12-06-2007 11:11 AM
I've been searching for a good forum to post this question on and I think this might be it.
I'm a new writer (not really new since I started my first book at 8 - wasn't very good but hey, I was trying!) so I guess when I say new I mean I'm seriously undertaking writing a novel that I hope to get published for the first time.
So here is my very important question - how do you write about something that is true without hurting people? Beth tells Jo in Little Women to "write about what you know" and she would become a great author. I have a story I want to tell but I don't want to link it to the real life of the people it would be about in any way.
I know if I actually make it down the publishing road successfully that the world won't know who the characters are based upon unless I reveal that info, it's more the circle of people who would know that scare me.
Is this making any sense? I sit down to write every day and stop because I'm worried.
Desiree, aka Queenie D
12-07-2007 08:57 AM
You know, you shouldn’t be afraid of these reactions, violent reactions are normal. Haha.
Anywya, yes, correct, write about what you know.
You cant limit your writing capabilities just so you can make sure you don’t offend other people’s egos. Whatever you do, whether in real life or not, people will talk. But of course as a writer, you need to create a style on how you’ll get your point across without sounding so harsh.
Create characters that will pacify the more aggressive one.
Or choose your words carefully but create the same meaning.
Im sure we will learn from you. We learn from everything.
Its not what you say, its how you say it.
By the way what genre are we talking about anyway?
12-07-2007 02:44 PM
First off, just write your story and don't worry about opinions. That's for editing time.
But ... when you head the publishing route ... that's when you get iffy.
When you say hurt, what do you mean?
Are you revealing some deep dark secret of someone? That's probably something you could get sued for. Likewise if you're just plain saying mean things, true or not. You're not allowed to defame someone or make unproven accusations. Publishers don't like that sort of thing (unless you write for tabloids).
Are you saying something about yourself that you think would disappoint someone, like your parents? Then just wait till you're older and out of the house (if you still live at home). Then decided if the relationship can handle it, and if it can't, whether the book or the person is more important.
Do you mean that you'll hurt someone's feelings, but it's not over a big thing? Like, you didn't really enjoy the fruitcake they gave you last Christmas, or something? If it's small, then you again have to go the route of deciding whether your friendship can stand it.
So ... really ... it depends on your situation.
12-07-2007 04:49 PM
I've been trying to get on here all day to respond but had some weird mix up with email address - anyway, sorry!
Thanks for your responses. So the book will be realistic fiction and it's not going to reveal any deep dark secrets about anyone I know, more like tell the story of a family (based on mine). I would change all the names and add to it so it would be fictional but the people that know me well would know that it has elements of the truth in it.
Does that help? Do you think this could get me into trouble? Plenty of people write about their life experiences. As long as "the names are changed to protect the innocent" what can they really do?
Desiree, aka Queenie D
12-07-2007 05:11 PM
"Bombing for peace is like f***ing for virginity"
"There is no such thing as death, only the absence of life."
"There is no end, unless you let it."
12-09-2007 05:16 PM
Keep in mind, anything you write is going to echo you somehow, and even the stuff that doesn't, someone will assume has some truth to it. Just ignore them, and write a good story.
Unless your family strongly does NOT want to be immortalized in fiction, and will give you a hard time over it, it doesn't sound like you're really aiming for anything controversial. But then, you're the one that has to live with 'em. Nobody could sue you or anything, if it was clearly fiction. But if they think that the portrayal of Great-Aunt Edna is meant to poke fun at your own Aunt Suzie, even if it's not, they may give you a hard time. Depends on your family, and how much you want to put up with.
Not really much help, am I? But legally, if you're not slandering or revealing things best left secret, I don't think they could do anything to you.