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Fanfiction Tropes: Our Ultimate Tier List

What is a fanfiction trope tier list?

fanfiction trope tier list

Fanfiction is a form of creative writing based on already existing stories, characters, and settings. It allows writers to explore a wide range of possibilities, diverging from the canon or original storyline as they see fit. Fanfiction writers often make use of various literary devices and conventions to create engaging and entertaining stories that appeal to fans of the original material. One such convention is the use of fanfiction tropes.

A trope is a common plot device or theme that appears in many stories. In fanfiction, tropes often refer to specific scenarios, character traits, or plot twists that are frequently used by writers to create certain effects. For example, a common trope in romance fanfiction is the “fake dating” scenario, where two characters pretend to be in a relationship to achieve a goal or cover up their real feelings for each other. Similarly, a common trope in action and adventure fanfiction is the “rescue mission” scenario, where the protagonist sets out to save a character who has been kidnapped or captured by the enemy.

A fanfiction trope tier list is a ranking of the most popular, overused, and cliche tropes used in fanfiction. The list is typically created by fans themselves, who vote on which tropes they like or dislike the most. The purpose of the tier list is to provide guidance and inspiration for writers who want to create original, engaging, and unique fanfiction that avoids the pitfalls of overused or predictable tropes. By identifying which tropes are most popular, writers can avoid overusing them and strive to create something new and exciting.

In addition to the traditional fanfiction tropes, which often focus on romance, angst, and drama, the tier list may also include more specific tropes related to certain fandoms or genres. For example, a tier list for Harry Potter fanfiction may include tropes related to time travel, alternate universes, and magical creatures. Similarly, a tier list for superhero fanfiction may include tropes related to secret identities, team dynamics, and epic battles.

It’s important to note that fanfiction tropes are not inherently bad or unoriginal. In fact, many tropes are popular for a reason – because they appeal to readers and help create emotional connections between the characters and the audience. However, using a trope too often or relying too heavily on it can lead to predictable and uninteresting stories. The key is to use tropes in a way that feels fresh and authentic, and to combine them with other elements of storytelling, such as characterization, dialogue, and setting, to create a unique and compelling narrative.

Understanding the different tiers of fanfiction tropes

tiers of fanfiction tropes

As with any form of writing, there are certain tropes that are more popular than others in fanfiction. While there are countless variations of fanfiction stories out there, many of them tend to fall into similar categories or “tiers”. Below, we’ll break down the different tiers of fanfiction tropes so you can better understand what to expect from different kinds of fanfiction.

Tier 1: Canon-Compliant

canon compliant

The first tier of fanfiction tropes is “canon-compliant”. This means that the story follows what has been established as the original canon of the source material. In other words, the fanfiction is based on the original story’s events and characters. These kinds of stories often fill in gaps or explore background details of the original story. They are generally well-regarded by readers who appreciate a faithful adaptation of the source material.

Tier 2: Alternate Universe (AU)

alternate universe

The second tier of fanfiction tropes is “alternate universe”, or AU. These stories involve taking established characters and placing them in a different setting or time period. For example, a Harry Potter AU might see the characters at a Muggle high school instead of Hogwarts or living in a world where Lord Voldemort was defeated years ago. A popular trend within this tier is “modern-day reimagining,” where fantasy elements are stripped in order to reinvent fantasy franchises in a contemporary context. This tier of fanfiction is well-loved by fans who enjoy the characters but want to see them interact in different ways than the original story allowed.

Tier 3: Romance

romance fanfiction

The third tier is arguably the most popular: “romance”. This genre of fanfiction focuses on romantic relationships between characters, whether they were established in the original canon or created by the writer. There are countless variations within the romance genre, with everything from slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers to love triangle tropes. Romance fanfiction readers flock to this tier because it allows writers to dive into the characters and their internal experiences.

