The Noble Pen for October 23, 2014

Next Noble Pen Meeting

October 23rd, 2014 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The finalists for the National Book Awards in fiction were announced.


Tyree added 8k words to Bombay Sapphire II this week.  He attended a book fair with many genres where he was one of two selling SF/Fantasy/Horror and had good sales.

Tyree and Dylan’s stories are now available in the Taurin Tales anthology, which sold well at the book fair.

Dylan submitted his story to Blackguards.  His Sand and Blood was  a top seller at the fair.

Cassie made more progress on Dreams in Red including a new chapter.

Nick sent his revised western story to be edited.


Can you use a real person in your fiction?  Can you base a fictional story on a real person who is not named but could perhaps be identified?

Generally one should err on the side of caution to avoid possible claims of defamation or invasion of privacy by the person or their descendants.  The more famous the person and the greater the span of time after their life, the more leeway you will have.

If the person’s identity and details are not as important as their membership in a group, it is easy to make up a character combining what you know about that person and others in the group.

This excellent article says a finding of libel is rare but you need to exercise some caution.  Even winning a lawsuit is still expensive.  They recommend either keeping true to the proven facts, especially for any negative aspect of the character, or else disguising the character so they are hard to associate with the real person.  The trouble is in the middle ground.

Here’s one take on it and another view.  Here’s a discussion of libel law as it applies to fiction.  Real Person Fiction, alias fan fiction, is discussed on Wikipedia.

Upcoming Schedule

Oct 23

Oct 30
Tyree (?)

Nov 6
Open slots

Nov 13
Open slots

Nov 20
Open slots

Nov 27
Thanksgiving – no meeting

Keep Writing,