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thievery and fiction

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I once saw a tee-shirt that bore a sentiment along the lines of "Be careful or you'll end up in my novel."

If you write fiction how does it make you feel to steal bits and pieces of other people's lives? What would be off-limits?

It never bothered me in the past but I almost completely gave up writing when I got pregnant with my first child (which also, not coincidentally, coincides with the fact that I was writing a story and idly watching the news on the morning of 9/11/01). Now, however, I'm super conscious of the seeds of ideas even when the "product" ends up looking quite different from reality that spawned it.

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For the record, I'm just vaguely attempting to get a fiction-writing discussion going. I feel only the smallest twinge of remorse when I twist around someone's painful life experiences for my own personal fiction-writing pleasure.
post #2 of 4
I think most good fiction writers get their inspiration from real life. The key is to change it enough so that it isn't a carbon copy of anyone's real story. But, I see nothing wrong with using people or events as a springboard for a story or novel.

I don't write much fiction anymore, but when I did, I kind of used it as creative journaling. If I was having difficulty with something or someone in my life, I would make it into a story.

When I took a writing for children and teenagers course, one of our exercises was to do a character sketch on a real child.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post
I think most good fiction writers get their inspiration from real life. The key is to change it enough so that it isn't a carbon copy of anyone's real story. But, I see nothing wrong with using people or events as a springboard for a story or novel.

I don't write much fiction anymore, but when I did, I kind of used it as creative journaling. If I was having difficulty with something or someone in my life, I would make it into a story.

When I took a writing for children and teenagers course, one of our exercises was to do a character sketch on a real child.
Agreed, as long as it really isn't someone else's life, it's called inspiration.
post #4 of 4
This is a great question. I'm currently writing a fiction novel and have added some scenes that I have had to question. For example it takes place in a real town. Do I use the real name? The real streets? I've seen other authors get away with it but I worry that since the town is so little people may be upset.

I think I may have to change a lot of locations....
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