I LOVE the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey actually started as weird Twilight fanfic. All of that light BDSM between Christian Grey and Anastasia began in an episodic masterpiece entitled Master of the Universe, starring Twilight characters Edward and Bella, which E.L. James penned using the fanfic pseudonym “Snowqueen’s Icedragon.” It’s just so perfect! I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
There is a whole world of fan fiction available for free with the click of your mouse (a whole bunch of which can be found here). The idea is this: people “borrow” preexisting characters (like Edward and Bella from Twilight or Scooby Doo or Veronica Mars or whomever) and write new stories about them. Sometimes, these fanfic stories elaborate upon things that happened in the “real” books/TV shows/movies. And, other times, they reinvent the lives and motivations of the characters.
I can honestly say that I have never read a piece of fan fiction in my life (aside from my half-hearted and failed attempt to read Fifty Shades of Grey). Fifty Shades of Grey is, undoubtedly, the best known, most profitable piece of fanfic ever written. And it is horrendous and unreadable.