Cascade Library: a Sentinel fan fiction archive
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CL Home TS Fandom Definitions

This is a definition guide TS fanfic writers and readers of words as related to The Sentinel (meaning this may not be true in other fandoms). Please let us know ( if you have any suggestions for additions.

Links: Kat's list of fannish definitions

General fanfiction, aka gen:: Refers to all non-slash, non-NC-17 fanfic in the rating of G, PG, and R. Please understand that this is not the same as the "Rated G for general audiences" MPAA rating for movies, etc.

H/C :: Hurt/comfort fanfic, i.e., someone gets hurt and then there's comfort; sometimes it's balanced, sometimes not.

AU :: Alternate universe fanfic, where TS characters meet in a different manner or reality itself is different.

PWP :: Strictly speaking, this is defined as "plot what plot" or as "porn without plot." In most cases, this definition is used in non-gen (whether het or slash) fiction. The term PWP does show up occasionally in gen fic descriptions/summaries, usually for very short scenes or drabbles, though it probably isn't the best term to use.

Kidfic :: This can have two meanings. 1) The central characters have children they are raising. 2) The central characters are shown as children, whether in flashback stories or in fantasy plots where either the adult Jim or Blair has been replaced by his younger self, requiring the remaining partner to take care of him.

Slash and pre-slash fanficion :: Fanfic of any rating that includes a romantic and/or sexual relationship (in thought or deed) between two characters of the same gender. CL is a gen-only Library and has chosen not to archive slash fic of any rating. For the Library's archiving purposes, this mainly refers to the main set of canon characters for the series -- Jim, Blair, and Simon. Depending on your definition of "main," this could be extended to include Megan, Carolyn, Joel, Brown, and Rafe. (There are a handful of stories at the Library that have made secondary characters homosexual and that is acceptable.) This does not preclude having same-gender couples used in a fic as long as there are no NC-17 scenes included. This is a fine line and CL hopes to tread it carefully, to not offend readers of strictly gen or of both gen and slash (aka bifictional).


Rated R fanfic :: For the Library's purposes, this would most often include excessive language and/or intense violence. Other areas would be intense moments leading up to consensual sex or sexual assault off-screen (meaning not shown); intense child abuse; or other sensitive issues. As the archiving Librarian, I do try to zip through any fic that is pointed out to me as being Rated R, by author or reader, to determine if it can be archived at the Library. However, occasionally something may slip through as there's only me and I trust the author to rate their fic approrpriately, which sadly isn't always the case.

Rated NC-17 fanfic :: For the Library's purposes, this is mostly confined to actual sex scenes, i.e., sexual assualt (this may include intense dreams or flashbacks that are very detailed) on adults or children "on-camera"; and consensual sex scenes, no matter how tastefully written.

I realize the line between R and NC-17 can be hazy at times and I try my best to decide what to do with stories that fall between them.


drabble :: an exactly 100-word fanfic, no more, no less

Evil!CanonCharacter :: depiction of established character as unsympathetic or downright nasty. Examples: Evil!William, Evil!Naomi, Evil!Carolyn.

OC :: original character; variations include OMC (original male character) and OFC (original female character)

MarySue/MartyStu :: aself-insertion into a story (i.e., the writer writing themselves into the fic, sometimes even using their own name, to interact with the characters); see also wikipedia's entry on this, especially noting the "litmus tests" links at the bottom of the page

canon :: history of characters and series that happened on-screen and sometimes on props (i.e., Jim's father's name being William)

fanon :: collectively created history by fans of a series (i.e., Blair's middle name being Jacob)

Last updated 2/22/09 igr