Fan fiction or fanfiction (also abbreviated to fan fic, fanfic, fic or ff) is fiction about characters or settings from an original work of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator. Fans may maintain the creator's characters and settings or add their own. It is a popular form of fan labor, particularly since the advent of the Internet.
Fan fiction is rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's creator or publisher and is rarely professionally published. It may or may not infringe on the original author's copyright, depending on the jurisdiction and on such questions as for whether or not it qualifies as "fair use" (see Legal issues with fan fiction). Attitudes of authors and copyright owners of original works to fan fiction have ranged from indifference to encouragement to rejection. Copyright owners have occasionally responded with legal action.
The term "fan fiction" came into use in the 20th century as copyright laws began to delineate between stories using established characters that were authorized by the copyright holder and those that were unauthorized. For earlier works with similar characteristics, see unofficial sequel or pastiche.
Fan fiction is defined by being both related to its subject's canonical fictional universe (often referred to as "canon") and simultaneously existing outside it (au or Alternative universe (fan fiction)). Most fan fiction writers assume that their work is read primarily by other fans, and therefore presume that their readers have knowledge of the canon universe (created by a professional writer) in which their works are based.
The term "fan fiction" has been attested in print as early as 1939; in this earliest known citation, it is used in a disparaging way to refer to amateurish science fiction (as opposed to "pro fiction"). The term also appears in the 1944 Fancyclopedia, an encyclopedia of fandom jargon. It is defined there as "fiction about fans, or sometimes about pros, and occasionally bringing in some famous characters from [science fiction] stories". The book also mentions that the term is "[s]ometimes improperly used to mean fan science fiction, that is, ordinary fantasy published in a fan magazine".
The modern phenomenon of fan fiction as an expression of fandom and fan interaction was popularized and defined via Star Trek fandom and their fanzines published in the 1960s. The first Star Trek fanzine, [[Spockanalia (1967), contained some fan fiction; many others followed its example.:1 These fanzines were produced via offset printing and mimeography, and mailed to other fans or sold at science fiction conventions for a small fee to help recoup costs. Unlike other aspects of fandom, women dominated fan fiction authoring; 83% of Star Trek fan fiction authors were female by 1970, and 90% by 1973. One scholar states that fan fiction "fill[s] the need of a mostly female audience for fictional narratives that expand the boundary of the official source products offered on the television and movie screen."
Fan fiction has become more popular and widespread since the advent of the World Wide Web; according to one estimate, fan fiction comprises one third of all content about books on the Web. In addition to traditional fanzines and conventions, Usenet group electronic mailing lists were established for fan fiction as well as fan discussion. Online, searchable fan fiction archives were also established. The online archives were initially non-commercial hand-tended and fandom- or topic-specific. These archives were followed by non-commercial automated databases. In 1998, the not-for-profit site FanFiction.Net came online, which allowed anyone to upload content in any fandom. The ability to self-publish fan fiction at an easily accessible common archive that did not require insider knowledge to join, and the ability to review the stories directly on the site, became popular quite quickly. One popular example of modern fan fiction is E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey. This series was originally written as fan fiction for the Twilight series of books and movies and played off the characters of Bella and Edward. In order to not infringe on copyright issues, James changed the character names to Anna and Christian for the purposes of her novels, which is a practice known as 'pulling-to-publish'. Anna Todd's 2013 fan fiction After about the English boy band One Direction secured a book and movie deal with renamed characters in 2014.
On May 22, 2013, the online retailer Amazon.com established a new publishing service, Kindle Worlds. This service would enable fan fiction stories of certain licensed media properties to be sold in the Kindle Store with terms including 35% of net sales for works of 10,000 words or more and 20% for short fiction ranging from 5000 to 10,000 words. However, this arrangement includes restrictions on content, copyright violations, poor document formatting and/or using misleading titles.
A similar trend in Japan also began appearing around the 1960s and 1970s, where independently published manga and novels, known as dōjinshi, are frequently published by dōjin circles; many of these dōjinshi are based on existing manga, anime, and video game franchises. Manga authors like Shotaro Ishinomori and Fujiko Fujio formed dōjin groups such as Fujio's New Manga Party (新漫画党 Shin Manga-tō). At this time, dōjin groups were used by artists to make a professional debut. This changed in the coming decades with dōjin groups forming as school clubs and the like. This culminated in 1975 with the Comiket in Tokyo.
