Fanfiction, also known as fan fiction and fanfic, is fiction written by fans of a particular TV series, movie, or book. It is derivative fiction written by using another author's characters and universe. These types of stories are written by fans who wish to redo or change the story by creating an offshoot of the original.
Fanfiction has probably been around since the beginning of time, first taking shape in the form of myths and folktales. Since copyright didn’t exist in prehistoric times, a good storyteller could change and add to a tale any way they liked.
Modern fanfiction is said to have defined itself in the 1960’s with Star Trek fans. The first known, published work was called Spockanalia. Other fandoms were active in the same period as Star Trek, such as The Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and many others. Eventually various fandoms began to take notice of one another, and by the mid 1970’s a more widespread distribution of fanfiction began.
Of course, the internet brought new growth to fanfiction, with fans discovering each other worldwide, forming groups and mailing lists for sharing fan-written fiction. Many television series that cater to younger audiences have fanfic communities associated with them.
Fanfiction currently flourishes on the internet, despite the possibility that it infringes copyright. For now, it appears that as long as the fanfiction is shared freely, rather than sold for a profit, most authors seem happy to look the other way. This is likely due to the fact that fanfiction is a powerful form of free publicity that entices mass interest in a show or book.Not everyone enjoys fanfiction. Some fans do not like to see their favorite characters interpreted by other writers. While others enjoy reading alternate stories, and find fanfiction an entertaining pastime, and a new way to read more about the characters they love.