of fanfiction! This week, we’re starting this new feature with some essential vocabulary that is necessary to understand before we dive in to the real content. If you’re already a fanfic veteran, please be patient and stay tuned for next week, which will be right up your alley! Until then, keep reading for an introduction to some key terms.

The world of fanfiction is practically its own subculture complete with its own language. So as not to overwhelm and turn this post into a dictionary, we’re just going to hit a few of the basics. More advanced vocabulary and topics will be introduced in future posts.

Please note that these definitions are my own and are not exhaustive.

Fandom
a domain encompassing the original work (TV show, movie, novel, etc.) that has inspired fanworks, the fanworks themselves, the activities of fans both on and offline, the communities created by fans both on and offline, and the artifacts and ephemera created as a result of fan activity

Fanfiction
a written work of fiction

Fanfic
1. the abbreviated form of fanfiction, 2. an individual work of fanfiction

Fanwork
a creative work (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, music, video, podfic, or other form of creative expression) inspired by an original work (e.g. Harry Potter, Supernatural, Twilight, etc.), incorporating elements of the work (e.g. the universe, characters, social customs unique to the world of the work, etc.), or in any other way a transformative work derived from the original work

Fic
1. the abbreviated form of fanfic, 2. an individual work of fanfiction

Organization for Transformative Works (OTW)
The Organization for Transformative Works (abbreviated OTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides access to and works to preserve fanworks and fan culture.

Until next week!

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