Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fan Fiction For Dummies - A Glossary


DAHLINGS –

I am still going through "House MD" withdrawal, as you can imagine.

With the recent scholarly discussions on fan fiction (fiction written by fans of television shows, movies, computer games and coloring books), your faithful correspondent felt there should be a sort of glossary of terms.  Naturally, given my predilection for “House, MD”, this is my jumping off point.

The first thing one needs to know is that the show's fans, both insane and regular folk, like to use portmanteau names (the first of them all being Bennifer for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston).  This means a relationship is there, usually romantic or sexual or both. Personally I don't care for them, but it breaks down to:

House + Cuddy – Huddy  (Hugh Laurie & Lisa Edelstein)
House + Wilson – Hilson (Hugh Laurie & Robert Sean Leonard)
House + Cameron – Hameron (Hugh Laurie & Jennifer Morrison)

And so forth.  It doesn't matter whether or not it happened on the actual show; these are ways for "shippers" to identify themselves.  Although many prefer the more adult “House/Cuddy” etc. As you have probably gathered from this blog, I myself tend to prefer the House/Wilson friendship.

"Ship" is short for relationship.  Every possible character combination has come up in fanfiction.  Homosexual romance and/or sex is called "slash." Heterosexual romance/and or sex is called "het".  Just romance is called "fluff" and usually means a light, cute story.  There are popular genres known as “hurt/comfort,” and “smut,” respectively.  I hope these are self-explanatory.

Now, dahlings, there are various genres of fanfic...there are actually hundreds, but first I shall confine myself first to some spedific House/Wilson “fic”genres.

"mpreg" Male pregnancy. One of the men (usually Wilson) has a baby and he and House raise it.  Don't even try to wrap your mind around this.

There’s a subgenre of one or both of them being babies, or turning into babies.

Almost all have lots and lots and lots of sex.

"Babies?"  "Don't blame me, I live in the writers' heads."
"Post-Finale" Since the finale was left open-ended, with House and Wilson riding off into the sunset, there has been an explosion of fics in which House copes with Wilson's death, sees his ghost, or cures him.  Some are quite amazingly good.

 "Contractverse" A series of stories based on "The Contract," where House is tortured and traumatized in exchange for keeping Wilson alive (of course Wilson doesn't know it).  Later stories have House a physical and mental wreck. I’ve glanced at these, but to be honest, they turn my stomach. 

BDSM - you know what that is.  Readers can ask where to find stories where House or Wilson is "the top", etc.  For some reason, Wilson is usually the one dominating or humiliating House. 

Speaking of which, some writers write House/Wilson in abusive relationships, usually because the writers themselves are in abusive relationships.  Or concentrate on child abuse, which usually means House collapses into a sobbing heap having an epic flashback,weeping, "No, daddy, I've been a good boy!"

Basically, the entire panorama of human experience is filtered through these stories, making this kind of fiction even more id-driven than romance novels. 

Two other genres that are common to many fics of all kinds are:

"First Time" - bazillions of these.  Most are much of a muchness.
"AU" - alternative universe.  Anything that doesn't directly relate to the events or locations of the show.
 
From a small sampling of House/Cuddy “fics,” it seems that the concentration these days is to depart from the show’s plot and have the two characters in an established relationship.  Usually raising Cuddy’s daughter Rachel.  Some of the show’s best and most realistic fanfiction has come from this neck of the woods, in my opinion.


There are also a fair amount of “first time” fics. And lots and lots and lots of sex.


I have never read a House/Cameron fic, so I don't know the content or genres.  If any writers would like to enlighten me, please do so in the comments.  But I'm sure there's lots and lots and lots of sex.
 
There also seem to be quite a few “femmeslash” (lesbian) stories involving Cameron and Thirteen (Olivia Wilde).  Since Thirteen was bisexual on the show, it makes a certain sort of sense.

 Probably a fair amount of sex, don't you think?
 
Recently my assistant Leo was reading some fanfiction.  He remarked to me, “But this has nothing to do with what happened in real life!”

I agreed with him, until I remembered that “real life” was a television show.

Damn.

Ciao,
Elisa & Fletcher

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