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Text, transformations, characterisation, the personal, and the political: 4 of 4. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Text, transformations, characterisation, the personal, and the political: 4 of 4.
My point is two-fold.

Firstly, in some fandoms, of which HP is one, one must occasionally write a bit of politics if one is not to constrict ones’ scope absurdly; and even if it never appears overtly in a story or any story, authors really do want to know their characters’ party views as well as their bedroom preferences and favourite tea. People are political (that being quite half the problem, the reason for these quarrels, and undeniable when you look at how politicised fen, fandom, and LJ in fact is.)

The second fold of the point is that plausibility matters – and matters not least because it does give some basis and standard for legitimate criticism: again, ‘I don’t find this plausible because…’.

Personally, I like the quiet life. I don’t go out of my way to politicise my fics, or even, where avoidable without diminishing the fic, to allow politics, mine or anybody’s, to inform them. (And I do think I gave rather good lines, in Bezique, to Labour MP – and eventual Leader and Labour PM – Hermione.) But sometimes it is necessary.

And when it is, I try to be plausible. I welcome argument to the contrary. What I do not accept is abuse. Certainly I urge writers in this fandom to give of their best, and I do so sometimes in exasperated and no very gentle terms. For them not to do so, is to betray a contempt for the reader, and to expect time and attention for shoddy. Yet, if they won’t, and don’t, well, they won’t, and don’t. The only occasion upon which I can imagine my insisting loudly upon it should be in some unimaginable collaboration, wherein my name should also be on the damned thing. (I make sure this shall be misrepresented by someone, sooner or later: it’s always so much easier to resort to straw-man arguments if one first misrepresents the opposing position, rather then merely eliding or ignoring it.)

There is, at the end of the proverbial day, a distinct and not unimportant difference between, ‘I find this implausible for the following reasons (see annexe)’, and – I speak from experience – ‘you are evil’; ‘you are a brute’; ‘mind your tone’; ‘by disagreeing with my prejudices, you have forfeited the right to speak to any issue of canon or of writing’; or, indeed, ‘your opinions on writing and characterisation, as well as the manner in which you express them, contravenes the law’. People who are reduced to that sort of thing … well. Crying ‘wolf’ aids only the wolves. I shall let Orwell have the last word, as he does so well, sixty-seven years on:

‘The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”’

Here endeth the Lesson.

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