After finishing his previous work, Rave Master, Hiro Mashima found the story sentimental and sad at the same time, so he wanted the storyline of his next manga to have a "lot of fun. " His inspiration for the series was sitting in bars and partying with his friends. He also described the series as being about young people finding their calling, such as a job. Mashima drew a one-shot titled Fairy Tale that was published in Magazine Fresh on September 3, 2002. It is about a guild of couriers and the fire-using spirit protagonist, Natsu, as he carries various things on assignments. But Mashima then came up with the idea to have different types of wizards hanging out in one place, and one idea after the other kept popping into his head, so he practically forced his editor to allow him to change it from couriers to wizards. The title was changed from "Tale" to "Tail" in reference to the tail of a fairy; which the author said may or may not prove to be a "pivotal point. " Mashima stated that while he tried to consider both his own interests and the fans' on what would happen next in Fairy Tail, the fans' took precedence.