Various older stories by Salinger contain characters similar to those in The Catcher in the Rye. While at Columbia University, Salinger wrote a short story called "The Young Folks" in Whit Burnett's class; one character from this story has been described as a "thinly penciled prototype of Sally Hayes". In November 1941 he sold the story "Slight Rebellion off Madison", which featured Holden Caulfield, to The New Yorker, but it wasn't published until December 21, 1946, due to World War II. The story "I'm Crazy", which was published in the December 22, 1945 issue of Collier's, contained material that was later used in The Catcher in the Rye.
In 1946, The New Yorker accepted a 90-page manuscript about Holden Caulfield for publication, but Salinger later withdrew it.