Created By: MtheR on June 29, 2011 Last Edited By: MtheR on March 5, 2012

Five Things Fic

A fic which is structured as a list.

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Trope
Note: I don't know how many usable examples there are of this trope, although it's everywhere. The description could use some work, too.

Some fics are structured as lists. Instead of following a straightforward narrative, they lay out a series of not necessarily related events. The most common type is the "five things" fic: "Five things Harry Potter brought to Hogwarts," or "Five Things Sokka and Katara left at the South Pole."

Often, a five things fic is also an Alternate Universe Fic, or even several alternate universes, positing several ways that an event could have, but didn't, occur: "Five ways Alice and Bob didn't get together," or "Five things that never happened to Carol."

Another common variation is to put a twist on the last item of the list:"Five ways Alice and Bob didn't get together, and one way they did," or, "Five things that never happened to Carol, and one thing that did."

Finally, a Five Things Fic does not have to have five things. It can have four, or ten, or thirty-eight items; five is just the most common number.

Examples:

  • The Harry Potter Five Things fic exchange includes such examples as "Four Letters that Got Delivered (and One that Didn't)" and "Charlie Weasley Smokes Four Cigarettes and Crushes One."
  • The Criminal Minds fic Marksman is a "five things that never happened" fic presented in a slightly atypical structure.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • June 29, 2011
    fluffything
    Drabble Fic? 100 Themes Fic?
  • June 29, 2011
    MtheR
    Those are different, I think, though related--I'm using the name "Five Things Fic" because that's pretty much the name universally used in fandom.

    Five Things fics are specifically fics that are lists--not themed chapters, or a series of drabbles, but a set of short descriptions, explanations, or vignettes linked by a common theme, and, importantly, presented as a list.
  • June 29, 2011
    chihuahua0
    I seen this type of fic before. How about List Fic, to include lists that has more than five items?
  • June 29, 2011
    MtheR
    List Fic would be okay, but I like Five Things Fic better because a lot of people already know what it means, and use it in the real world. (Compare, for example, the google results for "list fic" to the google results for "five things fic.") It's used in a general sense, even for lists of more/less than five things.
  • June 30, 2011
    Windsong12
    To list every single fic that uses this would be impractical. Should there be examples?
  • June 30, 2011
    Micah
    There should definitely be examples; this is a form that's a lot easier to understand by example than by description.
  • June 30, 2011
    queenbri
    Here are a couple from Young Justice: 20 Big no no's for Kidflash and its companions 20 Big no no's for Artemis and 20 Big no no's for Robin.
  • June 30, 2011
    MtheR
    Maybe we could attempt to provide links for examples? None of them are going to be big enough to have their own trope page, but if there are links, at least there's a chance that people will know what's being talked about.
  • July 1, 2011
    Andygal
    do the various "Things I am not allowed to do at X" or "Things X is not allowed to do." fics count?
  • July 2, 2011
    MtheR
    I don't think they're generally included in the same genre, but if there's enough explanation behind each rule, I suppose they could count. (Part of the point of five things fics, I think, is that they're not just lists; they're fics presented as lists, so they have narration and exposition and plot and dialogue and all the rest.)
  • July 4, 2011
    Jackalyn
    "Things X is not allowed to do" is a genre actually inspired by the Skippys List.
  • March 4, 2012
    CrystalBlue
    Drabble Fic would be a good title for this. Also I've seen these around a lot since I'm friends with a person who writes fics based around lists and this would be a good addition to Fanfic Tropes. :)
  • March 4, 2012
    animeg3282
    No, drabble is a specific form limited to around 100 words.
  • March 4, 2012
    CrystalBlue
    Hmmm.... right... how about List Drabble Fic then? That's most often how I notice most fics like this are written, sort of like drabbles with a prompt above them or different times something happened, like the original title for this YKTTW.
  • March 4, 2012
    animeg3282
    Drabble fic is redlinked. We could make a trope for drabble fic, and then say compare 'list fic' or whatever this will be called
  • March 5, 2012
    DaibhidC
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=sbpongnuctb8fcbmz8jgdca5