More on the fan-fiction controversy
A "real" character--the ones written with sufficient vividness as to engage someone to a degree to want to do this in the first place--is not just a construct made by the writer: she/he _is_ the writer, refracted through the lens of that writer's experience, craft, and personality. You (a fan-fiction writer, I mean) might well have sufficient craft to build a character, but that _would_ be a construct, and not a real character.On the subject of dialogue in fan-fiction, she had this to say:
That's one of the things that I find so upsetting about reading fan-fiction involving my characters: the constant feeling of "He'd never _say_ that!" or "Good grief, how could you possibly put words like _that_ in her mouth!" It's violation of who I know these people to be, while claiming to be an accurate depiction of them--very rough cognitive dissonance. That dissonance might be less for casual readers, but it's there.Some people commenting on this controversy have said that an author's characters are, in some sense, like her children. I thought Diana's response to that was interesting:
My characters are not my children--my characters are _me_. Not just Claire, not just Jamie--all of them (including Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet. You might want to keep that in mind. <g>). They continue to be me when written on the page. You know this, if you read at all--if a writer is halfway honest in what he or she does, the reader _knows_ that writer, in varying degrees, some conscious, some visceral. When you mess with my people, you aren't messing with something I _made_--you're messing with me.