Fan Fic Genres By Sarah Lehman

Categories: Friendship Circle

In my last blog post, I discussed some common terms used by fan fic writers. This time, I’d like to talk about genres, or types of story. Like the stories they’re based on, fan fics can be sorted into several different genres. Romance is one of the most common, but you also have adventure, drama, horror, humor, and so on. Fan fiction also has some genres all its own:


-Dark: Much more gloomy or depressing than canon (the original story that the fan fic is based on); or containing disturbing content (such as physical or emotional abuse).

-Angst: One or more characters experience a lot of suffering and/or distress.

-Hurt/comfort: One character goes through something terrible, and another character gives them comfort. This type of story generally focuses on the bond between the characters in question.

-Songfic: Lyrics from a suitable song are mixed into the story. Many sites ban songfics because of copyright law.

-Shipping: Has a strong focus on one or more romantic pairings between canon characters.

-Crossover: Contains characters or other elements from two or more fandoms.

-Fusion: Subtype of crossover; combines two or more settings into one.

-Fix fic: Changes things that happened in canon that the author doesn’t like, normally because they did not end well or made no sense.

-Alternate Universe (AU): Explicitly set in a non-canonical universe, either an alternate setting (for example, a fantasy AU with swords-and-sorcery versions of the characters) or a divergence from canon (for example, a universe where characters who died in canon are still alive). The latter can often overlap with fix fics.

-Self-insert: A version of the author is transported to—or otherwise finds him- or herself in —a fictional world. These tend to double as fix fics.

-Peggy Sue: A character somehow goes back in time, retaining full knowledge of canon events. These should not be confused with Mary Sue stories (stories where there are non-canon characters that lack flaws), though the two can overlap if the author isn’t careful.


Of course, this is not a complete list, particularly considering how many subgenres there are. For example, in shipping fics, some pairings crop up more often than others, such as Pokémon fics that pair Ash and Misty. Likewise, some types of AU fics are especially common, like High School AUs (the characters are all in high school together). When you add these to the regular literary genres, you end up with a lot of fics to enjoy.


Until next time, stay tuned!

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