In a study done in 2010, it was found that 75.2% of account holders on FanFiction.Net allowed for the website to disclose their location. It was found that 57% of accounts originated from the United States, followed by 9.2% created in the United Kingdom, 5.6% in Canada and 4% in Australia.
In the same study of the demographics of FanFiction.Net, it was found that only 10% of users disclose their sex/gender in their profiles. Based on this sample set, FanFiction.Net users are made up primarily of women. 78% of those who disclosed their sex/gender self identified as female with only 22% identifying as male.
It is difficult to determine age of fanfiction readers as age is seldom disclosed in accounts or bio's. However, most online readers who do disclose their age describe themselves as teenagers (between the ages of 13 and 17). 
In addition to the "regular" list of genres, which for fanfiction are usually determined by the work they're based on, there are a few genres that are closely associated with fanfic. Often, they also overlap. The genres include:
A story with an angsty mood centered on a character/characters who are brooding, sad, or in anguish.
Characters set in a universe other than their own canonical one.
Works featuring characters, items, or set pieces from multiple fandoms.
Stories which are considerably grimmer and/or more depressing than the original, often in deliberate contrast to the canonical work(s). Not all stories tagged as "dark" count as darkfic. This is sometimes done with fandoms which are meant to be light-hearted or for children. Darkfic can also refer to content that is "intentionally disturbing" (i.e. physical/emotional violence or abuse).
A counterpart to darkfic, or perhaps its supergenre, fix-fic or more commonly known as "fix-it", refers to stories which rewrite canonical events that the fic author disliked, often because they were depressing or incomprehensible.
A story designed to be happy, and nothing else. The plot is usually less relevant in these types of works, as the main focus is to be cheerful. WAFF is short for "Warm And Fuzzy Feelings," and the two terms are quite similar in usage.
Works blending two settings, and sometimes their casts, into a cohesive whole.
A story in which a character is put through a traumatizing experience in order to be comforted. The ultimate goal of these stories is often to allow for close examination of two characters' bond with one another and is sometimes seen as a alternative to more sexual content.
A story in which one of the characters is sent back in time, getting a second chance with knowledge of the original plot. Named after the movie Peggy Sue Got Married, in which this happens to the titular character. Groundhog Day is an example of this happening repeatedly. Refers to both the story and the character in this situation. Not related to Mary Sue.
Rebuild fiction that heavily features critical thinking skills and deductive reasoning. Popularized by Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
A subtype of fix-fic, wherein aspects of the setting and/or characters are rewritten to be more cohesive. Named for the Rebuild of Evangelion series, which originally qualified, and also popularized by Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
A genre of fanfiction in which a version of the author is transported to, or discovers they are inside, the world the fanfiction is based on. Almost always written in the first person. Fanfictions of this type are often also fix-fics.
Instead of a single fictional universe, the inserted author is taken to many in a row, and must usually solve some problem or complete some challenge in each place before moving on. Gaining new powers and occasionally companions from each world is common.
A variant of romance, focused on exploring a relationship between two or more characters from the original fandom(s). It has several subgenres, including Slash (which focuses on homosexual pairings, usually of the male variety), Femslash/Femmeslash/Yuri (same as Slash, but exclusively female/female), Crossover Shipping, which focuses on a romance between characters from multiple fandoms, and "friendshipping", which focuses on platonic relationships. In another context, the term "shipping" within the community may mean that a fan is heavily invested in a relationship between two characters.
A subcategory of shipping; describes romantic couples in mundane domestic situations such as picking out curtains.
Smut is sexually explicit or pornographic writing. This could refer to a small portion of a story, or in its entirety. The terms "lemon" and "lime" are often used to allude to the upcoming sexual scene.
Songfic, also known as a song fic or a song-fic, is a genre of fan fiction that features a fictional work interspersed with the lyrics of a relevant song. The term is a portmanteau of "song" and "fiction"; as such, one might also see the genre referred to as "songfiction". As many lyrics are under copyright, whether songfics are a violation of that copyright law is a subject of debate. Some fan fiction websites, such as FanFiction.Net, have barred authors from posting songfics with lyrics outside the public domain.
