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Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 06:40 AM
Say there's a character based on a recently dead historical figure with different circumstances to the real person, but has the same name and personality and some shared traits.
The character's circumstances are so different that anyone who knew the real person or has basic knowledge of them and their background knows that isn't intended to be a fictional portrayal of the person as they were in real life. Is there still a chance that people who knew that person are going to be upset, even though the character isn't really the person?

HoneyBadger
02-26-2012, 06:48 AM
Will people other than those of us who thought you were gonna take a break be upset?

Maybe.





ETA: Okay, maybe a little harsh, but, seriously. You've made like 3 threads asking the same question. You can't keep rephrasing "Can I write this book about Evita?" and expect for someone to tell you it's a fabulous idea. Write the book, then worry about it. Write it. Now.

escritora
02-26-2012, 06:49 AM
At 8:05 today you revived an old thread to ask this question. At 8:50 or so, you bumped that thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201235

Then you started this thread.

BenPanced
02-26-2012, 06:55 AM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7035128&postcount=5

You're not going to get the answer you want because you keep asking the same question in a different way. People aren't going to change their answers because the question has been asked differently. You don't like the answers that have been given so you ask the question again differently. People are going to give the same answers, no matter what. Move on.

suki
02-26-2012, 06:58 AM
And even if your question was about a different famous person, the answer would be yes. If the relatives of a deceased person think you have based your character on their deceased relative, they might get upset, yes.

~suki

amergina
02-26-2012, 06:59 AM
Is there the possibility?

Sure. That's a risk you take when using recent historical figures.

But if you're changing a historical figure so much that their portrayal isn't even intended to be a fictionalized version of their actual life... then why call them the same name?

angeluscado
02-26-2012, 07:10 AM
There is a possibility that any book will upset a set group of people - if you're basing a character off of a deceased famous person, there's a possibility that their relatives might get upset.

I'm going to give you the same advice people seem to be giving you right, left and center. Write your damn book. Just sit down, put your head down and write your damn book. Worry about pissing people off later.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 07:15 AM
Is there the possibility?

Sure. That's a risk you take when using recent historical figures.

But if you're changing a historical figure so much that their portrayal isn't even intended to be a fictionalized version of their actual life... then why call them the same name?

Because the character is based on this person, but in a different (although similar) context. It's like (using a different less-recent example here) creating a fictional Haitian first lady and calling her Marie Antoinette and her husband, the President, Louis, and giving them the personalities of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Everyone knows that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were French royals, not Haitian president and first lady. No-one would think Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were actually Haitian or that this hypothetical premise is a real account of the historical Louis or Marie Antoinette.

Similarly, no-one with knowledge of the basic facts would think Che, with the same personality as Guevara, was actually one-quarter Jamaican or a servant. Or Honduran or had a club foot. They would also not think that Evita and Che knew each other. Maybe the Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI example above is different though, because more people know at least some basic facts about the last French royals than about Che.

ETA: Sorry for tone.

Lillie
02-26-2012, 07:33 AM
Lots of people think Che and Evita knew each other, because of the musical.

If you had a story where they knew each other, isn't that taking the characters created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and using them like fan fiction?

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 07:41 AM
Lots of people think Che and Evita knew each other, because of the musical.

If you had a story where they knew each other, isn't that taking the characters created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and using them like fan fiction?

Not necessarily. For example, my Eva character has children. No-one would think she really had children, because she didn't. Or making up a president and first lady of Honduras and basing them on the Perons. Everyone knows the Perons and Che weren't Honduran.

amergina
02-26-2012, 07:45 AM
Because the character is based on this person, but in a different (although similar) context. It's like creating a fictional Haitian first lady and calling her Marie Antoinette and her husband, the President, Louis, and giving them the personalities of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Everyone knows that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were French royals, not Haitian president and first lady. No-one would think Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were actually Haitian or that this hypothetical scenario is really about the historical Louis or Marie Antoinette.

While I think the idea of writing Hatian alternate historical fiction with characters based on Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is interesting, I would throw a book that actually called them Louis and Marie Antoinette against a wall, because it would be akin to beating the readers over the head with a giant sign that read "Look at me! Aren't I clever? It's the French Revolution, but in HAITI!"

