Glossary of glowfic terms

Glossary, from the community guide to glowfic:

Alt, instance: an individual character within a template. If two characters are alts, they are “the same person” taking into account their different circumstances (which in most but not all cases are different worlds). See also: templates.

Attractor: a characteristic that many or all instances of a template share or are drawn to. They vary in strength – from absolute, like the “bel” syllable in Bells’ names, to mostly optional, like Bells’ van accident in Forks – as well as in scope/type – from magic attractors, like Saddes’ tendency to have shapeshifting or illusion magic, to circumstances and events, like Jokers’ Horrible Thing That Always Happens In Their Life. See also: templates.

Author, coauthor: glowfic posts usually have a collection of authors (typically two) fixed from the beginning. A post’s authors consists of people who allowed to post in it or who have done so, and if you’re an author of the post then the other authors of it are your coauthors.

Continuity: a collection of stories by the same set of coauthors, usually designed to interconnect/meet/cross over at some point.

Convention, convening, peal: a “convention” is a group of the same characters from different universes, after they’ve met. Effulgence uses the term “peal” for this (both as a noun and as a verb), because it originally referred to the gathering together of multiple Bell characters (and their associates) from different worlds, and it’s still often adopted as an informal catchall for any meeting of alts.

Fork: two characters who used to be the same one, and share a past up to a certain point, often referring (if applicable) to the one who split off from the “original”. Usually accomplished through magic or futuristic technology.

Instance: see alt.

Milliways: the bar at the end of the universe (which universe? anyone’s guess). It’s inherited from the Dreamwidth RP tradition that spawned glowfic, and it temporarily steals doors from various universes at various points in time. While in Milliways, time in the characters’ home universes is typically paused. It has a number of other interesting characteristics too great for this margin to contain.

Moiety: originally used to refer in-universe to the characters written by Alicorn (green moiety) and Kappa (purple moiety), this has become a general term for “X author’s characters”. Moieties are named after the author’s chosen color.

Peal: see convention.

Post, thread: a single story, or a chapter in one. The basic unit of glowfic, consists of a bunch of sequential posts by a certain (usually) fixed set of authors.

Sandbox: the basic and most common type of glowfic, it’s a post that spurs from a question of the form “what happens if we throw X at Y?” or similar. Sandboxes can end up larger, but often peter out and are abandoned or concluded after a short while. Common examples of sandboxes are having characters find Milliways and each other and interact, but they also often include situations like multiversal shenanigans or throwing a character from one world into another world.

Selfthread, self-thread: a single-author thread or a long exchange between a single author's characters within a multi-author thread. Also a verb, "selfthreading".

Setting, world: a “world” in the worldbuilding sense. Worlds based on the Luminosity worldbuilding are instances of the Luminosity/Aurum setting, for instance.

Tag: when an author posts everything they’re going to, they often tell their coauthor(s) “tag” to indicate they’re passing their turn, so a “tag” is a term for the reply they wrote. The page “Tags Owed” lists all posts where your coauthors have most recently posted.

Template: a template is a collection of characters who could be described as “the same person, in different circumstances”. See also: templates.

Thread: see post.

World: see setting.