Transtextuality, to understand it, is a relevant concept when it comes to fanfiction. We can talk a lot about if fanfiction’s relationship to canon text is transtextual, in what way and why, but it’s worth to look at transtextual relationship between fanfictions, too.

Because so many A/B/O stories are in dialogue with each other as well as the particular canon they are based in, the Omegaverse can be treated as a single body of work collectively created by the fandom community, rather than individual, unconnected stories. (…) There is a kind of second-order intertextuality here, not just between different Omegaverse stories, but also between these works of fanfiction and the dominant western sexual scripts. Readers and writers in the fanfiction community are able to interpret the small differences between variations in the Omegaverse, or between fanfiction stories and the originary texts.

Popova, Milena (2018): ‘Dogfuck rapeworld’: Omegaverse fanfiction as a critical tool in analyzing the impact of social power structures on intimate relationships and sexual consent, Porn Studies,

If we continue with the example of Omegaverse (which might be similar to soulmate AUs but slightly different from, let’s say, noncon/dubcon), these stories might include what Genette calls intertextuality: quoting and allusion. Of course, in the case of fanfictions, it might be something beyond quoting or plagiarism as these sentences are not placed outside the texts but are neither plagiarised.

Another kind of transtextuality these text display is paratextual.

(…) a title, a subtitle, intertitles; prefaces, postfaces, notices, forewords, etc.; marginal, infrapaginal, terminal notes ; epigraphs; illustrations; blurbs, book covers, dust jackets, and many other kinds of secondary signals, whether allographic or autographic.

Genette, Gérard (1997) Palimpsests, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 3.

There are certain paratexts unique to fandom that will mark for the reader familiar with them, not only that the text is a fanfiction, but specifically which archive it belongs to: tags, author’s notes, comments etc. These paratexts also create transtextual relationships between certain type of fanfictions: it can tie together every fic tagged with Omegavers or A/B/O dynamics, for example.

Metatextual relationship can be between the comments and the fanfiction they are commenting on.

Finally, architextuality is what ties Omegaverse fanfictions together. It can also tie together Enemies to Lovers fics, drabbles, angst or PWP stories. There can be an argument made for the arhchitextual relationship between Canon Divergence stories or ones tagged with Under-negotiated Kink.

Would you argue that these tags create an architextual relationship? Do you agree with how I classified the transtextual relationships between fanfictions? Are there any other examples that I’ve missed?

Transtextuality and transtextuality in relation to fanfiction
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