Blending Life Experience With Fiction

@DCMerkle (1281)
United States
December 1, 2008 11:58am CST
Okay. Here's the deal. I have had plenty in my life that I know would be of interest to others, but the one thing that is keeping me back is writing the book and not hurting family members or causing bad feelings for those that are still alive. I know that there would have to be a careful blending of characters so someone can not say that I wrote about them. Has anyone written a story or book with this problem? How did you work it out without being sued? DCMerkle
2 people like this
5 responses
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I don't know I have certainly thought about it, but I have an 8 year old daughter and my ex husband would love to know everything I have done to use it against me in custody. So I have not wrote my recovery story and my experience. I would love to but just like you I dont know how all the litigation works. Maybe you should talk to a lawyer or something.
1 person likes this
@DCMerkle (1281)
• United States
1 Dec 08
In your case, maybe the whole episode hasn't played out. Things like that have to come to a comfortable end in your life before you can go forward with it. It does pose a great way to keep notes though. Now, that would be a way to put it in writing so when the time comes you'll have things to go back on. DCMerkle
• United States
1 Dec 08
WOW! Like you i am a very avid reader and i would like to one day publish my oen book and strat writing. It has always been a passion of mine for some time now. But in your situation, i think that it would make things a little bit rough. Being that you are dealing with family and not make believe characters. But i really dont see what the problem would be. I mean if these actual events happen in your life, then to me you should have a right to write about it.
1 person likes this
@DCMerkle (1281)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I think the problem isn't whether the events happened or not, it's the outside members/characters that could get hurt because maybe they didn't know of the events or who was involved. Everyone has a right to write, but like it was said by the person above it a fine line to walk. DCMerkle
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 08
Right now, I am in the same dilema as you. This is my New Year's project, do at least rough draft the novel. Creative non-fiction is tricky. You have to make each character unrecognizable, but yet you want to convey the facts as they happened in your particular story. Some writers do this very effectivly while others cannot. I hope I am in the first group. I have started writing, but it was too close to the truth. So I am now beginning character sketches, where I can tweek each character so no one recognizes themselves in my work. Then comes the outline, and then the writing. I wish you the best of luck. If you want a sounding board, I'd be glad to help.
@DCMerkle (1281)
• United States
1 Dec 08
It's funny that you said that it's your New Year project as it's mine as well. I have no idea as to whether or not I am in the first group of writers. I have a feeling I'm part of that second group, but I'll never know unless I get to it. If you don't mind I will keep you in mind as a sounding board. DCMerkle
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 08
I don't mind at all. Sometimes it helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of.
@cripfemme (7719)
• United States
4 Dec 08
You just change the names and many some circumstances; I am currently writing a book called "Tales from the Chair". I changed some names and circumstances. It's like they do on Law and Order or Dr. G, or the book "The Nanny Diaries". Following that should cover you.
@DCMerkle (1281)
• United States
5 Dec 08
I know that the answer is that simple, but I'll always be concerned about repercussions. Not to me as maybe to others. DCMerkle
@LaurenInLA (2272)
• United States
1 Dec 08
This is really a pretty tough question. It would be quite tricky to write about real life situations even through character disguise. Family members that were involved in the situations would certainly realize that these were the experiences that they shared with you. Is it possible to discuss the situation with the family members involved to get their take on it? I recall reading a story about the woman (Grace Metallius I think) who wrote Peyton Place. The residents of the town that she lived in were certain that the book was about situations and people in that town. Essentially, she got ostracized. Are you willing to jeopardize the relationships with the family members (and those that are sympathetic to them) if they are offended? IMHO, there are a lot of questions that you have to answer for yourself before you go down this path.