Tier 4: Crossovers

crossover fanfiction

The fourth tier of fanfiction tropes is “crossovers”. This involves combining two or more established fandoms and having their characters interact in some way. For example, a crossover fanfiction could combine characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Vampire Diaries. This tier of fanfiction is appreciated by readers who are fans of multiple franchises, as it allows for the exploration of new character dynamics and situations.

Tier 5: Fix-it Fics

fix it fanfiction

The fifth and final tier of fanfiction tropes is “fix-it fics”. These fanfictions exist to fix perceived problems or plot holes with the original source material. Many fanfiction writers take issue with the way certain events or outcomes played out in the original story and so create an alternate, “fixed” version of events. This can range from completely rewriting how the story ends to adding additional scenes and dialogue. These kinds of fanfictions are enjoyed by readers who feel that certain parts of the original story were lacking or not well-executed.

Exploring the top tropes in fanfiction

Fix-It Trope

Fix-It Trope – This trope involves a fanfiction author rewriting the original canon story, by changing specific parts of the plot, in order to make the story more appealing to their personal interests or to fix a plot hole. In this type of fic, the fans take the characters they love and give them satisfying and often happier endings than they had in the original story. This trope is popular because many fans are disappointed with how their favourite series ended and they want to imagine the characters in better circumstances. It provides readers with a sense of fulfillment and closure that they may have missed in the original canon. Some popular examples of this trope include stories that focus on Harry Potter defeating Voldemort or Tony Stark surviving in Avengers: Endgame.

Alternate Universe Trope

Alternate Universe Trope – In this trope, fanfiction authors create a new world that is completely different from the original canon. Often, fics in this genre take place in completely different settings, eras, or universes, ranging from magical worlds to dystopian futures. This trope allows fans to explore what their favourite characters would be like in different environments, with unique situations and different personalities. It provides writers with creative freedom to explore their imaginations and create unique scenarios. Popular examples of this trope include stories where the characters of Harry Potter are placed in a muggle school setting or the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender with a twist, like a dystopian universe.

Slow Burn Trope

Slow Burn Trope – This trope involves a fanfiction author creating a slow-building romance between two characters. This often means taking characters that didn’t have a romantic relationship or didn’t end up together, and building a romance between them in a way that is more satisfying than their original relationship. This trope often involves a lot of angst, tension, and misunderstandings between the characters. The readers and writers love this genre because it’s a long, dramatic build-up to a possible romance, which makes the payoff even more satisfying. Popular examples of this trope include fics where Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter series, or Clarke and Bellamy in The 100, fall in love after years of friendship.

Overall, fanfiction tropes are a fundamental aspect of fanfiction writing that are often used to give readers and writers a sense of fulfillment, closure and provide them with an escape from the original canon. Each trope is unique and offers a different kind of experience, from rewriting the original canon to exploring new worlds and building romantic relationships. With their creativity and love for their favourite media, fanfiction writers use these tropes to produce some fantastic stories that can provide readers with an immersive and emotionally satisfying experience.

Debating the controversial tropes in fanfiction

Debating the controversial tropes in fanfiction

Fanfiction is a space where fans create their own stories based on existing works of art such as movies, books, TV shows, and anime. Fanfiction offers a variety of tropes that have become popular over time and have developed into a tier list. Some of these tropes are beloved by fans, while others are considered controversial. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most controversial fanfiction tropes and why they are so divisive.

1. Non-Consensual Sex

Non-Consensual Sex in fanfiction

One of the most controversial fanfiction tropes is non-consensual sex. This trope is also known as rape or non-con in fanfiction circles. Some readers find this trope triggering and offensive, while others argue that it can be used as a valid storytelling device to explore complex relationships or character arcs.

Those who oppose this trope argue that it’s not only insensitive to those who’ve experienced sexual assault, but it can also perpetuate rape culture by normalizing abusive or non-consensual behavior. Proponents of this trope argue that it can be used to explore the darker aspects of humanity and that fanfiction is a space where authors are free to explore taboo subjects without being judged.

2. Incest

Incest in fanfiction

Incest is another controversial fanfiction trope that divides readers. Incest, or twincest when it comes to twin siblings, can be a taboo and illegal topic in the real world. However, in the world of fanfiction, incest is often explored as a way to add drama and tension to a story.

