A Master List of Fanfic AU Ideas (2023)

fanfic au ideas

Looking for some compelling fanfic AU ideas to explore new scenarios, settings, and relationships for your otp (one true pairing)? You’ve come to the right place!

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Fanfic AU Ideas

In the world of fan fiction, creativity knows no bounds. This article introduces a variety of exciting Alternate Universe (AU) ideas, where beloved characters are reimagined in different settings.

Whether you’re a seasoned fanfic enthusiast or new to the world of AUs, these ideas promise to ignite your imagination and take you on a thrilling journey beyond the confines of canon storytelling, offering diverse and transformative narratives.

Related post: 120+ Fanfic Title Ideas

Slice of life

Slice of life doesn’t have to be boring! Here are Alternate Universe ideas that take place in contemporary settings and amidst seemingly mundane daily life.

  1. Artistic Community AU: Characters are part of a vibrant artistic community, such as actors, writers, musicians, or dancers, exploring their creative passions, collaborations, and the pursuit of artistic fulfillment.

  2. Band AU: Imagine your characters forming a band or being part of the music industry, going on tour, and dealing with the challenges and triumphs of a musical career.

  3. Celebrity AU: Place your characters in the glamorous and chaotic world of fame and fortune, where they navigate the challenges of stardom, paparazzi, and intense media scrutiny.

  4. Celebrity Bodyguard AU: Pair your characters as a famous celebrity and their loyal bodyguard, exploring the complexities of their relationship as they face danger and navigate the spotlight.

  5. Coffee Shop AU: The characters work or frequent a cozy coffee shop where they navigate friendships, romances, and everyday life.

  6. Chef AU: The story revolves around a competitive cooking show, where characters engage in culinary battles, showcasing their skills and creativity in the kitchen.

  7. College/University AU: Follow your characters as they navigate the ups and downs of college life, from new friendships and relationships to academic challenges and self-discovery.

  8. Dark Romance AU: Two characters with tumultuous pasts and complex personalities are drawn to each other in a passionate, yet dangerous, relationship. As they navigate their intense connection, they delve into the depths of their darkest desires, challenging societal norms and their own moral compasses.

  9. Fake Dating AU: Two characters, forced by circumstances, pretend to be in a romantic relationship to achieve their individual goals. Then, conflicting emotions, humorous mishaps, and growing chemistry start to blur the lines between what’s real and what’s not.

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  10. High School AU: Explore the drama, friendships, and romance of teenage life by reimagining your characters as high school students navigating classes, cliques, and extracurricular activities.

    RELATED: High School Romance Story Ideas (2023)

  11. Office AU: Characters work together in a particular profession or industry, such as a law firm, tech start-up, hospital, or media company, navigating office politics, professional rivalries, and office romances.

  12. Roommates AU: Characters share a living space, whether it’s a college dorm, an apartment, or a house, experiencing the joys and challenges of cohabitation, friendships, and unexpected romances.

  13. Modern-Day Royalty AU: Transform your characters into modern day royalty, exploring the dynamics of power, duty, and love in a kingdom filled with intrigue and royal scandals.

  14. Musical AU: Integrate music and song into your story, with your characters involved in a band, musical theater, or even a singing competition, exploring their passions and dreams.

  15. Political Campaign AU: Characters become involved in a political campaign, working as campaign managers, journalists, or activists, navigating the complexities of elections, public opinion, and personal ideals.

  16. Reality TV Show AU: Characters participate in a reality TV show, where they must compete, form alliances, and face challenges, all while cameras capture their every move.

  17. Small Town AU: Characters reside in a quaint, close-knit small town, where everyone knows each other’s business, forming deep connections and facing the unique challenges of rural life.

  18. Social Media AU: Characters live in a world heavily influenced by social media, dealing with the challenges and opportunities that come with online personas, viral fame, and virtual relationships.

    fanfic au ideas

  19. Sports AU: Place your characters in the world of competitive sports, whether it’s soccer, basketball, swimming, or any other athletic pursuit, and delve into their triumphs and struggles.

  20. Travel AU: Characters embark on a journey together, whether it’s a road trip, backpacking adventure, or exploring different countries, discovering new cultures, and forging deep connections along the way.

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From ancient civilizations to more recent eras, the historical genre provides the perfect backdrop for romance, adventure, and intrigue for your favorite characters. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Ancient Egypt AU: Transport characters to the mystical world of ancient Egypt, where they become pharaohs, priestesses, or adventurers, unraveling ancient secrets and encountering gods and goddesses.

  2. Ancient Greece Olympics AU: Set in ancient Greece, characters compete in the Olympic Games, showcasing their athletic prowess, engaging in rivalries, and navigating the pantheon of gods.

  3. Ancient Rome Gladiator AU: Characters become gladiators, fighting for their lives in the grand arenas of ancient Rome, facing fierce battles, political maneuvering, and the spectacles of the Colosseum.

  4. Aztec Empire AU: Characters immerse themselves in the vibrant world of the Aztec civilization, exploring rituals, mythology, and the conquest of the New World.

