Real Person Fiction

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Real Person Fiction (RPF) is fanfiction where the characters are based on real people, in most cases celebrities such as actors, musicians, or sportspeople. RPF is an umbrella term for all fanfiction concerning real people, but its main sub-category is RPS, or Real Person Slash.

In media fandoms, writing stories about the actors, especially those with romantic and sexual content, as been controversial in comparison with fiction written about the source text.

The main fictional slash pairing when the Supernatural fandom began was Sam/Dean aka Wincest. Some slash writers were uncomfortable writing an incetuous realtionship, and so they to writing RPS, even if it was a genre they would have shunned in other fandoms. This lead to the oft quoted sarcastic phrase "Supernatural - where RPS is the moral high ground."

Jensen and Jared at a public event, January 2006

The first RPS cropping up on the lj-community [sn_newsletter] on November 2nd, was ethrosdemon's "Michael Rosenbaum Uses Viagra, and Other Lies Jensen Ackles Tells For Fun" (Tom Welling/Jensen Ackles), although strictly speaking it was a Smallville RPS fic.

November 10th brought the first mentioned Jensen/Jared RPS by stone_princess: “postbarfightalleysnoggingfic” as well as storydivagirl’s “Enduring the Quiet”.

RPS in the fandom really kicked off in early 2006, fueled by public appearances of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki together - particularly at the William S. Paley Television Festival appearance in March 2006 in which they appeared quite close.

The announcement that as of mid-2008, and the beginning of Season Four, Jensen had moved in to share Jared's house in Vancouver lead to the frantic shining of fandom's Tin hats and an avalanche of Curtain Fic.

Poking fun at the popularity of RPS, co-star Misha Collins tweeted in 2012 at the renewal of season eight: “...Fun fact: If Jensen got Jared pregnant when they first met, they would have a 7 year-old.”

Genres and Pairings

An analysis of Supernatural fanfic in August 2009 from over 30,000 fics (see Supernatural Fic Link Archive), shows about 21% of fanfic is RPF. Of this 78% is J2, and 6% is Het. The remainder are other slash pairings and a handful of Fem Slash.

Het RPF in the fandom generally focuses on the real life partners of Jared and Jensen, namely Jensen/Danneel, Jared/Genevieve or Jared/Sandy aka Sandywhack. The stories usually also include slash pairings - RPF that is exclusively Het is rarer.

Some RPF featuring Jared and Jensen in a platonic relationship exists (Gen), although it is very rare. It is sometimes referred to as "pre-slash" to allow its posting in RPS communities. Some fics that focus on Jared or Jensen in relationships with other people will feature a platonic relationship or Bromance between them.

After the airing of Devil's Trap on May, 4th 2006, a lot of Jensen/Jeffrey Dean Morgan fics started to appear as well as some (Jensen/Jared/Jeff) fics.

RPF focusing on other actors on the Show are rare. There are a few fics featuring Eric Kripke and the other writers. These are generally Crack fics.

The casting of Misha Collins as Castiel led to his appearance in fanfic paired with ether Jared, Jensen or both particularly after his playful interactions with them at All Hell Breaks Loose Sydney 2009. However stories featuring him remain less common, and his role in fandom tends to be centered around Misha's Minions and Mishaland.

See: Jensen/Misha aka Cockles and Jared/Misha aka Mishalecki

There are two main sub-genres in RPF - canon or AU - although all stories are almost exclusively some form of romantic fiction.

Canon RPF is fiction loosely based on real events - eg Jared and Jensen are actors on Supernatural. Aside from Jared and Jensen being in a relationship, the author may try and stick to known facts closely, or change people and events as suit their story. The use of the term Canon is much more loosely used here than in relation to the TV show, as the small amount of factual information allows wide artistic freedom. Quite often these stories will be referred to as "non-AU".

The most common themes in these stories are:

RPF AUs are by far the most popular form of RPF. These stories are essentially original fiction, where the major characters are named, and occasionally very loosely based, on real people. Popular RPF AU tropes feature Jared and Jensen when they were at high school or college, in vocations other than acting be it spies, hookers, or in space, in historical settings and in post-apocalyptic settings.

A form of Crossover is to slash either actor with their on-screen characters and their 'verse; generally Supernatural (eg Jensen/Sam) but sometimes from past shows such as Jared/Alec (Jensen's character in Dark Angel)

AUs often feature an ensemble cast made up of...

The WB and CW entourage

RPF featuring actors on The WB, the network Supernatural started on, was in existence before Supernatural as it was home network Buffy, Angel, Smallville and One Tree Hill.

Jensen of course had appeared on "Smallville" with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, and Jared had appeared with Tom Welling in "Cheaper By The Dozen". Jared had also known Chad Michael Murray who had been on "Gilmore Girls" with him and they met again on the set of the horror-movie "House of Wax". Reportedly, they shared an apartment in Australia while filming. Chad Michael Murray is often referred to as Mayhem because of his many, many antics (e.g. getting excluded from his girlfriend's high school prom).

Christian Kane (Jensen's friend and fellow actor/musician) who starred as Lindsay MacDonald in Angel had his own RPF fandom where he was previously popularly paired with David Boreanz.

These other characters generally as supporting characters but occasionally as part of slash pairings.

Other CW shows such as Gossip Girl also have strong RPF fandoms, although crossovers with Supernatural RPF is rare.

RPS terms

Jensen/Jared RPS is often called J2 or Jsquared, as well as Padackles.

See also:

J2
J2M
J2 AU
RPF AU
Surprise JDM
Jensen/Misha aka Cockles
Jared/Misha aka Mishalecki
Smeckles
Sparkly Balloons
Bromance
Mayhem
Tin hat
OTP
Fartacus
Drugs of Fandom

Links

The spnnewsletter links to RPF fics across communities. A database of these links has been compiled at the Supernatural Fic Link Archive on delicious.

Another major repository of RPF fic links is in the memories at the community Supernatural_fic. See also Fanfic challenges & exchanges.

The annual Big Bang challenge produces a large number of RPF fics.

Recommended fics can be found at Rec communities

RPF communities

  • Padackles Rps- an RPS fanfic community on LJ
  • Jsquared RPS- an RPS fanfic community on LJ
  • CW RPS - an RPS fanfic community on LJ for actors on the CW
  • Super Real - an RPS fanfic community on LJ for actors on the Supernatural
  • WB RPS - an RPS fanfic community on LJ for actors who were on the WB
  • J2 Mint tea - RPS without porn
  • Jensen/Danneel - community on LJ for Jensen and Danneel.