Fandom Starter Pack: A handbook to fans

Well well well, look who’s here! Welcome to the guide that is going to help you learn the essentials to join a fandom. What is a fandom? The answer is very simple. A fandom is a community that consists of people who are active fans of a TV show/book/film.

To join a fandom, it is very important to know the basic terms and requirements. Since you are a newbie, this guide will help you make your job as a fangirl/fanboy much easier. This job requires creativity, determination, courage and the ability to handle the ‘feels’. Do not worry though, the guide will help you through it all!

Fan Terminology

The first thing you need to know are the words that are used on a daily basis in the fandom. There will be lots of confusion initially, but it gets better once you are used to it. Here are a few words that will make the first week of your job super easy!

Anon – Anon is a contraction for Anonymous for those people who want to keep their identities in the fandom a secret.

AU/AR – Alternate Universe/ Alternate Reality. This acronym is used when the story is presented in a time that is different from the time the book is set in. For example, Romeo and Juliet set in an apocalyptic world.

Canon – Canon is used when events and relationships are the same as the original plot of the story.

Feels – Short for feelings. It is used to express your emotions when something big happens in the fandom/story.

Head-Canons – These are usually created by fans as a different possibility or an interpretation of an event about a canon.

Hiatus – It refers to a break between episodes or seasons in a TV series or time taken off by authors to recuperate themselves from writing.

OTP – Stands for ‘One True Pairing’ where the fan faithfully believes in a relationship between characters of a story.

POV – Point of View is used to differentiate when a story is being narrated in a specific person’s voice or a in a third person’s voice.

Ship – A ship is short for a relationship where fans mash names of couples to create a ship name, for example, Ron and Hermione is ‘Romione’.

Spoiler – is the unintentional revelations of a plot twist or an important scene prior to watching the original material.


If you are part of a fandom, it is absolutely necessary for you to own some merchandise that is of your fandom. Every group has their own products which are either created by fans or those involved in the production of the TV show or book. The products can range from posters to stationary items and from clothes to jewellery and sometimes even make-up and perfumes.

Live Events

Fandoms have a meet and greet event very often in which all the fans of a particular fandom get together and have a discussion or simply hang out and get to know each other. Another part of live events are the conventions! This is where fans dress up as characters and meet new people and other fans.


Fan fiction is usually a textual creation of stories written by fans of a specific character or a plot. Writers of fan-fiction can change the entire story line, change settings and other story elements or create a completely new story with new relationships, settings and plots. It is a type of transformative work which is designed as a further exploration of canon material. These fan-fics are posted on various websites such as Wattpad, and DeviantArt.

Fan Art

This is for all the artsy fans in the fandoms! These are original drawings or illustrations and/or photoshop-ed pictures of fandom scenes and characters that are created by the fans. Fan-arts range from pencil sketches to oil painting and from caricatures to digital photo designs.

Social Media

Who doesn’t have social media these days? But if you are planning on joining a fandom, it is important for you to brush up on your social, creative and interpersonal skills. A few platforms are actively used by fandoms to express their views and opinions as well as share their creative projects with other people in the group are Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If you are part of a fandom, please comment below and we can fangirl together! 

All the Love, R.

3 thoughts on “Fandom Starter Pack: A handbook to fans

  1. This is like a walk down memory lane! I used to be a high-key fangirl for 2 bands: The Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer and my first book fandom was The Hunger Games. I was more an Instagram fan and I read sooo many fan fictions on Wattpad back in the day! I kind of grew out of it though lol
    BUT that does not mean to say that I am not a fangirl for many MANY things!! I just don’t have the time to join the communities anymore ):


    1. I remember reading Fan-fics on Wattpad day and night. I was obsessed with One Direction and I couldn’t get enough of them. Like you said, I have moved on but once in a while, I do end up reading some books on Wattpad. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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