Friday, January 10, 2014

General Resources for Fan Fiction

Graphic: Fan fiction in the Making,
by Kalexanderson via Flickr
A community member at's A Happy Assembly asked about general resources for fan fiction writers. By general they meant fandom agnostic — resources of use to writers of any fan community.

This is a pretty big topic; what makes it so large is the number of possible fandoms, and the highly individual nature of each fandom. A writer driven to create fan fiction must be motivated enough to seek out content related to the focus of their personal fanaticism, as well as other fellow fans. There's not much one can do to supplement this drive apart from telling them to use a search engine.

However, there are some pretty obvious places to look for other fan fiction authors and their content — the major fandom-agnostic fan fiction platforms:
  • FanFiction.Net — The mac daddy of fan fiction sites, in terms of both size and age
  • (AO3) — The fan fiction site of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), differentiated by its status as a nonprofit dedicated to supporting all fan fiction work; OTW also publishes regular fandom-agnostic fannews posts related to the topic of fan fiction.
  • Wattpad — A site dedicated to self-published fiction online, including both original and fan fiction
  • Amazon Kindle Worlds — A highly-focused commercialized platform for specific fandoms through which some works can be published for profit
  • FictionPad — A relatively new site still in beta
I have personal concerns about the last platform, about which I wrote a post a few months ago; the same post also includes an overview of the major sites listed above. Keep in mind that functionality and business models of any of these sites might change at any time with little advance notice.

To learn more about fan fiction as a genre, see

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World, by Prof. Anne Jamison (follow her on Twitter: @prof_anne)

Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays, by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (this book is pre-Twilight/end of Harry Potter movie releases; fandom information may have changed substantially with age)

To learn the craft of writing fan fiction, see

How to Write Fan Fiction that People Want to Read, by Daphne Dangerlove and the related site, (also on Twitter: @how2writefanfic)

There are other books about fan fiction, and how to write it; the above are among the best known and most recent.

And of course, new fan fiction readers and writers alike will want to acquaint themselves with appropriate terms like canon, fanon, AU, so on. The Wikipedia page on fan fiction is actually a decent place to start. It's also critically important that new and experienced fan fiction authors inform themselves about the legal issues surrounding fan fiction (see also OTW's website, linked above).