Just what am I reading/writing anyway?
First and foremost…
- General: Indicates a story in which there are no pairings.
- Het: Indicates a story that includes a relationship between a male and a female.
- Slash: Indicates a story that includes a relationship between two people of the same gender.
It’s important to indicate the correct genre when your post your story; it makes it a lot easier for people to find your story, or for readers to find what they’re looking for. Check out this breakdown and figure out how to label your story.
Different Types of Genres and their definitions:
- Action/adventure: An action/adventure features your protagonists going on some sort of a journey in search of some form of treasure, or maybe Gustav is going off to save Bill from the big bad Jost. In an action story, the journey will have lots of risks, and the characters will face many dilemmas.
- Alternate Universe: A story in which the characters live and interact in a setting or time period that doesn’t mirror their real lives. In an alternate universe, the band Tokio Hotel wouldn’t exist, and our boys would be working in a flower shop or something of that sort.
- Angst: A story in which a character has a deep emotional conflict that can’t be easily resolved.
- Crack: Over-the-top humor that is not meant to be taken seriously at all. The story incorporates elements that are silly and crazy for no reason.
- Crossover: A story in which two or more fandoms interact. Think of Bill going to Hogwarts and learning some magic.
- Drama: A serious story with loads of conflict, fighting, and clashing. Simone walking in on Bill and Tom getting it on in their childhood bedroom? Lots of drama.
- Established Relationship: A fan fic where two characters are already in a relationship before the fic begins.
- Fantasy: A fantasy fanfiction will involve magic or supernatural forces. The setting can be made up, or can take place in modern times, much like Harry Potter.
- First Time: A fan fic where a character loses his or her virginity.
- Fluff: A lighthearted, romantic story that usually involves lots of affectionate gestures in the interaction of the characters. Good for light, happy reading.
- Horror: A story intended to scare the audience. Can include paranormal events, such as hauntings, or can focus on the protagonist fighting for his or her life in less-than-fortunate conditions.
- Humor: A story that is silly on purpose, or possibly a parody of something. Intended to make your audience laugh.
- Hurt/Comfort: Pretty straight-forward; one character is hurt or abused in some way, and another comforts them.
- Incest: Stories that feature incest that is not twincest.
- Mpreg: A story in which a male character is pregnant. The author can either invent a medical phenomenon or create a universe in which it is possible or normal for men to get pregnant.
- Paranormal: The term ‘paranormal’ refers to phenomena that can’t be scientifically explained. Includes stories involving ghosts, spirits, hauntings, or extraterrestrial beings. Can also involve one of the characters having some form of an ability, such as clairvoyance, telepathy, or psychokinesis.
- Period Piece: A type of alternate universe in which the events of the story take place in a time period different from our own, usually a time period from the past.
- PWP/Lemon: ‘PWP’ stands for ‘plot? what plot?’ or ‘porn without plot’, and a lemon is another term for a sexually graphic scene. A story that is PWP/Lemon is pure smut, probably without any plot, character development, or background.
- Romance: Stories that are more about character development than plot; a romance fanfiction will recount the events that lead to one character falling in love with another.
- Sci-Fi: Incorporates technology and the future as a main plot device. Also usually involves robots and super-advanced computers, and perhaps extraterrestrial life or genetic manipulation such as cloning or the creation of a superhuman. Robot!Bill? Yes, please.
- Sex Change: A story in which a character undergoes a gender-change, either by surgery, a paranormal occurrence, or by the author’s choice.
- Song Fic: A fanfiction that incorporates or is inspired by a certain song, or its lyrics and melody as an essential part of the plot.
- Suspense: A story that has your audience gripping their seats, their eyes wide in anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Includes many cliff-hangers, or possibly Gustav heisting a bank and tripping on one of the alarms right as the chapter ends.
- Twincest: A story that includes a relationship between Bill and Tom, or any other twins.
- Twincest - Not Related: An AU story that includes a relationship between Bill and Tom where they are not related.
- Vampires: Stories that feature vampires.
- Wing fic: A story in which one or more of the characters has wings.
When you’re writing a fanfiction, always consider the audience that you’re catering to. Be sure to put up the proper warnings, so if someone doesn’t want to read a story where Bill dies, they can see the ‘character death’ warning and click away. Likewise, if someone is in the mood for smut, they can search for the ‘adult content’ warning. Maybe someone wants to read about Bill getting tied to the bedpost; they can be on their merry way through the ‘bondage’ warning.
Putting up proper warnings can help avoid lots of flames or hate-mails, as you are giving a fair warning as to what can be expected in your story. Once a warning is up, the reader is clicking at their own discretion.
Warnings and their definitions:
- Abuse: Involves a character being sexually, physically, verbally, or emotionally abused.
