Fanfiction (abbreviated fanfic) is a tale or book, generally of short length, that is based in this case on J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. Most are based on The Lord of the Rings, and many others on various points in the Silmarillion. Christopher Tolkien would not allow books based on Middle-earth to be published, and therefor most fanfics are printed on various sites. The fanfics fall into several categories.
- Purist. This category is made up of fanfictions that stay (to the best of their knowledge) true to the books. They are often longer than other categories, and perhaps the favorite of hard-core Tolkienists.
- Loose. This category is composed of fanfics that are only loosely based on the books, or are based primarily on the movie's depiction. Often these are far less researched that Purist fanfics, and the details are not as accurate.
- Spoof. This is composed of books that are not realistic to Middle-earth, which is usually parody or "Mary-Sue". See below
The subcategories are divided from one or more of the above categories. Many fanfics fall into more than one of these subcategories.
- Action/Adventure. This subcategory generally falls into the Purist and Loose categories, as being made up of stories of battles and adventures. Primarily these are stories that tell of a particular person at a particular battle. Most are based on Lord of the Rings as opposed to the Silmarillion.
- Gap-fillers. This type of story fills in a gap in Tolkien's works, particularly concerning the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Some examples include Strider's capture of Gollum and the battle of Lothlórien during the War of the Ring.
- Character-Adventure. This one usually takes a character, such as Glorfindel, and expands upon his or her life. Another example would be a fanfic on Aragorn's early life as a ranger.
- Romance. This category is, obviously, about the romantic relationships of two characters; usually Aragorn and Arwen. Because this can also be used in the Spoof category (such as a character falling in love with Legolas), many Purist sites discourage the use of this subcategory.
To be continued