How long are one shots fanfiction


In the world of fanfiction, one-shots are a popular category among readers and writers alike. They are independent stories, typically self-contained and limited to one single chapter. Their length, however, is a factor subject to varying factors and preferences. Let's delve deeper into the concept of one-shots and explore their length among other aspects.

What Are One-Shots?

A one-shot is a short piece of literature that begins and concludes within one segment. Unlike full-length stories, you won’t find multiple chapters or a long, continuing storyline. They are designed to be consumed in one reading and focus primarily on a single event or concept, which gives them a distinct advantage in terms of immediacy and brevity.

How long are one shots fanfiction

In the world of fanfiction, one-shots can revolve around any character or relationship from the original work. They allow authors to explore side-stories, key events, or even alternate universes without the commitment of a full-blown series.

Length of One-Shots

The length of one-shots essentially depends on the writer's discretion. There is no hard and fast rule about how long a one-shot should be, but on average, most fall between 1,000 and 10,000 words.

A single event or idea is sufficient to drive a fanfiction one-shot. As such, they don't need to be as long as a multichapter story. It could even be a simple conversation, a pivotal moment, or a glimpse into a character's thoughts or emotions. However, the length of the one-shot is also determined by the depth and scope the author prefers to maintain in their storytelling.

Characteristics of One-shots

Primarily, a one-shot is self-contained and it often presents a snapshot of the characters or situations. As such, it may not necessarily work on character development or an elaborate plotline. Its focus is typically around a single, standalone event or character interaction.

This isn’t to say that one-shots can't be complex - they can be, but in a different way. They often encapsulate intense moments or depict intricate emotions within their limited scope. Thus, the success of a one-shot can often lie in its ability to portray such depths within brevity.

Platforms for One-Shots

Many platforms suitable for publishing one-shots are available. One of the most popular is, a well-established hub for fanfic authors. The site has a dedicated section for one-shots which you can filter by fandom, characters, genre, and other tags. Another prominent platform is Archive of Our Own (AO3), which offers a more modern interface and comprehensive tagging system.

Both platforms provide an accessible way for writers to share their one-shots and for readers to easily find stories of their interest. The choice between them boils down to personal preference and familiarity with the interface, tagging system, and community norms.

Benefits of Writing One-Shots

One advantage of writing one-shots is the relative short time investment compared to a full-length fanfiction. This can be a great starting point for beginner writers, as it allows them to experiment with writing styles, character perspectives, and plot scenarios without a long-term commitment.

Additionally, one-shots can be an excellent way to explore a concept, character, or event that wouldn't necessarily fit into a longer story or series. They can serve as complimentary pieces or standalone reflections.

Popular One-Shot Fandoms

The world of fanfiction spans numerous fandoms, and all of them have their share of one-shots. More popular fandoms like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, or Supernatural tend to have a larger pool of one-shot stories due to the sheer number of fans and the depth of the universes.

However, smaller fandoms shouldn't be overlooked. They can often contain some true gems in the form of one-shots, offering unique story angles or character perspectives that can be captivating and refreshing.

Common FAQs

1. Are one-shots only for fanfiction?
No, one-shots are used in all forms of literature, not just fanfiction. However, the term is commonly used within the fanfiction community.

2. Is there a word limit for one-shots?
There is no strict word limit for one-shots. They are typically short, self-contained stories ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand words �generally not exceeding 10,000 words. However, this can vary and is ultimately up to the writer.

3. Can one-shots be continued?
Typically, a one-shot is a standalone piece of literature designed to be read in one sitting. If a writer chooses to continue or expand on a one-shot, it would likely transition into a multi-chapter fanfiction.


The beauty of one-shot fanfictions lies in their brevity, focus, and capacity to deliver a solid narrative without the pomp and circumstance of a series. Whether you are a prolific fanfiction writer or a curious reader new to the world of fanfiction, one-shots are an excellent way to engage with your favorite fandoms without investing too much time.


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