Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
During my college years, I met many wonderful people. Some remain good friends today, while others drifted out of my life when the semester ended. Despite the fact that we didn’t stay in touch, many left a lasting impression. I often think about them and wonder where they are and how their lives turned out.
Last year I wrote a short story that was published in Southern Writers Magazine. Since then, I haven’t been able to get the characters out of my head. I spent a lot of imaginative energy creating and understanding my characters. As soon as I figured them out, it was time to leave them behind. The time spent together felt abbreviated. I find myself longing to know them better.
I believe both my protagonist and antagonist have secrets from their past. I want to delve into their lives. These characters don’t deserve to be short story heroes. Their lives are complicated and filled with twists and turns that I long to bring to life.
My goal is to turn this short story into a novel that is so tightly constructed each chapter could stand on its own. There will be no extraneous plot exposition and no wasted words. My plan is to bring these characters back into my life during the month of November when I participate in my third NaNoWriMo challenge. The one thing I plan to do differently is to outline. I’ve never outlined any of my writing, but I want to know these characters inside and out before I begin to tell their story. I’m excited to see what happens.
As a writer or a reader, do characters ever take up residence in your mind long after the story has ended?