Firstly, for those who don't know the term 'fictotype', which I use quite often -
The older Kinmunity definiton - Similar to "kintype". The term "fictotype" refers to the particular type of being a fictionkin identifies as. This term is especially used for fictionkin who identify as human characters, as the term "kintype" does not apply; otherkin must be non-human identities.
This started off as an initial 'do you just relate to them or not' article, then just devolved into a bit of everything.
As I've seen around here and other sites for a while, it is easy to mistake a connection with a character/species as an identity as that character/species. In fact I would say the most common question I've seen asked on character-specific fictionkin intros is 'How do you know you aren't just relating with the character, as opposed to identifying as them?'.
Connecting with something can range from a complete love of a character to going as far as roleplay and making up 'headcanon' ideas/theories. Since characters are made to be related to, it is often how quickly people with new fictotypes seem to crop up, and also seem to come in "waves" when a piece of popular media comes out.
Below is an explanation on one of the lesser-known terms used in the fictionkin community - Fictionflicker - that is a temporary alternative to being fictionkin and fiction-hearted, and is often seen as more than just a cameo shift.
On the Fictionkin.com forum (one of the main fictionkin sites) as a definition for 'fictionflicker' - " A nebulous experience of shifting through identities as fictional characters and/or temporarily “becoming” a fictional character and the shift in identity and perception this may involve, with or without the experience of memories or past-life leanings if such beliefs apply to the person. This could be likened to a “temporary kintype” that comes and goes. "
(Definiton from - http://fictionkin.com/glossary-of-common-terms/).
This is closely touched on from the description of a fictionflicker LiveJournal site (http://fictionflickers.livejournal.com/profile), and varied at the last few sentences to include - " If you've ever felt yourself "imprinted on" by a fictional identity, if you've ever spent a day or a week feeling like a character, if you've ever momentarily expected to see a different, yet familiar, face in the mirror -- if you've ever felt flickers of fiction in your identity -- this may be a helpful, or at the very least interesting, community. "
Fictionflicking is listed differently on InCanon (a smaller fictionkin forum which was discontinued in late 2016) as " a temporary shift, where a fictional character may appear for a brief or temporary amount of time (generally caused by circumstance). May be related/similar to soulbonds in some cases. "
(Definition from - http://incanon.tumblr.com/post/148947330579/what-is-a-fictionflicker).
With the InCanon definition - the definition does not go into whether this is seen as a personal identity, just a glorified/extended cameo shift, or in fact related to living character/soulbonds.
With the Fictionkin.com definition - this can also be seen by some as 'experience taking' which isn't just fictionkin-related, but also doesn't explain how a fictionflicker is different to a long-lasting identity aside from being 'temporary'.
So it seems that there is no 'steady' definition, but the Fictionkin.com definition is the one you are most likely to see around due to the size of the site and its members.
With fictionflicking, the fact that these can apparently last a while can often throw an identity into question, similar to a cameo shift, and can often stay even after you disconnect from your source material and any associated media, which is often used as a way of 'confirming' an identity as opposed to the identity only coming into focus when the media is found/accessed.
When you step away from any source material or associated media, see if your sense of identity fades away or persists through the times. If it fades away completely, chances are it was a fictionflicker, if it persists then more stock would be in the idea of this identity being genuine.
In games where you can customize the playable character, this falls into more of a gray area, as you could always run the risk of unconsciously pouring yourself into said character. This may require extra questioning in order to get to the bottom of 'is it an identity, or is it just because they are modeled after myself?'
Questioning might not be the easiest at times, especially if you're like me and want to pick your identity to pieces... I could say that it's much easier to ask questions on a fictionkin forum than an Otherkin one, but sometimes the questions remain the same throughout the communities, give or take the different identities. And of course, you get 'fluff' in both communities, but fictionkin seem to get grilled harder due to it.
So, what do you question? Where do you start?
That seems to be it right there.
- As said before, taking time away from any source material or media connected to the identity in question can help immensely as to whether it's just a 'trend' or not. The sense of identity may fade away to nothing, or it may persist through the times you're away from the source material. Although at times it may be dampened down to such a low level that it doesn't feel like it is there, but chances are there will still be a feeling of a different identity, or other signs.
- In slight contradiction, returning to said source material may also reinforce the feeling of identity in regards to the feelings of deja vu or 'instinctual' reactions to events and/or other characters. Most people run the trial of leaving their source material for a few months/years, and then returning, in order to attempt to rule out anything false.
- Think of how you felt before you found your source material, even though the majority of the time everything seems to 'click together' after finding said material, some claim to experience shifts, memories, and/or a sense of identity before they find their source material.
- Similar to Otherkin/Therians, the more fictotypes you claim to have, the less you're likely to be believed. The saving grace is how much detail you can give in explaining your identity for every fictotype, and not just going off something like 'oh I just feel a connection to them'. The same question may even be asked a few times, just styled differently, or maybe in a different approach than the run-of-the-mill wording.
- One way in order to question would be to document everything - every shift, every memory, every instance of even childhood that might have a chance of lining up with the identity in question. Document it, and then question why it's that way, if it could be something else, see if it's a reoccurring factor.
As with any Otherkin/therian, some fictionkin don't have memories, or might not shift, or might not experience home/'canon'-sickness or a sense of instant familiarity. As with the other communities, it isn't a requirement, but due to the nature of fictionkin (character-specific or not, spiritual or psychological or a mix), it is usually put under more interrogation. And yes it can put some people off if you can't answer it 'correctly'.
In contrast, saying you're '100% sure and don't doubt anything at all' may get you a few odd looks. Because that could mean that you blindly accept it without questioning and discovering more of yourself.
Long story short, a lot of questioning techniques used by Otherkin/Therians can often be used for fictionkin, just with a few minor tweaks.