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Navigating Ao3 or Archive of Our Own

Navigating Ao3 or Archive of Our Own

One of every Filipino teenager’s core memory is reading or writing or even just hearing about Wattpad. Literally, everyone knows someone who has read a Jonaxx story or even written something themselves. Writing is an integral part of growing up, it helps develop the skill, as well as the child’s creativity. These days, another common writing platform is called Archive of Our Own also known as Ao3. Similar to Wattpad, in a nutshell, the site allows users to read and upload stories.

However, unlike Wattpad which caters to locals mainly, Ao3 comprises more diverse users. Think internationally: Western books and movies, Kpop fandoms, anime lovers, you name it, and there is probably a story about it.

How to use Ao3?

Ao3 is very easy to use even when new to the site. The interface is simple to navigate- you just go to the search bar and type what kind of story you are looking for.

You do not need to have an account in order to read stories, however, you do need one if you plan to write and upload on the site. There is a queueing when registering or getting an invitation for an account. It takes about a couple of days based on personal experience, but you will get it.

Most of the stories vary from fanfiction of existing fictional characters to real people like actors. Writers also invent original characters, they are called OC. And of course, alternate universe stories of different genres.

The system of Ao3 also generates the search engine in a way that you can specify details of the stories or fanfics that you wish to find. For example, you can input what kind of relationships or pairings you want the characters to have (M/F, M/M, F/F, Gen).

There is also an option to specify the name of the fandom that you want to indulge in, and the ships that you prefer to read or write about. Fun fact, some of the fandoms that have the most fanfics submitted in the archive are Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sherlock, and Harry Potter.

See Also

For writers, it is possible to tag your stories with the intended audience (General audience, Teen and up audiences, Mature, and Explicit). As well as content warnings (Major Character Death, Graphic Depictions of Violence). These are some of the vital tags that they must include in their posts so that the readers know what they are about to get into. You can also specify trigger warnings such as mentions of a car crash, harassment, or anything in the story that may trigger a negative reaction from the readers.

Platform to Improve Your Writing

Preview of the site’s interface

Archive of Our Own is a writing platform that anyone can utilize, from beginners to professionals. It allows writers to develop an audience where they can garner feedback that would help them improve their craft. Also, there is not much pressure when using Ao3 because you can be anonymous so go crazy in your stories, but not too much that it becomes borderline creepy. Aside from that, it can be a source of validation because there is a “Kudos” button which is basically a like or heart function in Ao3. And readers can also comment on your posts and bookmark them. Knowing that your audience liked your story can definitely give you a boost to continue.

Do make sure to take that feedback with caution, because if you get too obsessive about it, then that is when problems occur. However, as long as you are enjoying reading and writing then, use Ao3 as much as you want. It is a safe space for readers and writers alike.

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