Er, I was just going to copy the AU section over, but then I got really carried away and wrote all this. *coughs*
I'm worried it's a little meta-y. Is this suitable for the page? Am I missing anything? Is it horribly inaccurate? I'm putting it here to get some input first.
--Cocombat 23:24, 23 November 2006 (PST)
- This is awesome! I like it a lot. Meta is fine. :) :) post away!
- --Angstslashhope 02:43, 24 November 2006 (PST)
'AU' stands for Alternate Universe. Generally this refers to the concept that for any decision made, or possible outcome, there exists a universe, or setting for a story, where the alternate outcomes are explored.
Defining the AU
All Fanfiction as 'AU'
Almost all fanfiction can be technically classified as an 'AU' (with the possible exception of fiction design to fill 'missing moments' of canon, or character insight for canon moments - but probably not even then), as it takes the canon up to a certain point, and then gives a story, or alternate take on what may happen from there. This includes pretty much all Wincest. The [Point Of Divergence (POD)] is usually sometime midseason around when the fic was written, or the episode it is listed as a spoiler for, or the author may state something along the lines of "set/canon based on mid-season 2". As any major events that occur within the fanfiction, especially in longer, multi-part stories will probably not occur within the canon, the fanfiction subsequently becomes 'AU', even if it wasn't when it was written. Another standard form by which fanfic is "AU'd" is to have written a fic based on certain assumptions, that are then disproven by later canon - also known as being Jossed.
While almost all fanfic may be 'AU', the likelyhood of it being referred to as such generally depends on a) some time & canon having passed since the 'POD', and b) it's a noticeable enough change, that events occuring since that point will not have occured, or will have occured differently. AU's on an episode will generally list what episode they are AU'ing from, such as Pilot-AU, Dead Man's Blood-AU. Pilot AU's are some of the most common, as the Pilot establishes a lot of the setting for the rest of the series, so having something different occur there, changes the history for all the episodes occuring after that. E.g. Sam not going with Dean when Dean asks him, Jessica not dying in the fire, or Sam dying in the fire instead.
This does not refer to 'missing time' pre-series fanfiction, where characters could plausibly become the canon characters on the show, or fiction that was originally intended to be such, before being [[Jossed], but fiction where pre-series history has diverged from canon at a certain point, such as: John having a different occupation - John as a priest, and/or Sam & Dean following in his footsteps. Sam or Dean being born a girl, rather than a boy. The boys being seperated or adopted out. Dean leaving home, or Sam not leaving home.
Despite the different settings, events may unfold to mirror or parallel canon history. The term Alternate History is sometimes applied to the last two categories, although it usually refers to alternate World History.
Recognisable Characters in a different setting AU's
This includes the Historical AU, where recognisable characters exist but in a different time or environment (this is also known as [Uberfic] in some fandoms), or where canon history has never technically existed, but characters have similarities anyway - such as Sam and Dean not actually being related. Again, events may mirror canon history.
The 'Original Fiction' AU
A further divergence from the prior category, in this debated form of 'AU' the characters may share the same appearance and possibly name as a canon character, but may otherwise be completely unrecognisable, having a completely different setting, environment and especially, personality. This is more common in RPS. In some fandoms, only these last two categories are regarded as 'Alternate Universe', and the other forms are known as 'Alternate Reality'.