I'm not exactly sure why there appears to be such a warzone where characters are concerned. Maybe it's just because I don't swim in the soup of fandom or fanfiction (and in a roleplay sense, have only returned recently), but I guess I just find the whole thing entirely baffling. Roleplay and fanfiction become these massive tiers of Serious Business that are destructive to the creative process. They stagnate and shame while simultaneously churning out high emotion, all the while distracting anyone who wants to learn from shit that will actually be useful to them if they want to write.
I feel the need to give a disclaimer that A) I think fandoms can be incredibly stupid even at their best, B) fanfiction that is "not horribly written" is usually being labeled as such by people who don't and can't know better because their point of reference and experiences are so lacking, and C) even as a writer, I don't understand how character becomes such Serious Business.