I’m scratching my face. I’m trying not to, but I’m all covered in itchy rash.
I got married last year and people gave us vouchers. I loathe shopping in all its forms, so it was only this week that I dragged myself to a department store to buy some things we needed for the house. I also had to buy a new winter coat, as I’d been rambling and fettling in my usual one, and it was grubby and tired. I noticed in the mirrors I looked rather wan, so as I drifted past the make up counters I asked the woman for a light tinted moisturiser. I explained I never wore make up and she sold me a hideously expensive tube of beige stuff.
Two days later and I’m covered in lumps.
I stamped around, cursing and questioning – why do women bother with make up, what’s the point, people are mad, I don’t understand, and all that.
I’m not a girlie type. I don’t read glossy mags and have no desire to know how people think about me. And when I consider the main characters of my stories…oh. Oh yeah.
My short stories tend to have a variety of personalities, as they are a great form to explore a different world. But the various novels I’ve attempted to write over the years all seem to have strong female leads with too many traits that are similar to my own. I know that any character will have aspects of the writer’s own personality but I see, very clearly, that the reason I get bored with the characters is because I know what they will do, how they think, why they act like that…because they are me.
As I sit here and pick at my skin, I vow: I’m going to write about people I don’t know, for a change, and make it a voyage of discovery for myself as well as the reader.