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Adrasteia
09-27-2008, 12:41 AM
I'm not sure where to ask this, so I'm hoping this is the right place. Is it still possible to publish short stories using a set of characters, and then get a novel published with those same characters later on? I don't want to run into any rights issues, or problems with a publisher thinking it's "used" material.

I know it used to be okay (Sherlock Holmes and the P.G. Wodehouse stories spring to mind), but I'm not sure about now. Unfortunately, I've spent a lot more time writing than I have trying to get published, so I'm still trying to get familiar with the industry ins and outs.

Thanks!

Phaeal
09-27-2008, 02:21 AM
I'd say there's no problem if the characters are yours, but others will jump in to correct me if I'm wrong.

ChaosTitan
09-27-2008, 04:11 AM
Stephen King's also been known to do it. ;)

You own the copyright on those characters, so yes, you can reuse them. Some authors have taken entire (published) short stories and rewritten them into full-length novels.

redpbass
09-27-2008, 05:30 AM
Louis Lamour did that all the time.

Reusing characters and rewriting published short stories.

Clair Dickson
09-27-2008, 06:01 AM
I haven't gotten the novel published yet, but I do this. I have built some fans and got one agents attention (who now has my partial). The're my characters, and I get to explore them while gaining fans. And in theory, if I get a couple novels published, I have a ready-to-go collection of shorts. (I have over fifty published so far.)

Tocotin
09-27-2008, 08:42 AM
Oh... I have a similar question which I'm very afraid to ask... Can I still use my own characters I created in my fan fiction? Please help!

katiemac
09-27-2008, 10:38 AM
Tocotin, as long as they're your characters and not originally created by the writer of the universe for which you wrote the fanfic, you're okay. You might have to make some tweaks, though, so it's not obvious they were meant for another author's work. (That is, you don't want to drop your Harry Potter fic character in a new work and claim she used to go to magic school and her best friend had glasses and a funny shaped scar. That's a very obvious example, but you get it. :))

FennelGiraffe
09-27-2008, 07:11 PM
Can I still use my own characters I created in my fan fiction?

Will they still be the same characters after you eradicate every trace of the universe they were created in?

Tocotin
09-27-2008, 07:17 PM
Will they still be the same characters after you eradicate every trace of the universe they were created in?

Yes. The fanfics I wrote belong to the PotC fandom, therefore the characters could function in any historical from the period.