I know, I haven’t been posting on schedule, partly from laziness and partly from a desire to get some movies I haven’t seen into the Friday mix this month (The Conjuring arrives at my house tomorrow and will be written up the minute someone can pull me off the ceiling and stop the whimpering, I assume).
Until then, an anecdote from this century this time: I Am A Prophet, But Not A Very Good One
In 2003, I was still with the guy I refer to as Future Ex-Husband. I was also working on a piece of fanfiction for my own amusement (amazingly, not about Highlander—though I did see a crossover fic once).
I had an original character in this story and was working on her backstory, realizing that people don’t spend seven years only doing [big plot activity]. No, she’d probably dated at least one person, even if it hadn’t worked out. So I invented another character, “Bill,” whose job put him near the action of the story. They’d dated for a couple of years, but she was more interested in her work, and eventually the two of them split up. Bill had brown hair and glasses and presented himself as being more stable than he probably was. A good guy, in other words, who was too flawed to date.
My unfinished story got stuck in a drawer for ten years, the first two of which were spent breaking up with the FEH. A year or so after the separation, I entered what in retrospect was probably the rebound phase and started dating again.
He had brown hair and glasses. He thought of himself as a strong, stable relationship partner, but he could be moody and flaky. And I kid you not, his name was “Will,” one letter off from the fellow in my fanfic. They even worked in the same general field… and I did not notice any of this until I pulled that story out of my desk in 2013, long after it could have done me any good.
That’s right—I predicted my own rebound guy in a silly fanfic and I still went out with him, never once making the connection between Fanfiction Bill and Sitting-Next-To-Me-in-2006 Will.
So take it from me: you’ll probably gain more wisdom by reading other people, but do look over your own drafts once in a while. Your dignity may depend on it.