Weekly Writing Challenge – Characters That Haunt You

Weekly Writing Challenge – Pick one of the characters that inhabit your brain. Today is that character’s birthday! They’re going to emerge from your head to appear in a new scene on your page or screen.

The character I pulled from my writing is one I have written briefly about, but so far his story has not been completed. Interestingly, his genesis can be traced back to a Daily Prompt I answered one year ago, on November 20,2012. In that prompt we were asked to write a blurb for the back cover of a book as if it would soon be published. My mind jumped to a serial killer kind of tale. (Yeah I know, counseling would help.) I included a link to that original post: https://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/daily-prompt-c…shelf-near-you

The chartacter I created for the antagonist role was of course a human. Specifically he was a forty-seven year old veteran of Desert Storm by the name of Norm Stratton. A former Army infantryman, Norm now deals with psot-traumatic stress forged by a couple of stressors. One, of course was the horrors of war he witnessed in Iraq and Kuwait. The other, which truly drives his serial killer bent is the sudden end to an engagement with his high school sweetheart Deanna while in the midst of his horrid deployment during the height of Desert Storm.

As a result Norm has devolved to a plane where, when he lapses, he imprints Deanna’s habits, looks and actions on other girls seeming to be her age during that time. But instead of trying to resolve their breakup he approaches them and when they rebuff his advances, he channels the killer instinct honed by his army training and takes the life of the victims. As the reader joins the story Norm has crossed paths with the protagonist, a young woman who has some compuslions that will place her squarely in Norm’s crosshairs.

In invite your feedback on the story premise. I began writing a screeplay for the story to enter in a screenwriting competition, but I lack the experience to make it worthy of the competition.  The following is part of the screenplay I began for the story:



A man’s hands are seen working the blood from his hands under the running water. A song is whistled as he goes about the task, the theme to “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean.


NORM STRATTON, 46, whistles his way through this gruesome scene. It is obvious this is not the first time he has done this. His t-shirt is a spotless white, as are his jeans. Nowhere else on his body is there any evidence of what he has just done.


                                                                           NORM (thinking to himself)

                                             She regrets leaving me for that retard now!  A man

                                             who fights for his way of life deserves better. A woman

                                             that values commitment. If I wanted a mindless tramp I

                                             could have collected one from the sand.


The room phone rings from the bedside table. Norm snaps his head to the left as he reaches for the pistol at his feet. Norm walks into –




And answers the phone after three rings.





                                                                           DESK CLERK

                                             Mr. Seville, will you be staying another night?





                                                                           DESK CLERK

                                             Very well. Shall I have your bill prepared?



                                                                           NORM (CONT’D)

                                             That would be appreciated. I will be over in ten minutes.

Other Weekly Writing Challenge responses:

  1. What a character! | LauGraEva
  2. For a better life | A mom’s blog
  3. Characters Haunting Middle Earth | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  4. Our daimon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  5. Vanquished | Master Of Disaster
  6. This Baby Continues To Haunt Me | Not the Family Business!
  7. “Return of the Obamacare Jedi” Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  8. With Time Comes Grace | Real Life Co.
  9. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters that Haunt You: Vetfaan. | Rolbos ©
  10. “Characters that haunt you.” | mroziuk 1
  11. the name is bond, james bond | Musings of a Random Mind
  12. Fire Woman | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  13. DP: Writing Challenge: You never know… | Mainer Chick
  14. wrappedinmystery’s Blog
  15. Ampersand | inevitably happy
  16. Characters that Haunt You | standinginthestorm
  17. Character development exercise: At the airport | Mother Bear
  18. Characters that Haunt You | Parchment Pressed
  19. She | wrappedinmystery’s Blog
  21. Templed Genie | Saying Everything
  22. Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters That Haunt You | Ashley Reavis
  23. Jesus, engler og avdød far i helfigur på soverommet? | brorsadu
  24. Profetens drapstrussel fra Gud Bestemor | brorsadu
  25. Hva står Ng for? | brorsadu
  26. Gi oss i dag vår daglige galskap | brorsadu
  27. Heartbreak Hotel | Pen and Pixels
  28. Bookworm | Bellyaching: From the belly and the heart
  29. Boughs of Holly « Clara’s Coffee Break
  30. Subway | Life is great
  31. Silent Worlds | Let me tell U a story
  32. Character of Creativity | Finale to an Entrance
  33. Oblivion | Words from the heart
  34. The Crone of Lake Cowichan | The Crone’s Apprentice
  35. Characters That Haunt You: Justyn | emilykarn

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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