In an essay in Music, Sound, and Silence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, University of Sydney professor Catherine Driscoll commented that the genre was "one of the least distinguished modes of fan production" and that "within fan fiction excessive attachment to or foregrounding of popular music is itself dismissed as immature and derivative".
Vent refers to literature written by an author under duress or for therapeutic purposes, normally to calm themselves following a stressful or upsetting situation.
An abbreviation of "author's note". Author's notes can be written at any point during a fanfiction (in some cases interrupting the flow of the piece by appearing within the body of a fanfiction), but are typically found directly before the beginning of a fanfiction or after it has concluded, and also at the starts or ends of chapters if the story is updated periodically. A/N's are used to convey direct messages from the author to the reader regarding the piece.
Canon is the original story. This means anything related to the original source including the plot, settings, and character developments.
Disclaimers are author's notes typically informing readers about who deserves credit for the original source material, and often containing pseudo-legal language disavowing any intent of copyright infringement or alluding to fair use. Such "disclaimers" are legally ineffective and based on misunderstandings of copyright law, particularly confusion between illegal copyright infringement and unethical plagiarism.
A fandom is a group of fans of a particular work of fiction (e.g. novel, film, television show or video game). Members of a fandom are typically interested in even minor details of the plot/characters of their fandom and often spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, that is why most fanfictions are written by members of a particular fandom(s).
A female/male that is a part of one or more fandoms. Furthermore, the term fangirling/fanboying refers to a moment where a person "geeks out" or gets quite excited about a fandom.
Fanon is an idea that is widely believed to be true among fans, but is unconfirmed, preventing it from being labelled as canon. Fanon may refer to a whole interpretation of the original work, or to specific details within it.
Headcanon is a fan's personal, idiosyncratic interpretation of canon, such as the backstory of a character, or the nature of relationships between characters. It may represent a teasing out of subtext present in the canon, or it may directly contradict canon. If many other fans share this interpretation, it may become fanon.
Also of note is the concept of the "Mary Sue", a term credited as originating in Star Trek fan fiction that has crossed over to the mainstream, at least among editors and writers. In early Trek fan fiction, a common plot was that of a minor member of the USS Enterprise's crew saving the life of Captain Kirk or Mister Spock, often being rewarded with a sexual relationship as a result. The term "Mary Sue", originating in a parody of stories in this wish fulfillment genre, thus tends to refer to an idealized or fictional character lacking flaws, often representing the author.
An abbreviation of the term "one true pairing", where the author or reader ships (wishes for a romantic relationship between) certain characters from a fandom. Additionally, OTPs are also subsetted as OT3s, which reference the reader's one true bonding with three people; this number can be changed to refer to larger bondings.
An abbreviation of "real person fanfiction". Describes fanfiction-like works written about real people, usually celebrities, instead of fictional characters.
An abbreviation of self-insert, usually referring to either a story in the eponymous genre or to the author avatar within one.
An abbreviation of "trigger warning". Trigger warnings are meant to warn people of content in fics that could be harmful or "triggering" to those who have dealt with situations such as abuse. Fan fiction is tagged using various TWs so that readers may prepare for or avoid certain content. Sometimes CW, an abbreviation of "content warning", is used instead of or in addition to a TW. Trigger warnings are usually inserted when the subject matter of a work deals with things issues like drug abuse, mental illness, abuse, or extreme violence.
Reviews can be given by both anonymous and registered users of most sites, and sites are often programmed to notify the author of new feedback, making them a common way for readers and authors online to communicate directly. This system is intended for a type of bond between the reader and the writer, as well as helping the author improve their writing skills through constructive criticism, enabling them to produce a better work next time. Occasionally, unmoderated review systems are abused to send flames, spam, or trolling messages. As a result, the author of the story can either disable or enable anonymous reviews, depending on their preference. Internet fan fiction allows young writers access to a wider audience for their literary efforts than ever before, resulting in improved literacy.
There are other ways that fandom members may participate in their fandom community such as gift exchanges  or fic exchanges. A gift exchange is an organized challenge in which participants create fan fiction specifically for other participants. They may do research on what the user receiving their gift enjoys or submissions may include a Dear Creator Letter  explaining exactly what the receiver wants or does not want. Awards may even be given at the end of a gift/fic exchange to recognize particularly well-written or enjoyable contributions to the exchange.
