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11 Swoon Books, as Tagged by AO3 (Part I)

As a giant geek and fangirl, I’m a HUGE fan of fanfiction. I think it’s a wonderful place to learn the craft of writing, and more than that, it’s a ton of fun. Who doesn’t want to spend more time reading about the characters they love? So, needless to say, I spend a lot of time (maybe a little too much?...Nah!) on Archive of Our Own (better known as AO3).

One of the things I particularly love about AO3 is their tag system. If you're in the mood for a specific kind of story, AO3 makes it so easy to find several hundred variations of it, while also avoiding topics or tropes that you aren’t in the mood for or might find triggering. For example, I’ve recently been making my way through the “Ineffable Husbands (Good Omens)” tag while absolutely avoiding anything that includes the tag “non-con.”

Wouldn’t it be great if we had these kinds of easy-to-search descriptive tags on published books? It would make it so easy to find exactly the kind of book you were looking for. Alas, my magic wand is broken, so I can’t add tags to every book, but I do have a handy list of some of the most popular AO3 tags, with a Swoon Reads book or two to match.

Tag: Alternate Universe

Alternate Universe (AU) stories take place in a world that isn’t the norm for the characters. So, if the characters normally live in a magical fantasy realm, then an AU fanfic might be set in the modern day, or vice versa.

Swoon Reads Titles:

Other tags for this series: Pirates, Coffee Shop AU, Apocalypse World, Character Death, Second Chances, Dream World, Multiverse, Mirror Travel, and Wait...It’s Another Me?

Tag: Amnesia/Mind Wiping

“What if they couldn’t remember ___?” is a pretty solid writing prompt, so it’s no wonder that memory loss fics (whether naturally occurring or deliberately induced) abound on AO3.

Swoon Reads Titles:

Other tags: Historical, Mystery, British, Lords and Ladies, Attempted Murder

Other Tags: Hive Mind, Manipulation, Stand Back I’m Going to Try Science, Computers, Future Technology, Written On Your Skin

Tag: Angst

Oh, angst, also known as the emotional torment of both your characters and readers. Fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, frustration, and buckets and buckets of tears ahead.

Swoon Reads Titles:

Other Tags: Seaside Romance, Small Town Boy, Home Renovations, Dreams Visions and Hallucinations, It’s Probably Ghosts, #deadsiblings

Other Tags: Kidnapping, Action/Adventure, Dead Parents, Vengeance Quest, Violence, Secret Badass, Everyone Needs a Hug

Tag: Fandom Elements

Fanfic writers are, by definition, capitol F “Fans” and every so often that obsession with fandom sneaks into their fic.

Swoon Reads Titles:

Other Tags: F/F, LGBTQ Themes, Anxiety and Mental Health Issues, Crushes, Slash, Sexism, Genre Savvy, Coming Out, Inside the Writer's Room

Other Tags: What Do You Mean He’s Dead?!?, Bisexual as Hell, Cosplay Everyday, #DragonCon, Best Friends to Lovers, Dating Lessons

Tag: Fluff

It’s just so cute and fluffy! These are the stories where there’s so much sweetness and light that you might come out the other side with cavities. Happily Ever After guaranteed.

Swoon Reads Titles:

Other Tags: Boarding School, I Got You a Boyfriend as a Gift, Team Free Will, Change Your Fate, Magical Town, Love Potions

Come back next week for more Swoon / AO3 mash-ups!

Author spotlight

Holly West

Senior Editor at Swoon Reads and Feiwel & Friends. Giant geek. Dedicated fangirl. Half-Elven Rogue Cleric. Also answers to That-Girl-Who-Reads-A-Lot.

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