If you've read my blog at all, by now you know that I blog mostly when I'm writing (and it comes in spurts), and that I discuss everything I'm editing at length with my husband, who gets every chapter via e-mail as soon as it's gone through my editing churn.
So this morning he and I were discussing my latest piece (still regrettably titled "The Waif and the Bad Boy", someone PLEASE, if you find this, help me with a name!) and he compared the main character to a character on a TV show we had watched.
I found this news both alarming and intriguing. Normally when my husband makes these kinds of associations, I'm quick to dismiss them and point out what an idiot he is for jumping to such stupid comparisons. But this time, I was so caught off-guard by who he had named that I had to take a moment to mull his reasoning over. Slowly, as I thought more about it, the more I realized, "Huh... He's right. He does share some character traits with that character."
It should be noted here that this character type my husband mentioned is one I have never written before, and not one I ever would have considered writing if I had been sitting down to write some fanfic.
So you can imagine how surprised I was as I thought more and more about my story, and how much like this other character my character is. And, oddly enough, I was pleased! This story started out as my attempt to step outside of my realm and write two character types (straight from a character trait book!) that I wasn't familiar with, and I feel like I was fairly successful at it. At least, I accomplished everything I wanted to with them. And then to hear my character being compared to this other one--who by all accounts is an incredibly popular character--was flattering.
It did make me wonder, though... How many readers make associations like that? As the writer, I certainly didn't have an image of this character in my head when I started. But as a reader, would I have made that connection? Do I make those connections when I'm reading someone else's work?