I asked to write this piece on fan-fiction because I felt that a little primer like this would help spur other peoples creativity. Now this will cover the basics of fan fiction not the basics of writing itself, if you want to talk about that then please PM me. I will be covering the types of fan-fiction, Canon vs Fanon and the fair use law.
First thing to know about fan fiction is the types of it that exist. There are three main types. Type number one is divergence fics. These are the “what if this had happened instead?” stories. For example, Blazing Waves, Burning Rain starts with “what if Hugo had been able to give Chris the Pentacle that Jimba asked him to before Chris went to that disastrous treaty meeting. Its quite a good story and can be found on Fanfiction. Net. The next type of fan-fiction is continuations. These are stories that take place after the events in the work you are basing the fan-fiction on. For example what happens after the events of Suikoden III. There are numerous stories that answer that question. The last of the main types of fan-fiction is crossovers. Unlike the other two types this one is not determined by where in the timeline it takes place, but by who is in it. You see crossovers are when you take two separate series and put them together and see how the characters react to each other. This is my favorite type and I could go on about it for hours, but I won't. For an example of this you need to look no further then my story Suikoden Fantasy.
Before we can talk about canon or fanon one must first define them. Canon is what actually happens in story. Fanon, on the other hand, is a set of theories based on interpretations of a series canon. People often get the two confused. Fortunately Suikoden has much less fanon then some other series. There is a bit more leeway in video game canon then other types of stories because video games are different enough from the novel format that some adjustments are needed for things to work. This however is not any excuse to be sloppy with canon. If you want to not worry about canon then you should be writing original fiction, not fan fiction.
Now the fair use laws are what makes fan-fiction legal, or at least a grey area. It also protects people who create parodies, but that is not important to us. What the law boils down to for us is two things. The first is that you can not make money off of your fan-fiction. The other one is that your work has to have a positive impact or at least no negative impact. Fortunately this is easy to do for anyone who reads your story will be thinking about the series it comes from. That's the best advertising in the world. So all you have to do is refrain from doing anything stupid like forget who owns the characters. Simple isn't it?
So that is the basics of fan fiction. There are many more things that can be talked about then are mentioned here. The most important thing for you to do now is to go write your own fic.