When I started reading/writing fanfiction, was so confuzzled and lost with all of the small abbviations they’d make. Diving into that universe was mostly a self-learning process. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.
I’d thought it would be nice to quickly jot down all the funny looking terms used in fanfiction. I read/write anime fanfiction… but I believe it generally applies to all fanfics in general. Hope it proves helpful to whoever reads this… Also; be aware that a lot, if not all the terms below are not just used to categorize fanfics, but doujinshi (fan-comics), fan-art, AMV’s and anything produced in the anime fandom universe. But here, I’m just going to focus on how the terms apply to a fan-fiction story.
- Yaoi – Is an acronym for the Japanese phrase “Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi” (No climax, no point, no meaning). Refers to the nature of a yaoi fanfic, meaning that the story surrounds Male/Male relationships. It’s focuses on smut scenes and the like; where there is usually the Uke (bottom) and the Seme (top). Uke are usually portrayed as younger-looking, weaker, cuter, sweeter, more sentimental than the seme. The seme on the other hand, is taller, muscular, dark and mysterious as well as the more aggressive partner in the relationship. The term “yaoi” is very flexible in use and it’s often confused for “BL” (shonen-ai). Yaoi are usually targeted towards girls. In yaoi fanfics, there isn’t much plot, but focus more on the smutty scenes between the characters. Of course, I’m just saying this in general because there are yaoi fanfics out there that can contain a strong story plot-line.
Het – It’s an abbreviated form of the word “Heterosexual” and it’s used to label a fan-fic as one containing Male/Female relationships.
BL – Is short for “Boy’s Love” (shonen-ai). What makes this different from Yaoi is that, BL tells a love story between two males, while yaoi is just smutty scenes. BL tends to have very complicated plot twists and hits a lot of key points and heart-strings as well. They usually contain sweet sentimental scenes, heart-wrenching pasts and one-sided love. Anything you’d usually find in a Het love story.
Yuri – Can be compared to Yaoi, Yuri refers to Female/Female relationships. The term is often interchangeable with GL (shojo-ai)
GL – Short for “Girl’s Love” (shojo-ai) And is comparable to BL as it focuses on the telling of a love story between two girls.
Lemon – Lemon is another way of saying “smut” when a fanfic author labels his/her story as “Contains Lemon” is usually means that it contains a very smutty scene, if not several.
Lime – A more downgraded form of “Lemon”, I’ve seen this term being used, but not too often. Used to label a fanfic that has very suggestive scenes, sexual teasing, foreplay, things of that nature.
Smut – In case you don’t know already, smut pertains anything that is sex. Smut scene = Sex scene. Smut Writer = Erotica Writer. Things of that nature. So if a fic is labeled “smut”, now you know…
Fluff – Fluff is the sweet tooth-rotting scenes that make you cry out of sweetness or barf in disgust because it’s too cutesy. It varies greatly but here’s something to keep in mind: If you read a fan-fic and it makes you go “Awww…” then chances are that what you just read was Fluff.
AU – Short for “Alternate Universe”. I usually seen this term used fanfiction. AU is used to label a fanfic that takes the characters of a fandom and puts them in a completely different setting from the original story. If a fanfic is label “high school AU” it means that the characters have been taken and placed in a high school setting. These fanfics are the most interesting in my opinion because the fanfiction author has to use a lot of imagination to make the story work well. (I like using AU’s)
Crack – Usually labeled on fanfics that contain a nonsensical plot and fandom characters are completely and I mean COMPLETELY out of character. Usually such stories are written for the seer purpose of humor.
OOC – Stands for “Out Of Character”. It’s often seen in crack fics and in AU fics. A character is OOC when he/she is portrayed completely different from how he/she is in the anime/manga/etc that he/she originates from.
IC – Stands for “In Character”. Means that the character is portrayed in a fanfic almost exactly how he/she is in the anime/manga/etc that he/she originates from.
OTP – Stands for “One True Pairing”. Term is used when expressing a person’s all time favorite pairing(s).
Cannon – When someone says that a character’s behavior is “cannon” they are saying that it can be referenced to the actual storyline. Cannon refers to anything that is not fabricated or invented by the fanfiction author, but instead belongs to the original creator of that fandom. Cannon characters, cannon plot, cannon pairings… are some examples of how the term is used.
Cannon Pairing – A couple that is clearly stated to be a pairing in the actual manga/anime/etc. The term is also used to refer to a two characters that are heavily suggested to be a couple. So saying that they would become a couple is “cannon”. Get it? Got it? Good.
Crack Pairing – Randomly take two characters… they don’t have to know each other, they don’t have to show ANY signs of a relationship, and hook them together. That is a crack pairing. (I personally like them, I just adore randomness)
Ship/Shipping – OTP, Crack pairings, cannon pairings, yaoi pairings, het pairings—the act of hooking characters up, pairing them together is called “Shipping”. Taken from the word relationship, fans, and fanfic writers alike have come up with different naming conventions. I’ll just use the pairing Neji and Hinata (from Naruto) to show some examples: NejixHinata, Neji/Hina NejiHina. In yaoi, the order in which the pairing is placed shows who is the seme and who is uke. For example: NaruSasu = Naruto is Seme, Sasuke is Uke. SasuNaru = Sasuke is Seme and Naruto is Uke.
And that, folks is fanfic terms in a nut shell… I will add to this list as soon as I find other terms and such. Any questions feel free to ask me. If I missed any key points, also let me know as well. Thanks ^_^