  5. Cowboy AU: Place your characters in the Old West, where they ride horses, face outlaws, and experience the rugged frontier life.

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  6. Feudal Japan Samurai AU: Immerse characters in feudal Japan as samurais, ronin, or ninjas, exploring the samurai code, honor, and the conflicts of a war-torn era.

  7. Jazz Age AU: Characters find themselves in the glamorous and decadent world of the 1920s, experiencing the exuberance of flapper culture, speakeasies, and the jazz scene.

  8. Medieval AU: The characters embark on an epic adventure in a realm filled with knights, castles, and mystical creatures. They must navigate political intrigue, ancient prophecies, and the clash of kingdoms as they fight to protect their loved ones and restore balance to the realm.

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  9. Pirates AU: Plunge your characters into a world of swashbuckling pirates, treacherous seas, and hidden treasures.

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  10. Regency Romance AU: Transport characters to the elegant world of Jane Austen’s novels, where they experience ballroom etiquette, societal expectations, and the pursuit of love and marriage.

  11. Renaissance Art Studio AU: Characters become renowned artists, painters, or sculptors during the Renaissance, navigating the artistic rivalries, patronage, and the creation of masterpieces.

  12. Steampunk AU: The story is set in a Victorian-era world where advanced steam-powered technology and gadgets dominate, adding a sense of adventure and a touch of the industrial revolution.

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  13. Tudor Court Intrigue AU: Set in the Tudor era, characters become courtiers, navigating the treacherous world of Henry VIII’s court, with its political schemes, betrayals, and royal romances.

  14. Victorian Era AU: Transport your characters to the elegant and romantic Victorian era, with its societal rules, lavish balls, and intricate courtship rituals.

  15. Viking AU: Characters become fierce Viking warriors, embarking on raids, exploring uncharted territories, and encountering mythical creatures in the Viking Age.

  16. World War I Nurse AU: Characters become nurses or doctors in the backdrop of the First World War, tending to wounded soldiers, experiencing the horrors of war, and finding love amidst chaos.

  17. World War II Resistance AU: Characters become part of the resistance movement during World War II, fighting against oppressive forces, forging alliances, and undertaking dangerous missions to protect freedom and justice.

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More into werewolves and fairies? Here are some ideas:

  1. Animal Shapeshifter AU: Transform your characters into beings capable of shifting into animal forms, exploring themes of identity, acceptance, and the bond between humans and animals.

  2. Elemental Powers AU: Characters possess unique elemental powers (fire, water, air, earth) and must navigate a world where these abilities shape society and conflict.

  3. Fairy Court AU: Create a realm of fairies, elves, and mythical creatures, where your characters navigate the intricate politics and power struggles of the fairy court.

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  4. Fairy Godparent AU: Give your characters magical godparents who grant wishes and guide them through life’s challenges, adding a touch of whimsy and magic to their journeys.

  5. Fairytale Retelling AU: Give a fresh twist to classic fairytales by placing your characters in a modern or futuristic setting, while still incorporating elements of magic and enchantment.

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  6. Ghost Whisperer AU: The main character has the ability to communicate with spirits and helps solve mysteries and unresolved issues of the deceased, adding a supernatural element to the story.

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  7. High Fantasy AU: Mythical creatures roam vast and majestic realms while heroes embark on epic quests to save the world from darkness. Magic, adventure, and ancient prophecies intertwine as ordinary individuals are thrust into extraordinary destinies.

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  8. Magical Bookshop AU: Characters work or frequent a mystical bookshop where the books have magical properties, transporting readers to different worlds or influencing their destinies.

  9. Mermaid/Merman AU: Dive into an underwater world, where your characters are merfolk exploring the depths of the ocean, encountering underwater kingdoms and mystical creatures.

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  10. Mythology AU: Incorporate elements from various mythologies and folklore, giving your characters powers, abilities, and challenges inspired by gods, goddesses, and mythical creatures.

  11. Soulmate AU: Two characters are destined to be with each other, their soulmate, based on a predetermined bond or connection. It explores the concept of finding one’s perfect match, often with elements of destiny, fate, or supernatural forces at play.

    In these stories, the characters may have unique marks, symbols, or abilities that help them identify their soulmate, and the narrative revolves around their journey of discovery, challenges, and ultimately finding true love and companionship.

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  12. Superhero AU: Imagine your favorite characters with superpowers, fighting crime and saving the world in an alternate universe where they are superheroes.

  13. Urban Fantasy AU: Set in modern day setting, populate your story with monsters, demons, vampires, werewolves, witches, or other supernatural beings, exploring their unique abilities, conflicts, and forbidden romances.

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  14. Time Travel AU: Send your characters on an exciting journey through time, allowing them to witness historical events, interact with famous figures, and potentially alter the course of history.

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  15. Witch/Wizard Academy AU: Enroll your characters in a magical academy where they learn spells, potions, and battle dark forces in a world filled with mystical creatures and hidden secrets.

