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King Neptune
06-04-2014, 04:08 AM
I am writing something that uses character loosely based on people who are alive now and who recently died. I know that I would be a fool to write anything that could be identified as a living person, unless I got permission, even though there would be nothing uncomplimentary, but I was planning to use someone who died a few years ago as a character; should I also make that person as unidentifiable as possible, or does it make any difference?

My feeling now is that I should change all names and use no locations that might be tracked back, unless the locations are completely public or quite fictional.

Michael Davis
06-04-2014, 04:38 AM
Use real people as models, then mold the character to fit best to the premise/theme of your book. Most of my stories have characters that reflect features from individuals I know, friends, family, jerks, lovers, anyone I can keep in my minds eye as an image to help the person in my book walk beside me, but never use real names. Definitely bad ju ju.

Siri Kirpal
06-04-2014, 07:35 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The dead legally cannot be defamed. There's a whole genre, roman a clef, which is fictionalized biography of a real person.

However, as Michael said, it's best to change names anyway.

You have two ways to go: make it as true to life as possible, or as different as possible while keeping the story. Both can work.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

King Neptune
06-04-2014, 04:23 PM
After thinking about it some more I decided that changing everyone enough would be best. Thanks.

WeaselFire
06-05-2014, 01:25 AM
I am writing something that uses character loosely based on people who are alive now and who recently died.

1) ALL characters are based on people, whether alive or dead, that an author has met, seen or heard about. Hard to base a character on a rock, tree or pothole.

2) Everyone sees themselves in an author's work, if the author is any good.

3) Change the names to protect the innocent, but they will still know it's them. Even if it isn't.

Jeff

King Neptune
06-05-2014, 01:54 AM
1) ALL characters are based on people, whether alive or dead, that an author has met, seen or heard about. Hard to base a character on a rock, tree or pothole.

Tolkien did use trees as the basis for some of his characters. It was interesting, and they didn't sue.


2) Everyone sees themselves in an author's work, if the author is any good.One author used me as the model for the number two character in a novel. It is interesting. But sue for that! Not a chance. It was a great compliment.


3) Change the names to protect the innocent, but they will still know it's them. Even if it isn't.

JeffNo, I will change the names to protect myself. Some of the characters may wish they were the characters, but they won't know for sure.