Some argue that fan fiction does not fall under fair use. The 2009 ruling by United States District Court judge Deborah A. Batts, permanently prohibiting publication in the United States of a book by Ryan Cassidy, a Swedish writer whose protagonist is a 76-year-old version of Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye, may be seen as upholding this position regarding publishing fan fiction, as the judge stated, "To the extent Defendants contend that 60 Years and the character of Mr. C direct parodied comment or criticism at Catcher or Holden Caulfield, as opposed to Salinger himself, the Court finds such contentions to be post-hoc rationalizations employed through vague generalizations about the alleged naivety of the original, rather than reasonably perceivable parody."
In 1981, Lucasfilm Ltd. sent out a letter to several fanzine publishers, asserting Lucasfilm's copyright to all Star Wars characters and insisting that no fanzine publish pornography. The letter also alluded to possible legal action that could be taken against fanzines that did not comply.
The Harry Potter Lexicon is one case where the encyclopedia-like website about everything in the Harry Potter series moved towards publishing and commercializing the Lexicon as a supplementary and complementary source of information to the series. Rowling and her publishers levied a lawsuit against the website creator, Steven Vander Ark, and the publishing company, RDR Books, for a breach of copyright. While the lawsuit did conclude in Vander Ark's favor, the main issue in contention was the majority of the Lexicon copied a majority of the Series' material and does not transform enough of the material to be held separately from the series itself.
While the HP Lexicon case is an example of Western culture treatment of fan fiction and copyright law, in China, Harry Potter fan fiction is less addressed in legal conflicts but is used as a cultural and educational tool between Western and Chinese cultures. More specifically, while there are a number of "fake" Harry Potter books in China, most of these books are treated as addressing concepts and issues found in Chinese culture. This transformative usage of Harry Potter in fan fiction is mainly from the desire to enhance and express value to Chinese tradition and culture.
Some prominent authors have given their blessings to fan fiction, notably J.K. Rowling. Rowling said she was "flattered" that people wanted to write their own stories based on her fictional characters. Similarly, Stephenie Meyer has put links on her website to fan fiction sites about her characters from the Twilight series. The Fifty Shades trilogy was developed from a Twilight fan fiction originally titled Master of the Universe and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name "Snowqueen's Icedragon". The piece featured characters named after Stephenie Meyer's characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan.
As an example of changing views on the subject, author Orson Scott Card (best known for the Ender's Game series) once stated on his website, "to write fiction using my characters is morally identical to moving into my house without invitation and throwing out my family." He changed his mind completely and since has assisted fan fiction contests, arguing to the Wall Street Journal that "Every piece of fan fiction is an ad for my book. What kind of idiot would I be to want that to disappear?"
However, Anne Rice has consistently and aggressively prevented fan fiction based on any of her fictional characters (mostly those from her famous Interview with the Vampire and its sequels in The Vampire Chronicles). She, along with Anne McCaffrey (whose stance has been changed by her son, Todd McCaffrey, since her death) and Raymond Feist, have asked to have any fiction related to their series removed from FanFiction.Net. George R.R. Martin, who was selected by Time magazine as one of the "2011 Time 100" and is most famous for his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is also strongly opposed to fan fiction, believing it to be copyright infringement and a bad exercise for aspiring writers. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, creators of the Liaden universe, strongly oppose fan fiction written in their universe, Lee saying that "Nobody else is going to get it right. This may sound rude and elitist, but honestly, it's not easy for us to get it right sometimes, and we've been living with these characters...for a very long time."
An alternative universe (also known as AU, alternative timeline, alternate timeline, alternative reality, or alternate reality) is the occurrence of canonical facts about the setting or characterization of a particular fictional universe being explored in a non-canonical way. These universes are often made unofficially, though elements of fan fiction are sometimes used in official, though usually non-canonical, storylines.
