Names, advice

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at
Sat Mar 15 12:21:25 EST 2003

>On Fri, 14 Mar 2003, Margaret Ball wrote:
>|> It's particularly bad when you write for children... my 1980s teens
>|> should by now be in their 30s, so how can I pick them up at still 15?
>|> Either I have to set the story in the 80s - making it retro, if not
>|> exactly historical, or else drag them into the Noughties, where they,
>|> their attitudes and ideas don't fit...
>|Take Antonia Forest's Marlow family for inspiration? Look what a time
>|span those books cover - if she'd been too literal the original
>|characters would've been grandparents by the end of the series!
>The best, in my opinion is the Mrs. Pollifax books.  The time span
>they're written over includes decades, the time span they take place
>over is probably 8-10 years, and events are always current.  So
>Carstairs was an OSS man during WWII, and is still a CIA head in a time
>that's very clearly about 2000 or 2001.  People just don't age
>particularly, which is impressive given that they're spy novels in a
>series which started while there was still a substantial iron curtain.
>Shades of Mitt and Maewen...

This is a tried-and-true way of doing things in the world of comic 
books as well. Superman, although introduced in 1938, is still in his 
early 30s. Robin, also introduced in the late 30s has gradually aged 
over the years - he's in his late 20s now.

Go figure!


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two 
opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the 
ability to function
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at
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