Shared characters are specifically original characters, created by Daria fanfic writers, who are used by two or more authors in their stories with blanket permission by their creators. These characters are usually of three sorts.
- Characters who did not exist on the show in any form (e.g., Kyle Armalin, Veronica Morgendorffer).
- Minor characters who appeared in the TV series background and had no known personality (in some cases, not even a name), who were then given charaterisation by a writer (e.g., Scarlett, Cindy), Jackie Wentworth).
- Major characters who were so significantly altered (nearly always from an alternate universe) that they are in effective unique characters (e.g., Judith, John Lane).
Tori Jericho is the earliest known example of an shared character (appearing in spring 1999 from Austin Covello), but would take a while to catch on. In those days, 'promoting' the backgrounders was not as prevelant - after all, the show was still airing and there wasn't yet a desire to 'deep dive' for canon people.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were several examples of shared characters among the more popular fanfic writers. For instance, more than a few authors borrowed characters from C.E. Forman's fanfic universe, such as Aunt Eleanor and the hippies from "Fireworks." Notable examples include Matt's use of Aunt Eleanor in Cynic Wars and Kara Wild's use of her in "None in the Family" from the Driven Wild Universe. Likewise, several fanfic authors, such as Admonisher and Austin Covello, gave cameos to Kara Wild's Alfred Phelps character. Lynn Cullen was a popular character as well, although her creator, Canadibrit, warned against "unauthorized" use.
In February 2004, Robert Nowall introduced Veronica Morgendorffer, who was swiftly adopted into fanfiction by numerous writers. After her appearance, the practice of developing and sharing original or minor characters became even more commonplace. It is likely that, like the use of promoted backgrounders, this is a reaction to the lack of new canon material in the fandom. With the rise of several recent shared world series, the number of shared characters has expanded greatly. A few of the more popular ones are named below.