A funny thing happened to me this evening. I was watching TV with my husband and PBS had a special on featuring musicians and singers from the 60s performing their classic hits. My husband was in music heaven, but I found myself getting more and more depressed the longer I watched.
It took me awhile to figure out what was happening. It's not that I didn't love the music. It's not that all these people are getting old and--since this was obviously shot some years ago--some of them are actually dead now. It's not even that I was feeling old. No, I finally realized that these were all songs I'd listened to extensively while I was writing In the Dark, which is partially set in the late 60s. I was depressed because I was hearing the music from one of my character's point of view, rather than my own, and they were bringing up memories of his lost love.
I think that might be something only people who love fiction beyond reason can understand. And that of course got me thinking about what other odd habits we share...which led to this post.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when you find yourself living your life--but in someone else's head.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when songs on the radio stir up memories from their life, rather than your own.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when you're tempted to add jobs to your resume that you only imagined having.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when you visit the real life location that was the basis for your favorite fictional locale...and marvel at how much it's changed since the "last time" you visited, forgetting that you'd never "actually" been there before.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when, while shopping, you stumble across something that would make a perfect gift for so-and-so and you're just about to buy it when you remember: so-and-so isn't real.
You know you might be obsessed with a fictional character when you know more about the tastes and preferences of the made-up people who live in your head than you do those of the actual people who live in your house.
That's my list. Now, what about yours?