Opponents of this trope argue that it normalizes an abusive relationship between family members and that it can be triggering for those who have experienced incest or sexual abuse. Supporters of this trope argue that it can be used to explore complex and morally gray relationships and that fanfiction is a space where authors can explore subjects that might be too taboo for mainstream media.

3. Age Difference

Age Difference in fanfiction

Age difference is a trope often used in fanfiction to explore relationships between characters that have a significant age gap. This trope can be controversial, as it can perpetuate unhealthy power dynamics and romanticize relationships that might be considered predatory in real life.

Those who oppose this trope argue that it can perpetuate a culture where older men or women pursue younger partners and that it can be harmful to younger readers who might be impressionable. Supporters of this trope argue that it can be used to explore relationships where two people are at different stages of life and that it can be a way to challenge societal norms around age and romance.

4. Crossovers

Crossovers in fanfiction

Crossovers are a popular fanfiction trope where two or more different works of art are combined into one story. For example, a crossover could be a story where Harry Potter and the Avengers team up to fight a common enemy. While crossovers are often seen as a fun and exciting way to bring together beloved characters from different franchises, they can also be controversial.

Those who oppose this trope argue that it can be confusing for readers who might not be familiar with all of the franchises being referenced. Some readers might feel excluded if they don’t know the source material, and crossovers can end up feeling like fanfiction for fans of a specific franchise rather than for a broader audience. Supporters of this trope argue that it can be a way to bring together different fan communities and that it can be a fun way to explore what might happen if unlikely characters were brought together.

In conclusion, fanfiction is a space where authors are free to explore complex and taboo subjects without judgment. While some tropes might be controversial, they can also be a way to challenge societal norms and explore the darker aspects of humanity. It’s up to each reader to decide what they’re comfortable with and what they want to read.

How to use the fanfiction trope tier list to improve your writing

Improve Writing with Fanfiction Tropes

Using the fanfiction trope tier list can be an excellent way to improve your writing by providing a guide for popular storylines and character archetypes that readers enjoy. Here are some tips for utilizing this tool effectively:

1. Use the list to spark creativity

Creativity and Fanfiction Tropes

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the tropes on the list. Mix and match, and come up with new and exciting storylines that haven’t been done before. Using the tropes as a guide, you can create a plot that is both entertaining and unique, while still using familiar elements that readers will enjoy.

2. Find inspiration for characters and conflicts

Character Inspiration in Fanfiction

The fanfiction trope tier list is an invaluable resource for fleshing out your characters and creating conflicts. By using character archetypes and common conflicts found on the list, you can create characters that are relatable and interesting, and conflicts that drive the plot forward.

3. Avoid trope overuse

Trope Overuse in Fanfiction

While using tropes can be fun and helpful, be careful not to overuse them. Readers will quickly become bored if they see the same plot points, character archetypes, and conflicts repeated over and over again. Use the list as a guide, but don’t be afraid to deviate and come up with something new and unique.

4. Use the list for character development

Character Development with Fanfiction Tropes

Fanfiction trope tier list can also be used to develop and flesh out your characters. By using the archetype descriptions as a starting point, you can create rich and well-rounded characters that feel like real people. You can also use different tropes to highlight different aspects of your characters’ personalities and motivations.

5. Make sure the tropes fit the story

Fitting Tropes to Story in Fanfiction

While it’s essential to use the fanfiction trope tier list as a guide, make sure that the tropes you choose fit the story you want to tell. Don’t try to force tropes into your narrative that don’t make sense or feel unnatural. Remember, the list is just that – a list of suggestions. It’s up to you to use it in a way that works best for your specific story.

In conclusion, the fanfiction trope tier list can be a great tool for improving your writing and creating stories that readers will love. Use the list as a guide, but don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from the tropes suggested. With practice and experimentation, you can create compelling and unique fanfiction that stands out in a sea of similar stories.

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