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Notions of Narrative
An academic blog of literature, fan fiction, and other popular narratives
August 29th, 2012 19:48 (UTC)
I don't think about fic genre all that consciously most of the time, but when I do try to divide fics, it's usually by a handful of common tropes or general plot types. I'd probably pick... Hmm...
deathfic, h/c, crack, pwp, AU
I might add a few things like 'casefic' that you'd only use as a label in some types of fandom. The genres listed on FFN are definitely much more genre-like, but they're also mostly not something I use outside of the interfaces of archives that force that categorization on one.
I would not consider "crossover" a significant category or similar to genre in any way. Mentally, I class most crossovers as exactly like a single-fandom PWP or crackfic or whatever but with multiple fandoms, especially if it's just one character crossing over, the canons could plausibly be the same universe, it's only two fandoms, etc. If it's one of those fics with the author's favorite 30 characters from 30 different shows, I probably think of it as both crack and badfic not as a crossover per se. (It depends on the fic, of course. I've just seen a lot of dreadful ones of this sort.) If one of the fandoms has magic and the other doesn't, that fic would also be a magical/vampire/whatever AU for the non-magic-having fandom.
But, all in all, I just don't care about "crossover" as a top-level category for classifying fic. This is a big difference between FFN site culture and some other places. (I've seen some interesting comments from FFN users trying out AO3, for example.) I want to say views on crossovers also vary a lot depending on what the canon is like and how big the fandom is in addition to by site culture. I'm not sure I have enough of a sample to make a good generalization, but it seems like there are fandoms that are defined in some broad, less single-canon-focused way, especially fandoms for actors who are in a lot of movies. (C6D, what's going on currently with Jeremy Renner's characters and to a lesser extent everybody else in Avengers, Velvet Goldmine fandom around the time that came out, etc.) Most movies can't sustain an enduring fandom without new canon (yes, yes, I know, Avengers, but lots of movie fans never get into comics), and surprise crossovers with everything that actor has been in seem to be the norm. Canons that are already explicitly part of a multiverse of some kind tend to get tons of crossovers even between characters who didn't visibly cross over (crime dramas are especially prone to this). But HP is so huge that you could read fic for a major pairing forever without bothering with crossovers. I think that tends to make them more worth remarking on and treating as a significant classification.
I do go back and read on FFN occasionally, but I stopped being an active user around ten years ago. I can't remember what the genre system was like back then if there even was one, but the large single-fandom archives I remember using in the late 90s/early 00s were much more pairing or kink/trope-focused. At least, that's how I remember them. I'm pretty sure "BDSM" or "first time" would have been more common divisions than "comedy" or "adventure" or whatever. (And, truthfully, archiving was often an afterthought: I was on a lot of Yahoo Groups where people would put any damn thing they pleased in the headers just like people label all kinds of ways on LJ/DW. If an archive had a specific system of labels, they'd put those on when they reposted the completed fic, but it was the serialized mailing list version that counted.) I'm certainly not discounting the enormousness or influence of FFN, but the current site structure hasn't had a particularly significant impact on my schema for fic.
Maybe you'll mostly get people responding who
use these genres in their personal schemata. I don't know.
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