Next Noble Pen Meeting
Mar 1st, 2018 at 7 pm
Scott’s Family Restaurant
1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
Trump has proposed a budget that severely cuts funding for public arts and culture, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The latter is a possible target for elimination.
Randy got fan mail.
Dakota found time (from being grandma of a teething baby) to write a chapter.
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.
Riley 10-minute educational