Which it kind of what it feels like you're doing. It feel like you're saying over and over is "It's EVITA but set in HAITI! With Dieselpunk elements! You can tell because they're Che and Evita!"

It's overkill. I think you should be more subtle.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 07:49 AM
While I think the idea of writing Hatian alternate historical fiction with characters based on Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is interesting, I would throw a book that actually called them Louis and Marie Antoinette against a wall, because it would be akin to beating the readers over the head with a giant sign that read "Look at me! Aren't I clever? It's the French Revolution, but in HAITI!"

Which it kind of what it feels like you're doing. It feel like you're saying over and over is "It's EVITA but set in HAITI! With Dieselpunk elements! You can tell because they're Che and Evita!"

It's overkill. I think you should be more subtle.
Like by calling him Ernesto? And it's in Honduras.

Lillie
02-26-2012, 07:54 AM
Not necessarily. For example, my Eva character has children. No-one would think she really had children, because she didn't. Or making up a president and first lady of Honduras and basing them on the Perons. Everyone knows the Perons and Che weren't Honduran.

But the question I'm asking is whether you are putting a spin on real historical characters, or on the fictionalised characters created by Rice/Lloyd Webber.

The fact that you put Che and Eva together makes me think that it's the latter. That makes it Evita fan fiction, rather than an original spin on historical characters.

Drachen Jager
02-26-2012, 08:01 AM
Is there the possibility?

Sure. That's a risk you take when using recent historical figures.

But if you're changing a historical figure so much that their portrayal isn't even intended to be a fictionalized version of their actual life... then why call them the same name?

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Pyekett
02-26-2012, 08:02 AM
And even if your question was about a different famous person, the answer would be yes. If the relatives of a deceased person think you have based your character on their deceased relative, they might get upset, yes.

~suki

Heck, if the relatives of your publisher think you spread cream cheese on untoasted bagels like some sort of roiling Sasquatch, they might get upset.

People get upset for no reason whatsoever sometimes.

Added: The right question isn't whether someone will get upset, but whether you are doing something you shouldn't be doing. That is, is it unkind (without compelling reason)? Unethical? Poor writing form? If the answer is yes to one of these, then it doesn't matter if nobody gets upset.

If somebody is upset, the corollary right question is whether thay have good reason to be upset.

Mind you, even if someone is upset for what I think is no good reason, I still re-evaluate. There is little I care enough about to go around disturbing other people for. But what I do care about, I hold fast to, regardless of upset it causes.

amergina
02-26-2012, 08:17 AM
Like by calling him Ernesto? And it's in Honduras.

Because the real Che's name was Ernesto? That's not subtle. That's making it so that the blinking neon sign doesn't blink any more.

Evita in Honduras has the same problem as Evita in Haiti... it's Evita, but set in another place. It's still Evita.

The problem is this:

Though there were real people called Evita and Che who had--in real life--no interaction with each other, there is a musical and a movie that implies they did, and *that* relationship is the one everyone is going to think you're building off of, no matter how many arguments you make and no matter how many ways you turn it to try to make it so it seems that it's not.

You call him Che or Ernesto and call her Evita, and there WILL be readers who will think "Oh, it's Evita in Honduras. I wonder if ALW knows?"

But honestly, there's nothing wrong with writing it with characters named Evita and Che based on Evita and Che if it makes you happy.

And once you get done with it, you might look at it and think "You know, these people really aren't Evita and Che anymore, since I changed their world too much. I'll change their names." Or maybe you won't.

It all comes down to the one thing everyone has been telling you over and over and over...

Sit down and write it. See what you have when you're done. If this is the story that is burning within you to write, then write the damn thing. Don't worry about what any of us say. Just.... write it.

robjvargas
02-26-2012, 08:18 AM
Ask Salman Rushdie how it works for even non-recent historical figures.

A whole lot of questions, not a whole lot of product. You're lucky there's not an ignore function here.

Amadan
02-26-2012, 08:59 AM
A whole lot of questions, not a whole lot of product. You're lucky there's not an ignore function here.


Actually, there is.