Stories that fall into this definition are usually "what-ifs", where possibilities arising from circumstances that do not occur in the original fictional universe are explored. For example, the premise of an alternative universe story may go something like this: "What would happen if character X was killed before event Y could happen?" Unlike regular fan fiction, which generally remains within the boundaries of the canon set out by the author, alternative universe fiction writers like to explore the possibilities of pivotal changes made to characters' history, motivations, or environment, often combining material from multiple sources for inspiration.Beautiful Bastard
Beautiful Bastard is an erotic romance novel by Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings under the singular pen name of Christina Lauren. The book was originally published online as a Twilight fan fiction entitled The Office, with Simon & Schuster purchasing the publishing rights to the series.The book was followed by four sequels (Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Player, Beautiful Secret, and Beautiful), as well as five novellas (Beautiful Bitch, Beautiful Bombshell, Beautiful Beginning, Beautiful Beloved, and Beautiful Boss). Every book in the series debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list.Canon (fiction)
In fiction, canon is the material accepted as officially part of the story in the fictional universe of that story. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction. The alternative terms mythology, timeline, universe and continuity are often used, with the first of these being used especially to refer to a richly detailed fictional canon requiring a large degree of suspension of disbelief (e.g. an entire imaginary world and history), while the latter two typically refer to a single arc where all events are directly connected chronologically. Other times, the word can mean "to be acknowledged by the creator(s)".Cassandra Clare
Judith Lewis (née Rumelt, born July 27, 1973), better known by her pen name Cassandra Clare, is an American author of young adult fiction, best known for her bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.E. L. James
Erika Leonard (née Mitchell; born 7 March 1963), known by her pen name E. L. James, is a British author. She wrote the bestselling erotic romance trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, along with the companion novels Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian and Darker: Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian; and under the name Snowqueen's Icedragon the Twilight fan fiction "Master of the Universe" that was the basis for the Fifty Shades trilogy.
The combined novels have sold over 125 million copies worldwide, over 35 million copies in the United States and set the record in the United Kingdom as the fastest selling paperback of all time. In 2012, Time magazine named her one of "The World's 100 Most Influential People." The novels were subsequently adapted into the films Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.Expanded universe
The term expanded universe, sometimes called an extended universe, is generally used to denote the "extension" of a media franchise (like a television program or a series of feature films) with other media, generally comics and original novels. This typically involves new stories for existing characters already developed within the franchise, but in some cases entirely new characters and complex mythology are developed. This is not necessarily the same as an adaptation, which is a retelling of the same story that may or may not adhere to accepted canon. Nearly every media franchise with a committed fan base has some form of expanded universe.FanFiction.Net
FanFiction.Net (often abbreviated as FF.net or FFN) is an automated fan fiction archive site. It was founded on October 15, 1998 by Los Angeles computer programmer Xing Li, who also runs the site. As of 2018, FanFiction.Net is the largest and second most popular fan fiction website in the world, coming second in popularity to Archive of Our Own in Alexa rankings. It has over 10 million registered users and hosts stories in over 40 languages.The site is split into nine main categories: Anime/Manga, Books, Cartoons, Miscellaneous, Games, Comics, Movies, Plays/Musicals, and TV Shows. The site also includes the Crossover category, added on March 27, 2009. Users who complete the free registration process can submit their fan fiction, maintain a user profile, review other stories, apply for a beta reader position, contact each other via private messages, and maintain a list of favorite stories and authors. There are centralized communities and forums. In lieu of signing up with a new account, the website allows users to use their Google, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. The site also owns a Twitter account called FictionPress where users of the website are updated on changes and improvements made.Fandom
A fandom is a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates "fannish" (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.
