Thursday, August 18, 2011

Anecdote

My apologies to the gentleman in question, but I love this story.

When I was first beginning to write seriously, I dated a fellow I quite liked, but who was not per se in love with me. We had a lot of fun and we're still good friends, but during that time, he knew I wrote but I did not show him what I considered not to be adequately finished products. In my defense here, I didn't really show them to anyone.

A bit after we broke up, I got my first story published. I was ecstatic, and because we were still friends I called up to tell him about it. He said he was definitely going to read it, and I told him that was very sweet. He said yes, he was going to read it, and this time I couldn't stop him.

We talked a bit about it, and he mentioned how it had always kind of hurt him that this was something that I obviously really loved, but didn't share with him while we were together. I apologized. I really hadn't ever meant to hurt his feelings, I was just really self conscious about what I was doing. I promised to send him a couple of things I had written if he liked.

He said he would, and then, magnanimously, that it didn't even have to be one of the ones about him.

To which I said... well... none of them are about you, actually.

And he said surely some are.

I asked him if he was aware I wrote stories about zombies and unicorns and whatnot?

In the ensuing conversation I spent twenty minutes desperately trying to convince him that at no point had I modeled any characters off him, or written out any of our conversations verbatim, or populated my stories with relationships that were his and mine- because that's what writers do! he insisted. Copy real life and make fiction of it.

In the end, I did not send him the stories, because I was terribly worried he'd look at my murderers and evil gods rising from the floor of the ocean, and all he'd see was me nagging him about the hair in the drain.

the End.

2 comments:

  1. For what it's worth, I am aware showing him the stories might disabuse him of some of these notions, but I worried that if he already believed this, he'd see confirmation whether it's there or not.

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  2. From time to time I realize that I have created a character that is, essentially, a certain facet of someone I know--exaggerated as only we writers know how to do.

    However, I also know to never, ever tell them. A fellow I once knew sent me a story that was, essentially, about me. The first words out of my mouth were "Was I really that whiny?"

    You just can't win in that sort of a situation.

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