Seriously, Morwen, what is your problem? This isn't the first time you've frenetically created multiple threads asking the same question in different ways trying to convince us that what you've already decided to do is a good idea.Why. Do. You. Care? AW can't give you permission or approval or a book deal. Since you obviously aren't really looking for advice, just validation, you're kind of wasting everyone's time and your own.

jjdebenedictis
02-26-2012, 10:58 AM
Since you obviously aren't really looking for advice, just validation, you're kind of wasting everyone's time and your own.This.

What do you want from us? All these neurotic little questions, yet you never take anyone's advice.

firedrake
02-26-2012, 11:57 AM
Here's an idea.
Just write the story. Forget about Eva and Che, just write the story.

There has to be a point where you step off the cliff, open a file and write the book all by yourself

No one can validate your work or tell you what they think until you've written it, polished it, polished it some more.

You are exhausting peoples' goodwill... goodwill you may well need when you finish your story, polish it and post in SYW.

Good luck.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:06 PM
Because the real Che's name was Ernesto? That's not subtle. That's making it so that the blinking neon sign doesn't blink any more.

Evita in Honduras has the same problem as Evita in Haiti... it's Evita, but set in another place. It's still Evita.

The problem is this:

Though there were real people called Evita and Che who had--in real life--no interaction with each other, there is a musical and a movie that implies they did, and *that* relationship is the one everyone is going to think you're building off of, no matter how many arguments you make and no matter how many ways you turn it to try to make it so it seems that it's not.

You call him Che or Ernesto and call her Evita, and there WILL be readers who will think "Oh, it's Evita in Honduras. I wonder if ALW knows?"

But honestly, there's nothing wrong with writing it with characters named Evita and Che based on Evita and Che if it makes you happy.

And once you get done with it, you might look at it and think "You know, these people really aren't Evita and Che anymore, since I changed their world too much. I'll change their names." Or maybe you won't.

It all comes down to the one thing everyone has been telling you over and over and over...

Sit down and write it. See what you have when you're done. If this is the story that is burning within you to write, then write the damn thing. Don't worry about what any of us say. Just.... write it.

Well, that's what I'm going to do.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:16 PM
But the question I'm asking is whether you are putting a spin on real historical characters, or on the fictionalised characters created by Rice/Lloyd Webber.

The fact that you put Che and Eva together makes me think that it's the latter. That makes it Evita fan fiction, rather than an original spin on historical characters.

There's no copyright on ideas, only on their expression. If Lloyd Webber could put Eva and Che together, can't I use the same idea? Yes, the idea isn't original, but neither is "What if Hitler won WWII?" or "What if the South won the American Civil War?" And I want advice. I want an answer to that question of "Can I write about Eva and Che knowing each other without making it a spin on ALW's characters?"

Celia Cyanide
02-26-2012, 12:22 PM
There's no copyright on ideas, only on their expression. If Lloyd Webber could put Eva and Che together, can't I use the same idea? Yes, the idea isn't original, but neither is "What if Hitler won WWII?" or "What if the South won the American Civil War?" And I do want advice, not validation.

No, you really don't. You keep asking over and over again, "Can I do this?" You seem to want everyone to tell you, yes, you can. But when people tell you why they don't think you should, you respond with, "What? Why not? Why can't I?"

If you want to write the story, then write it. Don't keep asking if you can.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:32 PM
No, you really don't. You keep asking over and over again, "Can I do this?" You seem to want everyone to tell you, yes, you can. But when people tell you why they don't think you should, you respond with, "What? Why not? Why can't I?"

If you want to write the story, then write it. Don't keep asking if you can.

The thing is, I want to use that idea without making it a spin on ALW's characters.
I think it could work, but people will say, "Oh, this sounds familiar- I wonder if Lloyd Webber knows about this." I'd think the same thing, to be honest.
And the thing is, I don't want to be seen as writing fanfiction, but I still want to use the idea. And make it my own if that's possible. And I keep thinking it is- maybe it's just wishful thinking.

Terie
02-26-2012, 12:38 PM
At the risk of getting myself banned....

JUST SIT DOWN AND WRITE THE GODDAMNED FUCKING BOOK.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:43 PM
I've had a lot of conflicting feelings over this. I need a break.

