What Popular Fandoms All Have in Common

Note for all authors wanting to be the next J.K. Rowling:

This is not a cheat list to being famous. A book can have all of these things, but can still fall flat do to flat characters, confusing or idiotic plot, bad world-building, or just feeling like a rip-off (I will no long read anything with a review on the cover comparing it to Hunger Games). 

This is, however, a list fun things that fans like when accompanied by good, likable characters with a thought-out compelling plot that takes place in a well-built world.


You know, the things that people wear on shirts, jewelry, or even draw on their arms to show that their fans. It could be a gimmick original to the world (like a Tardis or lightsaber), a symbol for a place (like the Camp Half-Blood T-Shirts or faction symbols from Divergent), or an actual symbol in the world (like the Deathly Hallows or the Mockingjay pin).

Fun Costumes and Cosplayable Characters

Because cosplaying is fun, and characters that have a look are fun to try to represent. A good example of this are the Doctors in Doctor Who – each one has his own look. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter is another great example – especially since a lot of her oddities are home-made.

School Colors

Not literally (the exception being Harry Potter). Fans love have a color, or color scheme that represents their fandom or their place in their fandom. It can either be a fandom-wide color like blue for Doctor Who and Orange for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, or it could be something more like the house colors in Harry Potter or the faction colors in Divergent. 


Related to the above, having some group that fans can identify with. Divergent has its factions, Percy Jackson its cabins, and Hunger Games its districts. A lot of science fiction stories like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who have multiple alien species (my mom thinks she’s a Vulcan). And then of course there’s the Harry Potter houses, which are taken very, very serious in some circles (go Ravenclaw!)


No, it doesn’t have to be as obvious as in Percy Jackson or Star Trek, both which have t-shirts (ish) written into their story. But all fandoms make it to the t-shirts (and I have at least one of each).

Catch Phrases and Quotables

Catch phrases are fun ways to show your support for your fandom. Funny quotes can make your series memorable, even when they’re as stupid as a play on the word “dam”. On the other hand, some of the most memorable quotes come from the saddest seen. Always, Rose Tyler I, and Real or Not Real are some of the most popular examples (don’t know where they’re from? Just type the words in and you should be able to find out eventually).

Again, this is not the formula for success. And there is every chance the fandom will latch on something you put two seconds of thought into while ignoring what you spent ages planning. But these are fun things to try to add into your story.

Image from: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Deathly_Hallows

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