The Fanfiction Checklist

I am one of those people. One of the ones you see online changing something that is already out there.  Plagiarism some call it, others, like me or just appreciators, call it literature.  I prefer the latter, naturally.  I am a fanfiction writer, I have several stories amongst the millions on It’s not plagiarism its creative license.

A lot of people that say fanfiction will get you nowhere sometimes don’t realize a few things.  Masters of the Universe for starters, was just that a starter that became well known Fifty Shades of Gray. Fanfiction can also help improve writing skills. And lastly the name itself fan-fiction, it’s fiction by a fan of another’s work.

People think that writing a fanfiction is easy, to be honest it’s not, it is much closer to writing a book, or a full short story.

  1. The Disclaimer

The first part anyone will find in a fanfiction, at least any proper fanfiction, is a disclaimer. Disclaimers are often simple.

I don’t own _name of the book, show, and movie, etc._ all characters and the world belong to _author, publisher, or channel, etc._

Others tend to be more humorous, which many appreciate including myself.

“DISCLAIMER: For the first and last time, why is this even a requirement to publish a fanfic on ffnet? If I were JKR, the following story would be canon in the Potterverse. People would pay millions to read it – I wouldn’t be so economically unconscious to upload it to this page under this alias, as my only way of publishing it. If Harry Potter (character, universe and franchise) belonged to me, this wouldn’t be fanfiction. As in, fiction written by a fan. As in, I’m a fan that writes fiction. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Using any disclaimer is a way to keep on the right side of the law, otherwise it is plagiarism.  Whichever way you choose to write your disclaimer it up to you.

  1. Plot

Every fanfiction needs plot, just like any story needs plot. Plot is what many will look for, if your plot is not interesting, then you can almost guarantee that your readers will not be interested.  For many fanfiction writers it all starts with a plot idea.  The reason it starts there is for the most part the characters are already there, and if someone is reading it they already know and love the characters.  There needs to be a rising and falling action, an appealing beginning and a great ending.

One thing to always remember is the plot bunny.  It’s not an actual bunny unfortunately, instead it is the rampant and normally uncontrollable story idea that will hit you, sometimes in the most inconvenient of places like class, and it will demand to be written. Sometimes you won’t know what to do with it and that’s alright just let it flow and if you get stuck, the fanfiction world is a community and others are able to help you give it more foundation or even adopt your idea and write one for you.

  1. Cannon

Cannon if you don’t know the term already is used to refer to things from the original source.  There are many things that might be cannon in your stories Characters for one.

Characters belonging to the cannon are already there for you to use and in special cases abuse. But character can change, like any round character.  The likeable one as a writer can twist them into the ideal of evil. The joyful and cheerful ones can shift into deep depression.  And what does that, well the plot for one, but also how the writer views the character, the dire situations they place these characters in.  But you need to keep in mind that it is a cannon character, and you don’t want the character to become OOC, out of character, otherwise you’re changing the cannon.

The cannon universe, is another cannon, this refers to the original “world” of the cannon.  For example the harry potter universe is often referred as the potterverse, and any fanfiction for the potterverse needs to stay there.

  1. Originality

Be original, there are a lot of clichés out there and in some cases it is best to avoid them.  But your originality can be expressed by how you write your fanfiction, or even your OCs

An OC is an original character of your creation.  The OC in many cases tend to be the writer’s baby, and will often be the main character, but your OC can be a secondary character or even a background character.  OCs make what you are writing seem more like your work.

Fanfiction is a way to test the waters of writing and it should be encouraged, it’s still literature, it’s fiction.  It can help anyone test the waters, who knows you might just be the next E. L. James.


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