Lillie
02-26-2012, 12:43 PM
There's no copyright on ideas, only on their expression. If Lloyd Webber could put Eva and Che together, can't I use the same idea? Yes, the idea isn't original, but neither is "What if Hitler won WWII?" or "What if the South won the American Civil War?" And I want advice. I want an answer to that question of "Can I write about Eva and Che knowing each other without making it a spin on ALW's characters?"

Please don't shout at me.

Ask yourself this. Did you come up with the idea of Eva meeting Che on your own, or did you get it from Evita?

Expecting people to assume that you had the same idea independently is as disingenuous as Lloyd Webber calling a character Che, and not expecting people to think it's Guevara.

Celia Cyanide
02-26-2012, 12:43 PM
The thing is, I want to use that idea without making it a spin on ALW's characters.
I think it could work, but people will say, "Oh, this sounds familiar- I wonder if Lloyd Webber knows about this." I'd think the same thing, to be honest.
And the thing is, I don't want to be seen as writing fanfiction, but I still want to use the idea. And make it my own if that's possible. And I keep thinking it is- maybe it's just wishful thinking.

You won't know if you can do that until you try. Write, have people read it, and see what they think. Until then, you're asking a bunch of people you don't know what they think about a book that doesn't exist yet. We can't tell you if the idea works, because we can't read the book.

KalenO
02-26-2012, 12:45 PM
The thing is, I want to use that idea without making it a spin on ALW's characters.

Is it possible? Yes, theoretically. It depends entirely on the execution, and until you write the book, NO ONE can tell you whether or not your execution will be successful in that.

Writing doesn't come with guarantees for any of us. There's no shortcut. Do the work. Maybe it'll be successful, maybe it won't. There's only one way to find out.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:46 PM
You won't know if you can do that until you try. Write, have people read it, and see what they think. Until then, you're asking a bunch of people you don't know what they think about a book that doesn't exist yet. We can't tell you if the idea works, because we can't read the book.
Thanks, Celia.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 12:48 PM
Please don't shout at me.

Ask yourself this. Did you come up with the idea of Eva meeting Che on your own, or did you get it from Evita?

Expecting people to assume that you had the same idea independently is as disingenuous as Lloyd Webber calling a character Che, and not expecting people to think it's Guevara.

sorry for the bolded question. And, Lillie, it's actually both. I did a history unit on Che in Year 9 and read that he was in Argentina during the Perons' time in power. And then I thought, "Peron? As in Eva? Did they ever meet each other?" Then I read something on the musical and shortly after found out they never met each other.

Old Hack
02-26-2012, 01:02 PM
Morwen, I've not checked into your full posting history yet so what follows might not be entirely accurate: but it seems that you might be starting multiple new threads on the same subject, hijacking existing threads to ask your same questions, and then bumping all of those threads when people don't answer your questions immediately.

If that's true, you MUST STOP. You've asked your questions; you've received responses; asking the questions again isn't going to change the responses you receive.

If you've not done that then I apologise and will edit this thread accordingly.

Meanwhile, do not start any new threads about your Eva-and-Che book. Not a single one. And do not ask about it in any other threads. Just this one. Is that clear? Good.

Lillie
02-26-2012, 01:11 PM
sorry for the bolded question. And, Lillie, it's actually both. I did a history unit on Che in Year 9 and read that he was in Argentina during the Perons' time in power. And then I thought, "Peron? As in Eva? Did they ever meet each other?" Then I read something on the musical and shortly after found out they never met each other.

And do you want to have to explain that to everyone who hears about your book and says 'Oh, like Evita?'

Morwen Edhelwen
02-26-2012, 01:13 PM
I'll think about that when it's done. I need to actually work more on it.

jaksen
02-26-2012, 08:03 PM
At the risk of getting myself banned....

JUST SIT DOWN AND WRITE THE GODDAMNED FUCKING BOOK.

hehe

I assume you mean that in a very supportive way.

Toothpaste
02-26-2012, 08:43 PM
I have been following Morwen's threads, and yes, Terie does mean it in a supporting way. Last week Morwen was asking questions that revealed she had written all of 3 pages of her work. I believe, as do clearly many others, that she is only holding herself back asking all these questions. That she is using questions as a crutch, as a safety blanket, instead of taking a risk and just writing.

