Fan fiction is stories written by fans of a TV show, movie, book or graphic novel (or any other form of entertainment, though those four are the most common) that takes the characters or settings of the source material and continues the story. It may include stories that are “missing scenes” — i.e. something that happened during a commercial break, that makes sense between one scene and a next. It may pose a “what if?” scenario, and go from there. It may continue a series after it has ended, to see what happened after the conclusion. Most often, at least lately, it seems to take some sort of starting point in the canon (what happened according to the creators) and just go off from there into something different, though this is not always the case. Some writers stick very close to canon, and just like to fill in the blanks.

Some fan fiction likes to explore relationships that were never seen on screen, to fulfill sexual tension the fan perceives between characters. Some take the opportunity to pair up same-sex couples and read the subtextual tension between them as romantic tension. This is known as slash and is a very large subset of fan fiction writers.

It’s impossible to just group all of fan fiction into one definition. For a break down of the different kinds of writing and of fan fiction, see part 2 of my essay on the legality of fan fiction, which gives a very good definition and explains it far more in depth.

I write fan fiction because I love the characters and their stories. It’s not because I’m lazy or can’t come up with my own. I do plenty of original writing, and have enough of that going on to keep me busy for a lifetime. But other people create wonderful worlds and wonderful characters, too, and then…they end. TV shows are canceled abruptly, or actors get movie contracts and so writers kill a character off prematurely, or books end and you’re left going, “what? no sequel?” Or I see a possibility that a writer never explores and I’d love a chance to explore it.

So I do. I give characters another chance to live (a LOT of characters I write fanfic about are dead in their source material). I write a lot of alternative universe fiction, where things went differently. (I mean, come on–no one is going to say that Heroes, Season 3 was a good idea, right?) I put characters together with the person I think will understand them best. I give villains a chance at redemption, or see what happens when heroes fall. It gives me a safe place to play and hone my skill, as well. Because it’s actually far more difficult to write someone else’s creation well than it is your own. You have to be able to capture voice and nuance and action and convince other fans that your interpretation is believable when they all have their own.

Plus, it’s fun.

As a writer of original fiction, I do sometimes wonder what I would do if I stumbled on fan fiction of my work where people were writing stuff I would never have my characters do. But really…I think I would be flattered, even if I didn’t agree with their interpretation. That someone loves your work so much that they want to see it go on, that they want to carry it on and live with it and spend some of their precious time and energy playing more in the world you created? That’s an amazing homage, in my opinion. Even if they have your hero running off with his best friend instead of the heroine.

That in mind (because I do write a lot of slash, fair warning), here are links to some of the pieces of fan fiction I have written, if you are interested. I have put warnings/ratings beside any which may contain adult material. These stories are posted in various locations on the Internet. Rather than repost them here, I decided to provide links so you could read the attached comments, as well, and get a feel for fandom and how it interacts.

Liberation: Written for Yuletide in December of 2009. Yuletide is an annual fic exchange, where people request stories to be written in rare fandoms, and others volunteer to write in rare fandoms, and they are matched up and wonderful stories come out of it. This was a story I wrote for the Blood Ties fandom–the TV version, not the books. It is a missing adventure, basically–a story that could have happened between two episodes that does not contradict anything in canon specifically.
Summary: Coreen has gone missing while searching for the origins of a stolen painting. Vicki will need both Mike and Henry to help find her, but can the two men put Mike’s betrayal of Henry to Father Mendoza, and Henry’s subsequent attack of Mike, behind them, or will disaster strike all four of them?
Pairing: Mike/Henry/Vicki
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None

Waiting – This one is set in the Highlander fandom and written for a challenge called a lyric wheel, where one person gives a writer a song, and the writer must incorporate the lyrics into the prose or dialogue of the story in some way.
Summary: It’s been years since Duncan wandered away, but Joe never lost hope for his or Methos’ sake. Now Methos has to face the truth, and it’s too late for one of them.
Pairing: past Duncan/Methos
Rating: G
Warning: Character death

For most fanfiction writers, writing in various fandoms goes in cycles. I’m no exception. While I do write in several different fandoms, and several different genres, lately the bulk of my writing has been in the Heroes fandom. The character of Adam Monroe just captured my imagination, I suppose, and held on to it. That said, some of the fics I’ve written that I’m most proud of have been from his point of view. When writing Adam, the Adam Monroe/Peter Petrelli pairing is the one I write most, but I started elsewhere, as the first fic shows.

Ghosts – This one was nominated for a couple of awards: Best Adam Characterization and Best Adam (Kensei)/Hiro) Fic in the Heroes Slash Awards. Given the name of the awards, it is obviously a slash fic, and in the Heroes fandom, but it is more one looking back on the ins and outs of their friendship and betrayal than any romance. All dialogue, in fact, is taken directly from the episodes of the show.
Summary: Written for a muse writing community on the basis of this prompt: “If you were Scrooge and three ghosts came to visit you, where would they take you in your past, present, and future?” Stuck where Hiro left him, Adam revisits his far and recent pasts and the moments when things could have been different. All dialogue taken directly from “Out of Time” and “Powerless”
Pairing: Adam (Kensei)/Hiro
Rating: PG
Warnings: None

Wish I Didn’t Need You – This was written for a challenge — a prompt table for a community called “Un-love-you” meant to turn all the sappy romantic prompts on their head. As a result, most stories written for the community are a little dark, which is perfect for Adam/Peter stories, given the Villain/Hero dynamic.
Summary: The story goes AU from the beginning of Season 3 of Heroes. Adam’s escaped Hiro and knows he should disappear, but there’s something he needs to take care of first.
Pairing: Adam/Peter
Rating: PG

Riders In The Storm – Also written for the Un Love You community for the prompt “Wish I Didn’t Love You” prompt. This is a precursor for the following fic, a missing scene to the story, in a way. It’s an alternative world from the end of Season 2–in a world where Adam released a deadly virus and created an apocalypse of his very own, planning to be God to the survivors afterward.
Summary: In a world where Adam successfully released the virus, he and Peter must live with the ramifications of that decision–and Peter’s choice to stand by him anyway.
Pairing: Adam/Peter
Rating: PG
Warnings: M/M kissing

The Man Who Sold the World – A serial story, told in six chapters. This was written for a Big Bang challenge–to write a story of at least 10,000 words set in an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic world. I used Adam’s attempt to release the virus at the end of Season 2 of Heroes as my jumping off point, and assumed he succeeded, and set the story some time later in his rebuilt world, with the survivors dealing with the aftermath.
Summary: In a world where over 99% of the population has died, decimated by the release of the Shanti virus, Adam has worked hard to build an outpost of civilization for survivors in a paradise, a new Garden of Eden, where humanity can be shaped into the image of his choosing. But while most of the survivors have resigned themselves to this new world and struggle to find their own place and build lives within it, Peter refuses to do so. Despite the feelings he and Adam share, Peter won’t rest until he manages to undo what was done, no matter the cost, and Adam must find a way to stop him before it’s too late, and his perfect apocalypse is destroyed.
Pairings: Adam/Peter, Mohinder/Sylar
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: M/M relationships (but nothing graphic), spoilers for S2 & S3 of Heroes
Chapters: Chapter 1 ~ Chapter 2 ~ Chapter 3 ~ Chapter 4 ~ Chapter 5 ~ Chapter 6