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I hope this is not too vague, but I'm wondering if there is a way to release fictional creations in a way that would allow other writers to freely use them.

E.g., let's say I have a fictional character named Donald Arthur Donaldson XIV, and he is an actuary turned arc-welder, who moonlights as a card-counter and a Moped Mechanic. Is there a way I could release write-ups, short stories, et cetera of Donald Arthur Donaldson XIV in such a way that other writers could freely plug him into their story?

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"Freely"? Just include a Creative Commons or Public Domain notice regarding the use of your character in all your publications (books, website, etc.). Which license you choose will depend on which limits you want to set.

You can also publish a call to other writers to use your character on your blog, in forums, in literariy magazines, or wherever you deem appropriate.

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If you invented the character, sure. Well, assuming that you did not sell your copyright. But as long as you own the copyright, it is entirely up to you what you let others do with it. You can say that no one else can use it at all, you can sell rights to use it for huge amounts of money, you can give rights away for free, or you can say that others can use it for X but not for Y.

If you want to let other people use something you wrote, you just need to write somewhere what they are allowed to do with it.

Of course the bigger challenge is probably to write something that others will WANT to use. Unless your stories are best-sellers, other writers probably aren't all that interested in borrowing from them.

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