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Conflict of interest

published: 2008-09-29

This past weekend, I met up with a man whose story initially inspired me to write the novel I'm writing now. It was a starting point. I have taken the story for a run and my main character has become the kind of character nobody would want to look like. This man and I chatted a little about how things were going with my novel. At one stage he asked me whether any of his former colleagues would recognize it was his story. I wasn't sure and so that's what I told him. He didn't say anything and I felt I should take some of his concerns away by saying how the character was a pompous, self-centered person – nothing like him of course. Nothing! He went even quieter.
On my way home, I discussed this whole debacle with my man who said "I think you underestimate just how much people would like to be the main character to a novel. He may actually be disappointed."
This surprised me.

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