FOR the uninitiated, fan fiction might seem like a strange, foreign world of wizards, Jedi warriors, Dothraki queens and glittery vampires all lumped together. So here are a few basic terms you should know before exploring this universe:

> Canon – The original literary pieceused as reference for fan-fiction. Pre-canon and post-canon fan-fictions are stories set before or after the original storyline respectively.

> Crossover – Fan fiction that incorporates characters from different stories. For example, Jedi Spock (pic). Vulcan Death Grip + Force Choke = Awesomeness.

> Roleplay – A collaborative effort where fans roleplay as specific characters in writing a story. A writer contributes several paragraphs, which will then be continued by his or her writing partner. (More on page 4)

> Shipping – It’s all about relationships. Fans get to play cupid and pair characters together. And this is how portmanteaus like Caskett, as in Castle and Beckett, come to exist. Anakin Skywalker and Hermione Granger, anyone?

Fanfic genres

> Fluff – Rainbows and unicorns populate these fanfics. Everyone’s happy all the time!
> Angst – Pretty much the polar opposite of fluff.
> Crack – Anything can happen here. Cows falling from the sky? Chuck Norris on a blind date with a werewolf? Totally acceptable.
> Mpreg – It delves into the unknown world of male pregnancy. You really don’t wanna know…

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