What happens when your favorite movie or show comes to an end? You can spend the next several hours or days wallowing in misery and wondering what happened to the characters you love after the cameras stopped rolling.
Or you could go on the internet and read fanfiction. Most people will choose fanfiction over endless wallowing. But what is fanfiction? The term refers to stories that people write using characters, concepts, and settings that other authors created.
For instance, J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. You cannot write novels that feature Rowling’s Wizarding World. She will sue the pants off you, and for a good reason.
Harry Potter is Rowling’s baby. She owns every aspect of those characters and the worlds they inhabit. You cannot make money from Rowling’s creations without her permission.
And before you ask, Rowling will never permit you to write and sell books set in her Wizarding World.
However, she cannot stop you from writing Harry Potter fanfiction. Remember when Harry, Ron, and Hermione played that giant chess game? What if they had lost? What if professor Quirrell had killed them in the final act of the first book?
What then? What would have happened to Hogwarts? Who would have prevented Voldemort’s rise to power? These are the questions that compel fans to write fanfiction about beloved franchises. They want to provide the answers that passionate readers want.
You can write fanfiction without falling afoul of the law because fanfiction is not a commercial product. You cannot sell your Star Wars/Harry Potter crossover for money.
This is a good thing for avid fanfiction readers because they get to consume fanfiction for free. But that raises a question. Where can you go to read fanfiction?
The internet is brimming with fanfiction websites. If you’re just starting to dip your toes into this arena, you won’t know where to find reliable sources of high-quality fanfiction.
The source matters because anyone can write fanfiction. And unfortunately, a lot of the fanfiction on the internet is garbage. But some websites do a better job of attracting quality fanfiction writers than others.
FanFiction Sites to Read Fanfic Free
If you need help identifying reliable fanfiction platforms, consider the following:
1. Archive Of Our Own
AO3 is a Harry Potter fanatic’s wet dream. They have 18,000 Harry Potter stories. And that is just one small corner of the website. AO3’s most attractive attribute is its extensive library.
What kind of fanfiction do you enjoy? Are you looking for stories about video games? What about movies, TV shows, and cartoons? AO3 has you covered. They have a little bit of everything.
Their search tool is surprisingly refined. You can search for content by specifying the topic and author. You can also include specific tags relevant to the content you want.
The platform will appeal to people that prefer long-form stories. However, newcomers may not like it. First of all, the library is so extensive that it may overwhelm amateurs.
Additionally, AO3’s library is significant because the site doesn’t censor content. As such, some of their stories lean heavily into sex and violence. For that reason, the website is more likely to satisfy seasoned fanfiction readers and writers that know what they want.
Newcomers will love fanfiction.net because it has been around for a while. The platform opened its doors in 1998. Therefore, it is one of the oldest sites in the business. While the developers have updated the features and functions, the interface remains largely unchanged.
Or, at the very least, it has a classic design that older fanfiction readers and writers will appreciate. The interface is easy to navigate, another benefit of the classic design.
Anyone can read the fanfiction posted on the site. Many avid fanfiction readers will tell you that they discovered fanfiction through this platform. That is not surprising. Their domain name puts them in the perfect position to capture the attention of anyone that attempts to search for fanfiction on the internet.
The website has published stories in more than three dozen languages. If you want to post reviews or publish fanfiction on the site, you must create an account.
Wattpad is one of the most popular fanfiction websites in the world. They have a sizable library with tens of millions of stories in every genre you can imagine. The platform stands out because it attracts professionals and amateurs.
The amateurs have given Wattpad a negative reputation in some circles because the website has so many poorly written stories. However, Wattpad is also renowned for the original stories that professional authors have written.
The traditional and indie publishing industries have plenty of authors that started on Wattpad before leaving to write full-length novels. The site’s greatest attribute is the community.
People spend a lot of time dissecting fanfiction and original stories on the platform. It is an appealing website for authors that want to build a loyal fanbase.
Commaful has a modern interface that immediately sets them apart. Their library primarily constitutes short stories that any visitor can access for free. You can search for stories by genre or fandom.
Because most people have short attention spans, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Commaful has a thriving community that enjoys reading and discussing the short stories on the platform.
The website offers a sophisticated chat system, friendly community tools, an attractive reading format, and mechanisms that help new authors reach more people.
Many people do not realize that Tumblr is an excellent source of fanfiction. Tumblr has a little bit of everything. People post fan art, poems, blog posts, and stories.
The site’s database of stories is not particularly extensive. But people still flock to the platform because it has one of the most vibrant communities in the fanfiction arena.
If you need feedback from enthusiastic readers, you will find that feedback on this website. You don’t have to use Tumblr alone. You can supplement the gaps in the platform’s collection of stories by creating accounts on fanfiction sites like AO3 and Wattpad.
You don’t have to limit your selection to one fanfiction website. You can use as many as you want. In fact, you can use them all.