A fandom can grow around any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genres or fashions. While it is now used to apply to groups of people fascinated with any subject, the term has its roots in those with an enthusiastic appreciation for sports. Merriam-Webster's dictionary traces the usage of the term back as far as 1903.Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to the interconnected social networks of individual fandoms, many of which overlap. There are a number of large conventions that cater to fandom in this broad sense, catering to interests in film, comics, anime, television shows, cosplay, and the opportunity to buy and sell related merchandise. Annual conventions such as Comic Con International, Wondercon, Dragon Con and New York Comic Con are some of the more well known and highly attended events that cater to overlapping fandoms.Femslash
Femslash (also known as "f/f slash", "femmeslash", "altfic" and "saffic") is a subgenre of slash fan fiction which focuses on romantic and/or sexual relationships between female fictional characters. Typically, characters featured in femslash are heterosexual in the canon universe; however, similar fan fiction about lesbian or bisexual female characters is commonly labeled as femslash for convenience. The term is generally applied only to fanworks based on Western fandoms; the nearest anime/manga equivalents are more often called yuri and shōjo-ai fanfiction. "Saffic" is a portmanteau of Sapphic from the term Sapphic love and fiction. "Altfic" as a term for fanfiction about loving relationships between women was popularized by Xena fans.As of 2006, femslash is enjoying increasing popularity and is the "dominant form" of slash in some fandoms.There is less femslash than there is slash based on male couples; for example, in the Lord of the Rings fandom, only a small number of femslash stories are written about the Arwen/Éowyn pairing in comparison to slash between the male characters. It has been suggested that heterosexual female slash authors generally do not write femslash, and that it is rare to find a fandom with two sufficiently engaging female characters. Janeway/Seven is the main Star Trek femslash pairing, as only they have "an on-screen relationship fraught with deep emotional connection and conflict". Although it is debated whether fanfiction about canon lesbians such as Willow and Tara of Buffy the Vampire Slayer counts as "slash", their relationship storylines are more coy than heterosexual ones, which entices Willow/Tara femslash authors to fill in the gaps in the known relationship storyline. It is "relatively recently" that male writers have begun writing femslash, and this entry of males into femslash has occurred within Buffy femslash. The femslash authorship is mostly female.The television show The L Word set up a contest at the website FanLib.com where fans could submit a femme slash fanfic. The winner's story was incorporated into a scene of a third-season episode.In more recent TV series', such as Rizzoli and Isles, Warehouse 13, Orange Is the New Black, Supergirl and Once Upon a Time, the slash-shipping portions of the fandoms are the most significant, particularly in online forums.Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, often abbreviated HPMOR, is a Harry Potter fan fiction by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It adapts the story of Harry Potter by attempting to explain wizardry through the scientific method. It was published as a serial from 28 February 2010 through to 14 March 2015. It consists of 122 chapters and 661,619 words.Harry Potter fandom
Harry Potter fandom refers to the community of fans of the Harry Potter books and movies who participate in entertainment activities that revolve around the series, such as reading and writing fan fiction, creating and soliciting fan art, engaging in role-playing games, socializing on Harry Potter-based forums, and more. The fandom interacts online as well as offline through activities such as fan conventions, participating in cosplay, tours of iconic landmarks relevant to the books and production of the films, and parties held for the midnight release of each book and film.
By the fourth Harry Potter book, the legions of fans had grown so large that considerable security measures were taken to ensure that no book was purchased before the official release date. Harry Potter is considered one of the few four-quadrant, multi-generation spanning franchises that exist today, despite Rowling's original marketing of the books to tweens and teens.James Potter (series)
The James Potter series is an unofficial sequel-series of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe, written by G. Norman Lippert. The novel series centers around the character of James Sirius Potter, Harry Potter's son, a character who makes a fleeting appearance in the novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The series starts with his first year at Hogwarts, set one year before the end of the Harry Potter series.The first book in the series was intended to be released for free on Lippert's website in December 2007. J.K. Rowling threatened legal action against the book's publication in November 2007.Legal issues with fan fiction
Legal issues with fan fiction arise due to the prospect that a piece of fan fiction may constitute a derivative work, most prominently (but not exclusively) under United States copyright law.MSTing
MSTing (), MiSTing (), or riffing is a method of mocking a show in the style of the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) and, in particular, is a form of fan fiction in which writers mock other works by inserting humorous comments, called "riffs", into the flow of dialogue and events.Mary Sue
A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish fulfillment. They can usually perform better at tasks than should be possible given the amount of training or experience, and usually are able through some means to upstage the main protagonist of an established fictional setting, such as by saving the hero.MuggleNet
MuggleNet is a Harry Potter fansite founded by Emerson Spartz. The site is composed of news, editorials, and synopses of the Harry Potter books and films, an encyclopedia of the books, an IRC network, in which the fans of Harry Potter can discuss predictions and share thoughts, a discussion forum, and media such as screenshots, theatrical trailers, and book covers. There is also a fan fiction section, a weekly caption contest, and other occasional contests and polls. On August 9, 2005, it launched a podcast, dubbed MuggleCast, as well as its own line of clothing, toy wands, and other merchandise. In 2006, MuggleNet released a best-selling reference book on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series. As of 2008, MuggleNet is owned by Spartz, Inc., an Indiana corporation registered by Emerson Spartz in 2007. On May 29, 2010, MuggleNet 2.0, an updated version of the site, went live. On April 1, 2014, MuggleNet 3.0 was launched to the public.My Immortal (fan fiction)
My Immortal is a Harry Potter fan fiction serially published on FanFiction.Net between 2006 and 2007. Known for its incomprehensible narrative and constant digressions, the story centers on a 17-year-old female vampire called Ebony, a non-canonical character, and her relationships with the characters of the Harry Potter series, most notably her romantic relationship with Draco Malfoy. Ultimately, she is prompted by visions to travel back in time to try to defeat the main antagonist of the series, Lord Voldemort.