Morwen: Writing is hard, it isn't always easy, but in the end there is no way around it. If you want to write, then you actually just have to write. You can ask all the questions in the world, but you'll never truly know the answers until you try answering them for yourself. We can't write this book for you. It's all on your shoulders. Have some faith in yourself that you can do it. :)

Terie
02-26-2012, 09:05 PM
I assume you mean that in a very supportive way.

Indeed. Which is why I said this in another thread yesterday:


Morwen, the only way your book is going to get written is for you to sit down and write it.

As of the post above, you've made 686 posts on AW since 8 Dec. If the average number of words for your posts is, say, 20, that's 13,720 words you've written at AW in just under three months. And that's being conservative; you've probably written a lot more words here than that.

Do you know that that's the equivalent of 25% of a YA manuscript?

IOW, if you'd spent those words on your manuscript instead of all over AW, you'd be one-quarter or more of the way to a completed first draft.

You keep saying you're going to sign off AW and write, and yet you keep posting.

Here's what you need to do, which I've said, and so have many many others:

SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR BOOK!

Stop wasting your (and many other people's) time faffing about and do something productive instead:

SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR BOOK!

People here really do want you to succeed. Which is why we keep telling you to:

SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR BOOK!

There's only one way for your book to get written. You have to:

SIT DOWN AND WRITE YOUR BOOK!!

thebloodfiend
02-27-2012, 01:35 AM
What Terie said.

Write the book. Stop posting on AW and write the book. In fact, I'd wager that it'd be damn useful if you turned off your computer, bought a notebook, and wrote it in that.

BenPanced
02-27-2012, 02:04 AM
And believe it or not, we are here to help. We want to help. Honest. That's what we're here for: to offer encouragement and support to our fellow writers. But if you keep coming here and asking the same question over and over and over again, Morwen, we're going to become very resistant to providing any assistance, mods will get cranky, and threads will get closed with stern warnings. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you step away from teh intarwebz for two hours at a time, so I highly recommend trying that, especially when you're trying to get some writing done.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-27-2012, 02:14 AM
Can you ask for your own thread to be locked?

Pyekett
02-27-2012, 02:23 AM
Sure. One of the ways is to PM the moderator for this subforum. You can find the moderators here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/index.php). I found this link by clicking on the Absolute Write Water Cooler main link in blue at the top left of this page, just under the banner ads. It is available on every page. The moderators are listed on the far right on that page. This is the "AW Roundtable," so they are Soccer Mom and Kitty27. Click on one of those names at that page and follow the instructions to PM.

You can also PM Old Hack, 7th post from the top in this page. I am certain she would help, if she is around.

A third way is to "report" your own post (the red triangle under your avatar) and clarify what you are wishing to have done in the dialogue box.

Pyekett
02-27-2012, 02:26 AM
Perhaps people might refrain from further posting in this thread until Morwen sorts it out, whether that means getting this thread locked, or self-banning, or just having a behind the scenes talk with a moderator. She is asking for assistance, and her fellow writers can probably give it to her best this way.

Good luck, Morwen.

jaksen
02-27-2012, 06:27 AM
Sorry if I seemed to be mocking you in my post somewhere up there.

Some people need more support and help than others; they need a self-confidence boost now and then. I am sure many of the writers on AW realize that and are there for those individuals.

Just that I, and others, wish you'd write something, and perhaps post it somewhere. If nothing else, you seem determined to write and write well.

Good luck, Morwen. I for one look forward to seeing you succeed.

Morwen Edhelwen
02-27-2012, 08:43 AM
Sorry if I seemed to be mocking you in my post somewhere up there.

Some people need more support and help than others; they need a self-confidence boost now and then. I am sure many of the writers on AW realize that and are there for those individuals.

Just that I, and others, wish you'd write something, and perhaps post it somewhere. If nothing else, you seem determined to write and write well.

Good luck, Morwen. I for one look forward to seeing you succeed.
I want to succeed with this idea as well.

Kitty27
02-27-2012, 09:01 AM
Due to numerous posts on this subject by the OP,I am locking the thread.

Thanks to everyone for their kind and patient responses. Morwen,I hope you have all the advice required on this subject.