A long time ago, I sent the following missive to Outside the Lines
and the FFML:
"Scream" was probably the most recent movie I can think
of that explained this concept well. I'm thinking of the scene in
particular where the two guys are sitting around, explaining how
kids in slasher movies meet their doom and how no woman who
takes off her clothes in a slasher movie is safe.
Another good resource for movie terms is Roger Ebert's "Bigger Little
Movie Glossary" wherein it explains some things like the
Fruit Cart! phenomenon: In every chase scene in a foreign location,
there is inevitably a part of the chase scene where the chasee and his
pursuers overturn a fruit cart and the accompanying peddler running out
into the street shaking his fist at the men who wrecked it.
They aren't limited to action movies. The book defines the "Meet Cute"
as the way for the two protagonists to meet in any romantic comedy
movies. It usually involves the man walking down the street, minding
his own business when all of a sudden, a female bowls into him,
spilling all her packages. The two meet while he is helping her pick
There are terms for individual actors as well. Harrison Ford has two,
one of them being the Harrison Door Principle. The Harrison Door
is a slow moving door that in any other circumstance closes swiftly,
but in times of great peril for Mr. Ford, the door closes slowly and with
much grinding noises so he can encounter danger on the way to the
door and barely manage to slip under said door. Bonus points if he
reaches back inside the room to grab his leather fedora.
What does this have to do with fan-fiction? It's obvious. Fanfic
has its own terms too. One I can think of is the Character Boinkability
Clause. In every mainstream universe, there is one character who is so
beautiful/handsome/interesting that every other character wants to
boink him/her. This includes Mary Sues and self-insertion characters.
Some comic books and anime have more than one. Gambit and
Rogue of the X-Men is a good example. So is Akane of Ranma 1/2 fame.
Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a weird case, as she
doesn't exude sex appeal in any way shape or form.
Here is my challenge to you of the fanfic community: Write the
Fanfic Glossary. You can come up with as many terms as you want
to. They can be about any fandom, any character. Heck, they can be
about any writer. Send your terms to me at
with [Fanfic Rules] in your subject field. All submissions not complying
with this will be ignored.
They will be compiled and sorted into the genres and put up on my
website at the Author's Spotlight with your name and address by the
This is going to be an ongoing project, so get typing!
Unfortunately, this wasn't clear enough for some readers and
not long after I sent the original summons, I got this reply:
In regards to the Fanfic Glossary project (I'm posting
this publically because I think everyone who's interested
needs to know this): how do you want these phrased?
Format should go like this:
Name of Rule:
Description of Rule:
Also, is this just for "rules" or also for well-known terms/names?
Let us know and I'll definitely start contributing. :)
Terms are okay, but I don't want this to overlap with your
existing fanfic glossary, Kielle. A great example of a term I
got recently from an anime ficcer was Worfism. What does
it mean? Stay tuned to find out!
Actually, the terms that are already known (lemon, slash,
yaoi, etc.) I don't want included because this applies
to phenomenon in the fanfic rather than the genres/types
of fanfic itself. A Mary Sue is not a rule, but something involving
the Mary Sue is.
Character Boinkability Clause, Corollary #1:
Any boinkable character will have been boinked more than once
by the Mary Sue or avatar character by the end of the fanfic. Sometimes
even his/her friends get to join in as well.
You can illustrate these "rules" with made up examples or examples
from existing fanfics. Just remember, your name and address is
going on this, so take that into consideration when picking
fics as examples. I will also contact writers who are mentioned
in these terms for their permission to include them in the glossary.
So that's it. Now get those submissions in!
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