Archive of Our Own, a Ziven Recommendation!

Hello everyone!

It’s time for another fandom-related recommendation from D Saint Radio’s resident fanfic writer, Ziven!

Archive of our own (fondly known as Ao3) is a relatively new fanfiction archive (basically, a site where you can post fanfiction) created by the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). The OTW is a non-profit organization comprised of fans for fans, and they work very hard to establish and protect the rights of fans and their works in multiple ways.Ao3 is just one of the projects that they’ve got cooking up. They’re also the group behind the Fanlore wiki, which is a wiki specifically dedicated toward cataloging information about fandoms.

Not sure what a fandom is? Click this link here for an official definition.

Otherwise a fandom is a specific area of interest that has a group of fans or people interested in that subject/thing. For example, if you’re a fan of anime, then anime is your fandom, because you’re part of that community of fans. If you’re only a fan of books or movies, you’re part of the media fandom. Most larger fandoms, like the genres I just mentioned, can be broken down into smaller ones. Following the examples above, if you’re a fan of Bleach, then you might be a part of the Bleach fandom, in addition to the overall anime fandom, same for the media with something, like the Artemis Fowl Series. Whether or not you’re a member of a fandom is rather simple: Do you count yourself as in a fandom? Then you probably are. You could very well say that we’re all brothers and sisters in fandom, because everyone is a fan of something.

Being a fan stretches to all creative works, and although this article focuses on the fanfiction aspect of fandom please know that it extends beyond that. Feel free to go to any of the links listed above for more information, and to see what information the OTW has to offer and projects to help unite fans everywhere and protect your right to write/read/create/record/make/do to express yourself as a fan of, well, anything!

As for the subject of this article, Ao3 is an up-and-coming fanfiction archive that revolutionizes what an archive can be. See below for the very eye/work/occasion friendly front page!

It offers a ridiculous number of features, including but not limited to having multiple names connected to each author’s account (called pseuds, short for pseudonyms). Do you use more than one name in multiple fandom communities? They have a fix for that. You can assign specific account names to your fics, and have those separate names connected to you. Never worry about another person mistaking your work again! They also offer a very organized way of sorting fics by genre, fandom, the relationship/pairing/coupling involved! In addition to leaving reviews, you can also leave kudos, kind of like a the facebook “like” button, to fics. This allows for anonymous recognition, but, more importantly, it’s a way for those who write fics to see who enjoys their works without anyone having to commit to naming the story a favorite or subscribing.

They even make submitting stories easy! Just take a look at all of the fields available on this submission page:

You’re able to add your own tags, co-authors, gift recipients, a connection to other fics to form a series (they’ll be listed as connected to each other on your profile), and you can even change the publication date displayed on your profile in the case that you upload an old fic, or if you’re moving something from an old profile to a new one.

It’s very easy to use! But there are features on the site for readers as well~!

My favorite part, actually, is the way that you can view fics and lists and fic summaries/ratings. It usually looks like this:

As you can see, the upper left hosts a small two by two square, signs that obviously denote what the general notations of the story at hands. Here’s the key to what the symbols mean:

I can’t express how much easier this makes the idea of searching or view works. If you’ve ever searched for fanfiction, you know how difficult it is to search descriptions and sometimes even read part of a fic that you’re unsure about before actually getting a sense of everything it’s likely to contain. Some people just aren’t good at conveying what’s in their fic. This systematic way of denoting your fic contents make things easier! As you could see further above, the submission sheet still allows those who are wonderful with summaries and description to still add invented hints and tags.

Ao3 is a wonderful site, and I would recommend that you all take a trip to Archive of Our Own and take a look around! If fanfics aren’t your thing, and you do fanart, fancrafts or anything else, take a look at the rest of OTW’s projects! They might be benefiting you!

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