Do you have to post fanfiction


Fanfiction, a term that originated from the genre of fiction created by fans of a particular book, show, movie, or the like has become a popular form of expression within several fandoms. The question then arises, do you have to post fanfiction? This question is multifaceted as it delves into the reasons for writing fanfiction, the platforms for sharing, the benefits and downsides of posting, and the legalities surrounding it. In this article, we shall explore these aspects in detail.

Reasons for Writing Fanfiction

One of the primary reasons why people write fanfiction is to express their admiration or fascination with a particular work of fiction. This can be anything from a book series, a television show, a film, or even a video game. The writer often uses this as a platform to explore the fictional world in ways the original creator didn't or couldn't. This could include fleshing out underdeveloped characters, exploring different plotlines, or even introducing new characters.

Do you have to post fanfiction

The Culture of Sharing

Fanfiction is primarily consumed within fandom communities, and it has become customary for writers to share their works with other fans. Writing fanfiction can be a very personal journey, but sharing that work connects the writer to a larger community that appreciates the creative efforts. It provides the writer with valuable insights, comments, and criticisms that can aid in their growth as a writer.

Platforms for Sharing Fanfiction

There are several platforms where you can post your fanfiction such as, Archive of Our Own (AO3), and Wattpad. These platforms cater to a wide array of fandoms and are usually free to use. Each platform has its pros and cons, such as AO3's comprehensive tagging system that makes it easier for readers to find specific content, or's strict content rules that can limit a writer's creative freedom.

The Benefits of Posting Fanfiction

Writing and sharing fanfiction allow for the writer to express their creativity and passion for the fandom. It provides an outlet for thoughts and ideas that can't be silenced. Engaging with the fandom community can result in gaining new friendships, a sense of belonging, and even constructive criticism. Furthermore, some fanfiction authors have gained recognition and opportunities that lead to professional writing careers.

The Downsides of Posting Fanfiction

While writing and posting fanfiction can be a fun and fulfilling practice, it also comes with possible downsides. Negative criticism, plagiarism, and problems with copyright infringement are common issues that writers face. Another common problem is the possible intrusion of personal boundaries, as anonymous authors may face the risk of harassment or bullying.

The Legalities Surrounding Fanfiction

Fair use doctrine in copyright law often protects user-generated content like fanfiction. However, it can potentially infringe on the copyright of the original work. That being said, it has been a fairly rare occasion for fanfiction to result in legal action. This primarily occurs when the fan work is being sold for profit, or if it is especially disparaging to the source material.


Q: If I write a story based on someone else's work, can I sell it? A: Generally, the answer is no. Unless you have obtained the original author's express permission, it's considered copyright infringement.

Q: Can I post a fanfiction anonymously? A: Yes, most fanfiction platforms allow users to post anonymously.

Q: Is it illegal to write fanfiction? A: The legality of writing fanfiction can be somewhat complicated. In the majority of cases, fanfiction is legal as long as it is not being sold for profit or is notably disparaging to the original material. However, this can vary depending on the specifics of copyright law in any given jurisdiction.


In conclusion, whether or not you choose to post your fanfiction is ultimately a personal decision. There are many factors to take into consideration including your comfort level with sharing personal creations, your ability to handle feedback (both positive and negative), and your understanding and acceptance of potential legal ramifications. The world of fanfiction is wide and varied - take your time to navigate it and most importantly, enjoy the writing process!

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