Gen usually means a FanFic that includes no [[{{Shipping}} pairing]], be they [[SlashFic homo-erotic]] or {{het}}ero-erotic.

However, there are some disagreements as to what ''exactly'' that means.

To most everyone it includes fics without any [[{{Lemon}} smut]], but to some it goes as far as to mean a fic where not the [[NoHuggingNoKissing slightest hint]] of a romantic relationship shows up.

For some people it includes a fic that isn't focused on the romance, but where pairings can feature in the background. Some people make a difference between showing [[{{canon}} canonical]] pairings and [[AltFic non canonical]] pairings (with all the [[ShipToShipCombat debates]] that can lead to about what's a [[{{Fanon}} canonical pairing]]), which many [[SlashFic slashers]] criticize as being hetero-sexist, because the majority of what's acknowledged as canonical pairings do not include their ships.

It's sometimes used to mean an OriginalFlavour fic.

Beyond what it doesn't include, Gen's a category for plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. It's often popular among fans who like to explore all the dynamics of the ensemble cast, to put the focus more on the family and the friendly relationships.

Gen fans often complain of being the red-headed stepchild of {{ficdom}}, and, indeed it's much less popular and more difficult to find than any fic focused on {{Shipping}}.

Usage of this term tends to be limited to {{ficdom}} where {{Shipping}} Fic makes up the bulk of the material produced ([[MostFanficWritersAreGirls which are the most common]]).