A few weeks ago, I began an exercise from a fiction writing workshop, using entries from over three decades ago in my journal as my starting point. This lead to the creation of a fictional couple, Merry and Bernie, and vignettes from their marriage.
The first and second vignettes were promising, but my final entry was disappointing. When they’re left with themselves after their youngest child leaves for college, their struggles need to be more dramatic. Bernie needs to resent being tasked with obligations he never wanted, and Merry has to fight against the restrictions imposed on her intellect and desires. Both need to think about the lives they could have lead, and come to terms with their abandoned ambitions.
But as much as I want to explore those ideas, now is not the time for completing this project. I’ll set it aside for now, and return to these two very interesting characters when I want to further develop their rich voices.