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  16. Zombie Apocalypse AU: Explore a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies, where your characters must fight for survival and forge unlikely alliances.

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The possibilities within the realm of Alternate Universes are limitless. Here are a few more ideas:

  1. Arranged Marriage AU: Two characters from different backgrounds are forced into a marital union for political or societal reasons. As they navigate their new relationship, they struggle with conflicting emotions, cultural clashes, and unexpected bonds that form amidst the pressures of duty and personal desires.

    RELATED: Not Your Usual Arranged Marriage Prompts (2023)

  2. Artificial Intelligence AU: Imagine a world where advanced AI technology is a prominent part of society, with your characters forming unique relationships with sentient machines.

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  3. Canon Divergence AUs: In these AUs, the story diverges from canon at a specific point, creating an alternate timeline and exploring the consequences of that change.

  4. Criminal AU: a group of unlikely allies, each with their own illicit skills and pasts, come together to navigate the treacherous landscape of organized crime. Amidst personal agendas, the constant threat of law enforcement and rival factions, they form a bond that challenges their notions of right and wrong, blurring the line between hero and villain.

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  5. Detective Noir AU: Dive into a gritty and atmospheric world of crime, mystery, and intrigue, where your characters become detectives, criminals, or femme fatales.

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  6. Dystopian AU: Characters are thrust into a bleak and oppressive world ruled by a tyrannical regime, navigating dangerous landscape, concealing their identities while developing covert strategies to resist the regime’s control.

  7. Galactic Academy AU: Characters attend an intergalactic academy where they learn to become space explorers, navigating alien cultures, and discovering the secrets of the universe.

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  8. Genderbend AU: Swap the genders of your characters, presenting new dynamics and exploring how their relationships and personalities change in this alternate reality.

  9. Harem AU (or Reverse Harem AU): In a harem AU, a central character finds himself surrounded by a group of romantic interests vying for his affections, navigating jealousy, conflicting emotions, and the challenge of making genuine connections amidst the chaotic dynamics of the harem.

    A reverse harem usually refers to the same situation, but with a female central character.

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  10. Mafia AU: In a gripping mafia AU, a reluctant outsider finds themselves entangled in the dangerous underworld of organized crime, where loyalties are tested and alliances are forged in blood.

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  11. Parallel Universe AU: Explore the concept of parallel dimensions, where your characters encounter alternate versions of themselves and must navigate the consequences of crossing paths.

  12. Post-Apocalyptic AU: Set your story in a world devastated by a cataclysmic event, where your characters must adapt, survive, and rebuild society.

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  13. Reincarnation AU: Explore the concept of reincarnation, where your characters are destined to meet and fall in love across different lifetimes, overcoming obstacles and discovering their shared past.

  14. Reverse Age AU: Characters are aged in reverse, starting as elderly individuals and gradually becoming younger as the story progresses.

  15. Role Reversal AU: In this AU, characters’ roles and relationships are altered. For instance, a hero becomes a villain, or allies become adversaries. This category also includes gender-swapped AUs, where characters change genders.

  16. Space Opera AU: Set your story in a futuristic universe where characters explore space, encounter alien civilizations, and embark on thrilling intergalactic adventures.

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  17. Spy/Secret Agent AU: Transform your characters into secret agents, spies, or detectives, embarking on dangerous missions, solving mysteries, and navigating a world of espionage.

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  18. Time Loop AU: Characters find themselves trapped in a time loop, reliving the same events over and over again until they discover a way to break free and unravel the mystery.

  19. Utopian AU: Set in a utopian society, the characters uncover the hidden flaws and dark secrets that challenge the perfect facade to confront the ethical compromises and strive for true equality. It’s a thought-provoking narrative that explores the complexities of a seemingly flawless world and the consequences of extreme idealism.

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  20. Virtual Reality AU: Characters enter a virtual reality world where they can create their own avatars and live out extraordinary adventures, blurring the lines between reality and the digital realm.

  21. What-If AU: This AU explores hypothetical scenarios by altering key events or decisions in the original story. They often ask “what if” questions, presenting alternative outcomes and exploring the consequences.

What is Fanfic?

Now that we’ve seen some awesome ideas, let’s dive a little deeper into the subject!

Fanfic or fanfiction is a dynamic and diverse realm where devoted fans breathe fresh life into cherished stories. It provides a distinct platform for enthusiasts to immerse themselves in their favorite fictional worlds and engage with the source material in a personal and imaginative manner.

These stories are typically shared within fan communities, where authors can receive feedback and support from fellow enthusiasts. With numerous stories available in each fandom, choosing the right AU becomes essential to stand out and capture attention.

A well-chosen AU sets the stage for unique scenarios, character dynamics, and plot developments, offering creative freedom and engaging readers with fresh and intriguing concepts. By selecting the right AU, authors can delve into character development, showcase their writing skills, and connect with the fandom, creating a fanfic that resonates and captivates its audience.


If you need more story ideas and prompts, please browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category!

Have any question or feedback? Feel free to contact me here. Until next time!


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