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OC Spotlight: Emily Ashton · 8:02am Oct 27th, 2020

AKA Emily Anderson. The story plans for Splintershard have her written as "Emily Anderson", but Splintershard, after the first few chapters, uses "Emily Ashton", thanks to me doing some early planning for Pony-Me's reboot at the time. The name just sorta stuck, I guess.

But anyway, let's do this! It's been a little over a month short of a full year since the last OC Spotlight from last December, and with Splintershard on hiatus, I suppose it's high time I talk a bit 'bout Emi.

Emily Ashton (or Anderson) is honestly the first character in ages where there was no random name generator involved. I had a friend loooong ago named Emily, back when I was, like, a toddler. I've long-forgotten most of the time I spent with her, but I still had her name floating around, so Emily it is.

Anyway, enough about why the girl's named the way she is. Let's move onto personality!

Like almost every OC I've written, some elements of Emi's personality can be traced back to my own. Being a little scatterbrained at times, for example, is more or less a direct projection of myself. At the same time, however, the way that she speaks--that comes from wanting to have a more fun-loving character after writing Lisa Garnet for so long. I didn't necessarily want her to be "fun" as in sporadic and crazy like Pinkie Pie, or for that matter any character that shows up in "What If", so I decided to work off of sass. Gadget/Zoey from both Lab Horse and Pony-Me served as an early base for her personality, having been generally optimistic about things, yet still willing to make one-off comments about stuff at any given time. And so, with some tweaking, the sass doofus was born.

Emily, up until around midway through arc 2|1, had no physical design. As with almost every OC I've ever created, I didn't put any thought into what she looked like until it became necessary to the plot. However, this time, rather than at the very least throwing together a loose string of physical traits, I asked my sister to pitch a design at me. At the time, I wasn't really looking for anything all that detailed, and even now, after Emi's transformation, there's still very little reference to her looks. AnObliviousAuthor also pitched a design over the prereading channels on my Discord server, though I ultimately stuck with my sister's designs instead.

I immediately was hooked on the design my sister sent me. I'd really only given her Emi's personality traits to work off of, but the sketch I received in return pretty much hit the nail on the head! I would then send this same character reference to JodTheCod for a commission that put a sizable dent in my bank account:

All in all, I'm very happy with how Emi looks!

Moving on, I really don't have all that much to say about her backstory, even though nearly every character from Pony-Me had long, interconnected backgrounds leading up to the beginning of the story. Emi's family is really only ever mentioned once or twice, but they're never directly shown in the story. I can confirm that she is an only child, however, and overall is pretty average for her age. Her friends are also mentioned a couple times in the story, with one of them, Lisa, being a direct nod to Pony-Me. In fact, I'm actually half-tempted to try pulling in elements of that story into Splintershard in the future! In any case, however, Emily's backstory is largely irrelevant to the rest of the story. Instead, Splintershard relies on the lore of the world itself, rather than individual characters, to set itself up.

Overall, I'd have to say that Emi's one of the most fun to write characters I've written in a looong time. Her wittiness, relative clumsiness, and character dynamics with others make her not only easy to write in my writing style but also easy to invest myself in. She has little to no backstory given the context of the story she's in, and that gives me the ability to write her out as I go, rather than basing everything on a pre-written background on a planning sheet. It isn't necessarily a bad thing for her to have no background, so long as I can still write her well! Older OCs have often been either increasingly difficult to write, such as Lisa, thanks to their heavily backstory-dominated character arcs, or grew boring over time, such as Gadget, whose personality is almost entirely based around the idea of using the same speaking style I had in fifth grade.

Also, I still haven't escaped the habit of female OCs. Oh well. :P

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