The experience of being fictionalized can be like overhearing people talk about you when they don’t know you’re there. The temptation is to give what you overhear great credence, as if people would only say what they really think about you behind your back. But behind your back is also where people are most free to vent, to be peevish, unfair, sniping, and slanted; behind your back is where they are most apt to try out imprecations and outlandish opinions and, in general, to be far less generous or compassionate or accurate than they probably are.

–Michelle Huneven, “You’ve Been Fictionalized