I've been thinking about a character of mine lately.
Quite some time ago, I wrote a story about him. A short story, something I worked pretty hard on, got published, and at the time, was very happy with. I loved his name, what he did for a living, and where he worked. And lately, he's been popping up in my head again.
He has a story to tell. Actually, I think he has a couple to tell, and--if he at least allows me a few weeks to finish the draft I'm working on--I intend to tell those stories. But there's something weird going on.
When I picture him, when I think about him, and what he'd be doing in these stories . . . he's not the same guy. He's younger, he has a different past, and a different mindset.
Now, ultimately, I don't really have a problem changing a character that dramatically. The villain in the novel that I just finished was a hero in another short story of mine. Had a completely different backstory too.
But I find it odd.
I mean, why can't I just make him a completely new character? Why does the name stick with me? I've tried coming up with different names for him, making him a completely new character, but it doesn't work.
He has to be Matt Herrick.
Has this happened to any other writers out there? I know Elmore Leonard plays around with his characters... Jack Foley became a lot more like George Clooney in ROAD DOGS. Not so much in OUT OF SIGHT.
It's been bothering me for weeks now. I think that's a good sign. It means I have a story to tell, and no matter what his age is . . .
He's still gotta be Matt Herrick.
Eh, maybe he can be Matt Herrick, Jr.