Since the beginning of the work's publication, it has garnered infamy for bad writing, inconsistency, and disregard for the Harry Potter source material. Often regarded as among the worst fan fiction written, My Immortal is felt to be a detriment to those attempting to bring legitimacy to fan fiction. Despite this, the series has also inspired multiple derivative works, including a YouTube web series, and is viewed with nostalgia for adolescent fan life.
The author's identity has never been confirmed and has been deemed by many as "unsolvable". The author published the story under the username "XXXbloodyrists666XXX" and self-identified as Tara Gilesbie. In September 2017, someone claiming to be the author updated a FictionPress account stating that she had created an active Tumblr account under her real name; an effort to locate this Tumblr account resulted in the account of young adult novelist Rose Christo. She has since stated that she was one of two co-authors of My Immortal, and had provided evidence of her authorship to Macmillan Publishers, but controversy that same month over factual errors in her then-forthcoming memoirs has led to doubt as to her authorship.
The story has been speculated to be a hoax designed to either troll readers or to satirize fan fiction, but the work and the alleged online presence of the author has also been described as too elaborate and too time-consuming to fake effectively. In September 2017, Christo stated that My Immortal is a work of satire, though any evidence of this is tied to her own claims of authorship.Organization for Transformative Works
The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a non-profit, fan activist organization. Its mission is to serve fans by preserving and encouraging transformative fan activity, known as "fanwork", and by making fanwork widely accessible.OTW advocates for the transformative, legal, and legitimate nature of fan labor activities, including fan fiction, fan vids, fan art, anime music videos, podfic (audio recordings of fan fiction), and real person fiction. Its vision is to nurture fans and fan culture, and to protect fans' transformative work from legal snafus and commercial exploitation.The Organization for Transformative Works offers the following services and platforms to fans in a myriad of fandoms:
Archive of Our Own (AO3): An open-source, non-commercial, non-profit, multi-fandom web archive built by fans for hosting fan fiction and for embedding other fanwork, including fan art, fan videos, and podfic.
Fanlore: A wiki for fans from a wide range of communities whose published mission is to provide a platform "to record and share their histories, experiences and traditions" in fandom and fanwork history.
Open Doors: Preservation of fannish historical artifacts, such as zines and Geocities websites, as well as transferring fanfiction to Archive of Our Own from other websites when they shut down.
Transformative Works and Cultures: A peer-reviewed academic journal for scholarship on fanworks and practices
Legal advocacy to the fandom community, addressing the legal issues with fan fiction and other fan works, including defending fans' fair use of copyrighted material.
Vidding (2008): a series of six short documentaries on vidding, in combination with participatory-culture academic Henry Jenkins and the New Media Literacies project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Fanhackers: A directory of information and resources to help fans, academics, and activists, including good metadata (information, analysis, and discussion about data).Slash fiction
Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on romantic attraction or sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex. While the term "slash" originally only referred to stories where male characters were involved in an explicit sexual relationship as a primary plot element (also known as "m/m slash"), it is now used to refer to any fan story containing a pairing between same-sex characters. Many fans distinguish female-focused slash as a separate genre, commonly referred to as femslash (also known as "f/f slash" or "femmeslash").
These fan written stories are not canon, and the characters are usually not engaged in such relationships in their respective fictional universes.