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 them up.

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 cattleprodlynn@yahoo.com 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 term.

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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