Fan fiction glossary

Not sure what squick means or whether you're writing drabble? Find out with our handy list of fan fiction terms.

Erika Meza illustration

Beta reader: A fellow fan fiction fan who reads your story and makes suggestions for improvement before it is submitted or posted online.

Canon: The original story and its accepted 'official' features (such as characters and plot).

Cosplayers: Fans that make and wear their own costumes based on a story's characters.

Drabble: A fan fiction that is usually 100 words or less.

Fandom: The community that surrounds a TV show, film or book. Fan fiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers (fans that make and wear their own costumes based on a story's characters) can all be members of a fandom.

Ficlet: A fan fiction story approximately 100 words or less.

Mary Sue: A poorly developed character, too perfect and lacking in realism to be interesting

Plotbunny: A rapidly developing idea for a story that won't leave you alone until you write it.

Schmoop/Fluff: A romantic, 'fluffy' fan fiction story.

Slash: Fan fiction that features existing (usually heterosexual, or 'Het' ) canon characters in homosexual relationships. Lesbian relationships or encounters can sometimes be termed Femmeslash, to differentiate.

Squick: A cross between 'squeamish' and 'ick' - an awareness that there may be aspects of a fan fiction story that some readers may dislike, such as a character dying, sexual content or violent scenes.