Recursive Fanfiction

Fanfiction is a popular medium, and thanks to the nature of Sturgeon's Law, some of it can indeed be quite good to read.

And some of that fanfiction may actually become so interesting to some readers, that those readers are inspired to write fanfiction based on those stories, despite the fact (or perhaps because of it, in some cases) that the original story is fanfiction in and of itself…

This is Recursive Fanfiction.

Care should be taken with this trope, as the story that said fanfic is based on must be a fanfiction as well. If the fiction that it is based on is not itself based on another work of fiction, then that’s a normal Fan Fic, and not this trope.

Or, schematically:

Original fiction → regular fanfiction → Recursive Fanfiction → still Recursive Fanfiction, but of a higher (deeper?) level.

The reaction of the author of the original Fan Fic tends to vary. Responses may range:
  • At one extreme, they may outright encourage it and even adopt some or all of it into the canon of their own continuity (creating a shared Fan Verse)
  • They may have a positive reaction, but without "adopting" the new material.
  • They may give it ambivalent acknowledgement or ignore it entirely.
  • They may express polite distaste for it.
  • Quite ironically, they may get upset at people for "stealing" their ideas.

Not to be confused with Meta Fic.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • The well-known How to Train Your Dragon fanfiction Hitchups got one, a oneshot based off the story with the author's permission called The Elder's Prediction.
  • This occurs at least three times in The Lion King fandom:
    • The Lion King Adventures is the most famous example, with no shortage of fan fiction being made by the fans. Even the spin-offs have fanfics.
    • "Chronicles of the Pridelands" invented the character Tanabi, Simba’s son. Nearly every TLK fan began using the character in their own Next Gen Fics. His popularity soon declined though, due to the release of the semi-official Six New Adventure book series, which gave Simba a different son, Kopa. The release of the second film with the arrival of Kiara made all but the oldest fans forget Tanabi.
    • Joanna-TLK’s fancomic continues on from the last chapter of Savu0211’s fancomic, which by then, had almost nothing to do with the original films.

    Films — Live-Action 

    General/Crossovers 

    Music 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • There are quite a few stories written by authors other than the original CP Coulter that use original characters from the Glee fanfic Dalton.
  • The Harmon Verse, a series of Glee fanfics centred around the Original Character of Jack Harmon. It includes four ongoing novelizations of Glee and over 40 stories altogether.
  • The Contract has ended up spawning a number of other fanfics, forming a world known as the Contractverse. They include:
  • Two Two One Bravo Baker, a military AU of the Sherlock universe, has spawned its own works of fanart and fanfic.
  • The Mighty Boosh fandom has several rather famous fanfictions, notably Stockholm Syndrome, that were so popular that they spawned countless fanfictions based on it from other authors. The number of fanfictions and fanarts based on Stockholm Syndrome ballooned after it was revealed Noel Fielding himself was a fan of the fanfiction and inserted references to it into a live performance.
  • DianeCastle's The Secret Return of Alex Mack has spawned fifteen recursive fanfics, thanks in part to its epic length and regular updates, including two heartfelt tributes to Pyre after her Heroic Sacrifice in chapter 219.
    • There are so many now that it has spawned the so-called "Teraverse," named after Alex's superhero secret identity Terawatt. A quick search on TTH now gives 49 results. Two or three of these are by the original author, but everything else is fanfic of fanfic. There's more to be found on other sites as well.

    Video Games 
  • There's been at least one doujin based on PatchCon! Defend the Library!.
    • People seems to like the concept of Advent Cirno a lot, and there are a lot of fanarts of it in Pixiv.
    • In fact, many Touhou doujins use personality quirks ascribed/invented/Flanderized by previous authors (such as Sakuya's A-Cup Angst, Aya's paparazzi behavior, Cirno's idiocy, etc.) that have no basis in canon, due in part to the lack of Character Development in the official games and Word of God that comes out years later people are used to the fanon personalities. For example, most doujin portray Keine as teaching human and youkai children alike despite it being official that she doesn't like youkai. Similarly, Momiji is often shown as Aya's long-suffering subordinate when they actually don't like each other very much.
  • Pokémon:
    • Poké Wars has spawned at least twelve fics based on Cornova's world.
    • There have been multiple fanfics written based on Black Adventures.
    • And a huge community based on Pokéumans, with literally hundreds of members.
  • The infamous Portal fic ITS MY LIFE! has at least several. It doesn't help that one of the authors of those fics largely drew elements from another shared universe based on Portal, namely the Portal: The 4th Millennium franchise.
  • Kynrind's Capture is one based on the Porn with Plot Warcraft fic, Ethereum Gladiator.
  • Subverted with Morphic, where a new author was supposedly going to write his own sequel to the original fic... only it turns out the whole thing was planned out ahead of time by the original author as part of an elaborate April Fool's prank.
  • The Oolite project is a Fan Remake of Elite, so all Oolite fan works are essentially Elite fan works by proxy. Additionally, the game is also highly moddable; well-received Oolite Expansion Packs inspire authors to incorporate their features into their fics, and new ideas from fanfic writers in turn inspire new OXPS. Furthermore, developers and community regulars frequently include versions of one another's in-game personas in their own fan works.
  • Hang around an active Game Mod community long enough and eventually you'll start seeing mods of mods.
  • Dragon Age fandom has spawned Feynite, an author whose work seems to inspire a significant amount of this.
  • Undertale has quite a few of these. Among its large number of alternate universes are several AUs of AUs; for example, Flowerfell, an alternate universe of the preexisting AU Underfell, gave rise to the fanfic Overgrowth, which itself spawned several more fics.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • This occasionally happens to very popular OCs and especially fan-children. For example, one artist created a Boom-verse Sonic/Amy daughter named Aurora which has received fanart and fanfics from others.
    • Someone created a design for Shadow the Hedgehog's long-dead sister-figure Maria Robotnik as a hedgehog. Since then, Maria the Robotnik is a mainstay of Sonic fanworks. Try to find Maria fanart or even fanfics, and you'll undeniably find Maria the Hedgehog fanworks too. Some have an Excuse Plot of "What if Maria was reincarnated or resurrected as a hedgehog?" while others just make her a hedgehog just because.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck out the wastechute. Fans will create alternate universes, the alternate universes will become popular, people will write fanfics set in the alternative universes... and then there's the fanart of alternative universes.
    • The Grand Battle is the most notorious in having fanart and other fan stuff based on itself.
    • There is genderbent fanart of a cosplay of a fanart of a memetic guy that randomly got into a picture of cosplay.
    • Unwanted Free Ugly Troll gets one in Loophole.
    • The greater Replay Value Universe currently includes at least one roleplay that draws from a roleplaying-game handbook, which itself was written as a recap of the original freeform roleplay, which in turn is based on Sburb Glitch FAQ. The author of the Glitch FAQ was apparently so intimidated by the size of his accidental subfandom that he evaporated.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Recursive Fic

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RecursiveFanFiction