Dear Professor Fitger,
I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point pen in a composition notebook (drafting on the right-hand page, and making edits and corrections on the left [see figure 1]), I should be well equipped to describe you, to report on your character, your temperament and foibles, and your relationship — if any — to me.
But: Am I nervous? Do you make me nervous? You're not the sort of person with whom I feel at ease, and I would hesitate — though I invented you — to invite you home for a meal. I suspect you're smarter than I am (you would certainly assume that to be the case), and your intellect is aggressive. You're unpredictable, even to me, and I find the shifts in your temper unsettling.
I'll begin with some background: I'm not one of those writers who claims to take dictation from a Muse as if participating in a literary séance, but you did arrive in my imagination almost fully formed. Though I usually refer to my characters-in-process via ...