I've recently made a new acquaintance who shares a name with one of my characters. One of my favorite characters, in fact. It's not an insanely uncommon name, but it's not one you hear everywhere. So, when this person introduced himself, I might have been grinning like an idiot. Which might have been creepy.
If you're a writer, you probably understand this. Our characters feel real. We think of them just as often as we think about actual people in our lives. It's part of the job.
If you're not a writer, this might sound weird. It might sound like no big deal, like someone sharing a name with an imaginary friend you had as a kid. Or a stuffed animal, or a doll, or whatever. But a character (especially a major character) is more than that. Think of them as the toy you loved. Maybe that one doll you had to bring to the table for every meal, or that stuffed animal that you dragged around by its ears since you were a toddler.
That special one.
That's what characters are like to some writers.
We don't always have physical representations of our characters, (unless our books have been made into movies, and there's merchandise to go along with it, but that's not majority of writers), so it's hard to express how significant these fictional beings are to us. We don't have a string of wallet photos like people do for children or grandchildren. (Is that still a thing these days, with smartphones and all?) We don't have many ways to show it.
So believe us when we say, it is usually totally awesome when we find out that you share a name with one of our characters. It might make us smile like we're morons. Just go along with it, okay? We appreciate it when you understand.
Any writers or non-writers have any related experiences to share?