I don’t like giving out spoilers – especially to projects I am particularly excited about. But I feel like this project deserves some sort of discussion. It’s going to touch on some very personal themes and draw on a lot of my own experiences. I have had reservations before about leaving too much of myself in my characters – partly because I don’t always like what I create and partly because I don’t want people judging me as a person because they know that the character is part of me.
But for this project, I am deliberately using a part of myself that I don’t like. I don’t like a lot of parts of me (I think that’s true for a lot of people) and most of those parts are going to go into creating a character who, for the time being, is named Ashleigh Silk. I have already found that it is easier to write a thousand words of her story than it is to write the couple of hundred words it takes to introduce the other two central characters. I know that each of them represents a part of me, but Ashleigh (or Ashy for short) IS me.
It makes me feel pretty bad about myself, writing the story and ‘watching’ Ashy do things. I know they are things I would do but it externalises the whole thing and the process really sucks me in. I’m learning a lot that I didn’t really want to learn about myself. Or maybe I already knew the things that make me feel like crap but I just didn’t look at them from the outside. I have a horrible feeling that readers, you, are going to feel very sorry for Ashy. They might feel pity; they might think she’s an idiot (because she is, to an extent), and most of all I think you will look at her and think that maybe you don’t make such bad decisions after all.
So, that will be Ashleigh ‘Ashy’ Silk.