My writing workshop tutor keeps calling me Francesca. I take this as a compliment, even though Francesca is a dark, deluded, dangerous woman. Francesca is also the main character of my novel.
I’m a nice person. I have friends. I guard their secrets. I offer support and encouragement and empathy. So why does my tutor confuse me with Francesca? Does she perhaps sense something of Francesca’s darkness in me?
The other day I took my dog to the vet to be spayed. As far as I was concerned, this was a great opportunity for me to get some writing done as the dog would be a docile convalescent for the next week at least. Then, the vet rang to say he couldn’t operate because he’d detected a heart murmur. My first thought? I have to confess it wasn’t, ‘my poor dog, I hope she’s okay, I must run to her.’ But rather, ‘damn, there goes my writing time.’
Perhaps this says something about my protagonist and me. We are both capable of selfish, self-absorbed reactions. The difference, I hasten to add, is that she has no idea this isn’t a good thing.