- Adult Content: A story that includes explicit drug use or graphic violence/horror.
- BDSM: Stands for ‘bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism’. Involves a sexual act in which one character inflicts pain on another character, who enjoys it. Doesn’t necessarily indicate rape or non-con, as it is in a consensual situation.
- Blood: Involves blood, usually written in a violent and graphic situation.
- Bondage: Usually done for sexual pleasure, in which one character is tied up or restrained by another.
- Cross Dressing: Involves a character dressing in such a way that they resemble the gender opposite of their own. Think of Bill in drag. Yum.
- Drug Use: A story that involves the characters using some form of substance, legal or illegal, that alters their body’s natural state. Examples of drugs include marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.
- Food play: In a sexual sense, involves a character experiencing sexual pleasure from situations involving food. Can range from a character eating/licking food off another character’s body, or a character doing body shots (licking/drinking alcohol off another’s body). Also occasionally includes a character inserting food into any orifice to derive sexual pleasure.
- Furries: Involves anthropromorphic animal, or simply put, animals that have human-like qualities. Think Sonic the Hedgehog or Hello Kitty. Sexual situations involving these creatures borders on bestiality.
- Heavy Kink: Kink is a term used to refer to a broad range of sexual practices (sometimes referred to as "kinky") such as spanking, bondage, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism (BDSM). Kink sexual practices transgress what are considered "normal" sexual boundaries as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners. This fan fic would have a heavy amount of kink in it.
- Humiliation: A situation in which one character’s pride is ruined. Involves emotional and mental pain, embarrassment, submission on the victim’s part, intimidation, and bullying.
- Light Kink: Kink is a term used to refer to a broad range of sexual practices (sometimes referred to as "kinky") such as spanking, bondage, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism (BDSM). Kink sexual practices transgress what are considered "normal" sexual boundaries as a means of heightening the intimacy between sexual partners. This story would have a light amount of kink in it.
- Major Character Death: A story that features the death of a major character.
- Minor Character Death: A story that features the death of a minor character.
- Non-con/Rape: When one character is forced into having sex or performing a sexual act for another character. ‘Non-con’ stands for non-consensual.
- On Hiatus: Stories labeled On Hiatus are stories the author feels they cannot update for a long while, or at all.
- OOC: ‘Out of character’; one or more of the characters acts different from what they would act like in real life.
- Pedophilia: In which one character is attracted to, or engages in a sexual act with somebody considerably younger than them, or someone who is not legally declared an adult by their country’s standards. The term suggests non-con/rape elements. Remember, NC-17 content with characters 10 and under is no longer permitted on THF.
- Sexual Content: If your story mentions physical intimacy beyond just simple kissing, or if it contains scenes with characters masturbating you should use this warning, the rating of the story should still be used to determine how explicit the sex scene/s is/are.
- Spanking: A form of punishment in which character’s buttocks is beaten with an open hand or another implement. Can fall into the ‘BDSM’ category.
- Suicide: A story in which a character kills themself.
- Torture: In which one character is inflicted with mental or physical suffering.
- Under-Age Erotica: A situation in which the characters engaging in sexual acts are not legally adults by their country’s standards.
- Violence: Any situation in which a character exerts force in an attempt to hurt or injure another character.
- Voyeurism: In which one character elicits sexual pleasure from watching another character express intimate behavior, such as having sex, masturbating, or undressing. Peeping Tom? Yes please.
- Water-Sport: A sexual fetish, in which one character enjoys the secretions of their partner’s body.
- WIP: WIP stands for Work In Progress, or Written In Parts. A true WIP is a story that the author is posting that has not been finished yet. There are stories authors post in pieces, but sometimes the story is already written, the author is just taking their time posting it. That wouldn't be considered a WIP.
- G - General story that doesn't mention any relationships.
- PG - Story that could include relationships but doesn't mention anything sexual or violent.
- PG-13 - Story that could include a little violence, or relationships with kissing and where it's implied the characters could be in a sexual relationship/situation but it's not really mentioned and not described.
- R - Story that could include violence or drug use, or relationships where the characters are in a sexual relationship/situation but there is no graphic description of any sexual encounters.
- NC17 - Once this rating is on there you should feel free to write as graphic a scene as you want - just remember to use appropriate warnings because some people might be fine reading explicit sex but they don't want to read Bill and Tom pissing all over each other but oops, you forgot the Water Sports warning!
As far as language goes - the above ratings when applied to movies would exclude swearing from PG13 and under, however THF is not for children and we expect all our readers to be of an age where reading the word 'shit' or even 'fuck' isn't going to be a problem. Just use common sense. If you are going to use the 'C' word then you probably don't want to give the story a 'G' rating.