I’ve always been fascinated by stories of writers who have the experience of meeting their creations in real life. For example, I read a long time ago that Neil Gaiman was once served by a waitress that was the real life equivalent of his fantastic Death character. William Faulkner, upon meeting Juano Hernández for the first time at the set of Intruder in the Dust exclaimed his amazement at meeting the personification of Lucas Beauchamp, his own creation.
While most of our characters are loosely based on people we know, they are still spawned from our imagination. So it is still a very weird experience to meet our exact creations in the flesh. This happened to me this week. I was lecturing during one of my classes, when David, my research assistant, stepped into the classroom. You probably know that David is the basis of Dave, Charlie’s long suffering research assistant. Rick has never met David, he designed the character with his own interpretation of my description of him, so our Dave was meant to be a loose, TWATG version of David. Until that moment. David had, unwittingly, cosplayed as Dave.
As David came into my classroom and he ceased to be David, my assistant. He was Dave. Charlie’s assistant Dave. I had to stop the lecture from laughing. Later, while doing some work at my office, I took a photo so I could share with you my weird experience.
Meet Dave. Dave in real life.