On Conception, Characterization and Consistency

Given the fact that this story has taken around twenty years to develop from a vague idea to a complete work of fiction, it's hardly surprising to find that some things in there don't quite add up. 

When I started on the story, for example, no one had heard of the internet, and mobile phones, if they existed, were regarded as yuppie toys rather than the almost ubiquitous items they are today.

Given the fact that various parts of this story have been written at different times over a twenty year period it would be unsurprising to find that there's the odd inconsistency in the text. 

A nit-picker might, for example, take issue with the sires of a certain string of racehorses, but those were moderately successful sires when that part was being composed, so there they are.

The story itself owes its origins to a series of conversations in the side bar at the Grandview, and anyone familiar with my social circle at the time would be able to identify a number of characters in the story. 

It's fairly obvious that Gordon Jeffrey equates pretty well to the late John Lester, and David Herston shares interests and character traits with the author.

There are fairly obvious real life equivalents for Hopalong Cassidy, Sandy McNab, His Lordship and The Duchess, Dagwood and Blondie and various other characters scattered through the narrative, but in most cases the way in which those characters are portrayed reflects the needs of an entirely fictional plot line. 

Conversations about winning the Lotto were commonplace in that particular environment, and the means through which it is done in the plot line was one that I floated as a possibility at the time. Lack of computer programming skills stopped that concept in its tracks, but the idea was there and started me wondering what would happen if such a mechanism had paid off.

Those thoughts led to a scenario that owes a great deal to the Blandings novels of P.G. Wodehouse with alcoholic elements that come from a series of paperbacks titles MASH Goes To (Insert Exotic Location Here) which found their way into my library during the seventies. 


© Ian Hughes 2017