I can't, however, forget a character who's been part of my psyche for a couple decades. He's the protagonist of a short story I never finished.
Now I have revisited him and realize that a short story will not reign him in. So, I am 70 pages into a novel or novella.
Much fiction depends on people and writers who never forget. Sometimes, this clinging, this refusal to "get over it," is very useful in fiction and in real life. Just think of The Great Gatsby:
"You can't repeat the past."
"Can't repeat the past?" he cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"Readers want intimacy with the character. To make this happen, I need to remember his past as well as mine, even though they are very different. In this novel, our psyches meet.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me luck.