fanficable's Guide to Basic Fanfiction Terms

Confused by fanfic jargon? Here are a few key words and phrases to help you navigate the world of digital reading.

A/N (Author's Note)

A note written to the reader from the author.

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AR (Alternate Reality)

Indicates a story that takes place in a universe where a few key details are changed from the original canon. An alternate reality may be part of a larger canon universe.

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AU (Alternate Universe)

Indicates that the story uses known characters in a different, non-canon universe that is mostly or entirely original.

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Book Hangover

The feeling of emotional exhaustion or withdrawal after finishing reading a book.

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Canon

An official, accepted universe within which a fandom exists.

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DNF (Did Not Finish)

Shorthand used to describe a book or story that someone stopped reading part way through, usually due to loss of interest.

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ER (Established Relationship)

Describes a story in which the main characters begin the story already involved in a relationship with each other.

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Enemies to Lovers

A romance storyline in which the love interests start off hating each other and eventually fall in love.

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FTB (Fade to Black)

Describes a sex scene that is not detailed on the page, but rather is alluded to before cutting short of showing explicit content.

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Fake Relationship

A romantic plotline in which the love interests agree to pretend to be in a relationship together, and through this arrangement usually end up falling in love.

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Forbidden Love

Describes the relationship dynamic between love interests whose circumstances make their romantic relationship socially unacceptable. (Eg. step-siblings, co-workers, teacher/student relationships, sibling's friends, cheating)

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Forced Proximity

A romance trope in which the plot requires the two love interests to spend a lot of time together.

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