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Fanfiction Terminology

General
  • Canon: the original plot line of a fandom; compare "fanon"
  • Fanon: something created by fans that becomes mainstream in the fanfiction world; compare "canon"
  • OFC: original female character
  • OMC: original male character

Genres
  • Alternate Reality: usually called "AR"; the fanfic is a mild deviation from the original plot, usually starting from a certain point

  • Alternate Universe: usually called "A/U"; the fanfic is a complete deviation from the original plot (sometimes referred to as "alternate reality" even though this is different)

  • Crossover: when the characters of two or more fandoms meet; compare "fusion"

  • Fusion: the theme of one fandom meets another (example: a fanfic that uses the idea of Ranma 1/2's cursed springs); compare "crossover"

  • Lemon: the fanfic contains graphic descriptions of sex; compare "lime"

  • Lime: the fanfic contains mild descriptions of sex; compare "lemon"

  • Plot? What Plot?: usually called "PWP", sometimes referred to as "smut"; the fanfic has no purpose other than to be a vehicle for sexual content

  • Songfic: a fanfic with song lyrics that reads like a narrative; compare "vidfic"

  • Vidfic: a fanfic with song lyrics that reads like a script; compare "songfic"

Frequently Asked Questions

[Site-Related - Submission-Related - Fanfiction-Related]

Site-Related

Q: What do the ratings mean?
A: Since the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) no longer wants anyone to use their ratings unless they have a film and have applied for the MPAA to review it, I've instituted another system based upon the video game rating system. E = everyone (formerly "G"); PT = pre-teen (formerly "PG"); T = teen (formerly "PG-13"); M = mature (formerly "R"); AO = adults only (formerly "NC-17").

Q: How do I rate a fanfic? How are the numbers calculated?
A: Rate each fanfic according to the content within. 10 = 5 stars; 9 = 4.5 stars; 8 = 4 stars; 7 = 3.5 stars; 6 = 3 stars; 5 = 2.5 stars; 4 = 2 stars; 3 = 1.5 stars; 2 = 1 star; 1 = .5 star. Is the fanfic formatted correctly (as in having some clear indication of when different paragraphs start). Are words spelled correctly? Are the sentences complete and grammatically correct? Is the punctuation in the right place? Is the plot interesting? Are the characters believable? Please rate everything accurately so that fellow visitors, as well as the author, can be informed. It also wouldn't hurt to leave a review pointing out problems politely instead of one that's merely a flame.

Q: How does a story become featured?
A: I take recommendations for featured stories (yours or someone else's) or I feature whatever catches my eye at the time. Soon I will start holding a monthly contest to determine the featured story.

Q: Why aren't there more (insert type here) fanfics on the site?
A: I have no control over what people decide to submit to the archive so there is always going to be more of one type of fanfic than another. If you have a fanfic of that type, you are more than welcome to contribute it to the archive.

Submission-Related

Q: Can I submit a fanfic I have on the Dragon Ball Fanfiction Library to the Otaku Institute?
A: Yes. The DBFL is a specialty archive like OI's same-sex archive. You can also submit a Dragon Ball fanfic originally on OI to the DBFL.

Q: Can I submit a fanfic to more than one category?
A: Yes, but this doesn't mean submitting the same story more than once. Instead, just select more than one category using the ">" button when you add (or edit) a fanfic.

Q: How do I select more than one co-author/character/genre/warning?
A: Windows users hold down "ctrl" when clicking multiple selections. Mac users hold down the "apple" key.

Q: How do I mark my fanfic as "complete"?
A: There are two different ways. One is to go to click "Account Info" then "Manage Stories". On that page you can click the link that reads "no" after "Completed?" to change it to "yes". Another way is to click on the individual story and check the box next to "Complete?" at the bottom of the page. Don't forget to click submit afterwards to record your changes.

Q: How do I add more chapters to my fanfic?
A: Go to "Account Info" then "Manage Stories" and click on the fanfic you want to add chapters to. At the bottom of the page there is a link called "Add New Chapter".

Q: Can I submit a fanfic with a same-sex pairing to the DBFL?
A: Yes, and the rating doesn't matter. The only restriction is that it has to be DB/Z/GT-related.

Q: My story hasn't been validated yet. Did I do something wrong?
A: Sometimes I'm very slow when it comes to looking over submissions. If you don't meet the requirements, I'll send you an e-mail about it and give you a chance to fix what's wrong.

Q: My fanfic isn't complete. Can I still submit it to the archive?
A: Unfinished fanfics are more than welcome, but you might have disappointed people on your hands if you take a while to finish them :). I recommend finishing at least half of your fanfic before starting to post it.

Fanfiction-Related

Q: What are the meanings of the Japanese words I see in fanfics?
A: If you want a list of Japanese words and their definitions (as well as a short list of general anime things I've also defined) click here. For words/phrases not listed there, you can use this online dictionary or this one.