Alternate Universe Fanfiction and How to Write It!

by , Wednesday November 30, 2016
Alternate Universe Fanfiction and How to Write It!

Alternate Universe Fanfiction and How to Write It

A blog full of writing tips for creating your own AU fanfics!


Hello Movellas :)

My name is Sille, and I'm an Intern at Movellas for the next week. I'm 15 years old, from Denmark, and I love to write and read. I am personally very into fanfiction (especially AU type stuff), which brings me to this blog post's topic:

Writing Alternate Universe

In case you don't know what these this means, here's a definition for you:

Alternate Universe -
"Alternate Universe (often abbreviated as "AU") is a descriptor used to characterize fanworks which change one or more elements of the source work's canon. The term most often refers to fanfic, but fanart can also invoke AU tropes (for example, steampunk versions of universes). Constructed reality, a term used in Vidding, is essentially the visual counterpart to AUs in written fanfic." (source)


So, in summary, AU is when you take a pre-existing universe, and change it.


General guidelines

1. When/where. An AU is always set in a different universe than the original story (hence the name). If it's set in the same universe, it's called Canon Divergence, which is a different genre within Fanfiction. It's usually set in modern time (but it can really be any time period you want!) and the AU story is typically very different from the original story.

2. The characters. One of the most important things when it comes to an AU, is your characters. Because everything else is so different, the AU characters have to be a lot like the original characters. If not, it's basically just your own original work with characters who have the same names as other characters from another story. Make sure your characters have (very) similar traits than the the original characters. If they have a tragic backstory in the original work, give them a similar tragic backstory in your work! If they always bite their lip when they're nervous in the original work, make them bite their lip in your work! Even similar relationship dynamics can be a good idea. (It's also a good idea to make the character development similar.)

3. Tying your AU to the original story. While an AU is about difference, it's still a fic. It's still important to relate it to the original work, so that the reader can link your story to the original. A great way to do this is by taking quotes from the original story and incorporating them into your plot. For example, there's the well-known quote from The Hunger Games; "Will you stay with me? "Always." You could take that quote, and use it in your own story. Another thing you can do, is use similar subplots. Be inspired by subplots from the original story, and make them fit yours.



Thank you to Sille Dahl for writing this awesome blog :)

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