I’m just now reading Pattern Recognition. Why it took my 9 years to read it is beyond me, especially given my current profession. But it struck me last night that if I ever did become a writer, I’d never be able to write about a character based on myself. Here’s why:
Cayce Pollard, the protagonist of the story, works as a consultant for Marketing/Advertising agences and is successful largely do to her distain for her own industry. She started off in the skateboard industry which is where she first developed her interest and ability for cool-hunting (recognizing early cultural trends). She studies niche cultures and is herself a heavy participant in online communities.
Now go back and replace Tac Anderson for Cayce Pollard and he for her and you have a pretty accurate description of me. Not to say that I’m even remotely as “cool” as Cayce and there are a lot of differences - I’m a he not a she, I don’t have a physical aversion to logos, I don’t live in NY or dress nearly as well - but if I were to base a character on my own professional life (as authors are prone to do) then I’d instantly be accused of ripping of William Gibson.
Of course if you are going to copy an author, he’d be a pretty good one to copy.