It’s a very real problem.
I’ve got this character called Brent, a struggling artist who lives on the street.
That’s not the problem, though.
This is it. You see, I have many characters I’ve met throughout the years from an assortment of my stories. The manuscripts I have trashed (figuratively and literally), the plots I’ve come to see as quite horrifically embarrassing, and I’m no longer interested in the settings. But the characters … the characters remain. And I love them too much, it would be sad not to tell their stories.
There’s Brent, dejected and cynical, rejected by his father and trapped by poverty. There are the many characters from my dystopian trilogy and high school contemporary: Ethan, a people pleaser who learns to take a stance the hard way; Tirine, brilliantly cunning, slowly but surely working her way to power; Dyra and Jared, mortal enemies who douse each other in ice cream (Haha, I just realized they would make the cutest couple. It’s official – I ship them.); Isaac, mischievous, fun loving, and obsessed with cars; the terribly shy baseball geek, Ming; petite Natalie who can never stop talking; Cecily, determined to make the world a better place; and Gary, a lapsed Christian who goes to the dark side so slowly, not even his wife notices.
From my old stories, there’s Cyril White, a textbook ISTP; Connelle, a handicapped swimmer, and her French hating boyfriend, Terence; dreamy Leslie with a hidden strength and his twin Lillian – the girl kicks some serious butt!; there’s one violent, terrible, broken man and his starving son; Eleazar and his unlikely friend, Mick; a petty bookish professor – dear, dear Loche! I have so got to write about him; actress Maddie and the crewman Tyler, a young dysfunctional couple; and nerdy Daphne and the self righteous Ryan.
I have all these characters and no story worthy of them.
(See how awfully worried I look?)
(I suppose I could put them all together. It would make for one seriously epic monster of a tale.)