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  1. The_Rpg_Moogle
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    The_Rpg_Moogle New Member

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    Can you use a fictional setting from another writer?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by The_Rpg_Moogle, Dec 18, 2013.

    Hiya everybody!

    I've got a little question, but I need you to hear me out first to show exactly what I mean.

    Is it possible to use a fictional setting someone created in the past as some sort of homage to that writer's work? Not for personal gain but for paying homage to that person because he inspired you?

    I'm not trying to bludgeon the reader to death with it, either. I want to name it once, at the beginning of the story, as a nod or a wink, or however you call it. In order to clarify this I will give the exact example:

    ''Saturday...March 24, 1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois.''

    I would like to change that to (will eventually be in Dutch, by the way):

    ''Monday...October 24, 2013. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois.''

    The quote is from the movie The Breakfast Club, by the way. This is the exact way I want to write it down, because the book I'm writing is in memory of John Hughes as he's inspired my in numerous ways. It's a book written in his spirit, one that's clearly it's own story but inspired by the works of this wonderful writer.

    Would this be possible? I could of course change it to something else and keep the structure similar, but I would love to do it this way. Any advice?
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    As long as you're not taking any of the other elements from the film - the five characters, detention (well, you're saying "Monday", so obviously the idea of Saturday detention is out) - I don't see a problem, other than possibly limiting yourself by using such a technique. That and your ultimate disappointment when few, if any, readers actually pick up on it.
     
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  3. The_Rpg_Moogle
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    The_Rpg_Moogle New Member

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    Oh no, I'm not going to take elements from that movie except for this one. All of John Hughes' movies take place in the fictional town of Shermer. It's meant to be more of a nod to the universe of his stories rather than blunt copying.

    There will propably be just a few readers who pick this up. Most people will propably not notice it, indeed, but I love putting such little surprises, nods and easter-eggs in my books. They're not essential to the enjoyment of my stories, but it's all the more fun if you manage to discover them.

    To be honest, I was actually more afraid of legal problems with this one. I don't know it it's allowed?

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless you're making a blatant fan-fiction (like i do ;) ), I think that it's probably best for shout-outs like this to come from characters who enjoyed the work, rather than from the narrator.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sue Grafton's private investigator Kinsey Millhone operates out of Santa Teresa, California, a fictional town created by author Ross Macdonald.
     
  6. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    You can write whatever you want. We won't know if it is a creative appropriation or a hackish theft until we read it.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as cog notes, it's been done... and i don't see how there can be any legal risk involved, if that one line is the only reference to the hughes book...
     
  8. The_Rpg_Moogle
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    The_Rpg_Moogle New Member

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    Thanks for all of your replies. Yeah, the legal side of things sometimes slips me by. I'm not published so I haven't got any experience with things like these.

    I've decided to not use that line anymore, by the way, since I won't be using that town as a setting anymore. I will make a reference to the place though, but in a whole different context:

    'I thought your cousin lived in Shermer, Illinois?' she asked.

    Something like that. So it's a teeny, tiny reference. Just the way I like it, a little surprise for those who can spot it.
     

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