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  1. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    Don't eat where you pee

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Keith Trimm, Jan 22, 2013.

    I wrote an awesome short story using a slutty girl from work as my inspiration for my protagonist and now she wants to read it. I told her I used someone else but I'm sure she'll figure out it's her. Should I hire a lawyer now or wait until she tries to sue me?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    No but I would buy a bottle of wine just in case.
     
  3. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    There are two possible courses of action.

    1)Refuse to let her read it. RECOMMENDED

    2)Go over your story and ensure the character is different enough from the real person that she could never prove the character was meant to defame her in a court of law.
     
  4. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Haaa~hahahahaha. Oh, man.

    You probably shouldn't have told her about the book in the first place, but now if you don't let her read it (you've already told her it's based on SOMEONE) she'll just get super suspicious.

    Just bite the bullet and be done with it. She can't sue you for defamation unless you have a character that is literally her, though if she takes it badly you might get fired or at least cautioned for harassment (though even that's stretching it).

    She might hate you, but then that's not the worst thing to happen to someone who made a silly mistake.
     
  5. popsprocket
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    popsprocket Member

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    Defamation usually only applies if it's published to a third party with some claim to being factual.

    All I can say otherwise is.... hahahaha you walked right into that one :p
     
  6. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    I thought about telling her that all girls are slutty so she shouldn't think it's about her, but there is a scene on the top of a horse trailer that is pretty specific to an incident that happened last summer that involved a few co workers so I'm not sure that will work. The scene is vital to the plot so I can't change much to hide who it's about. I'm 30,000 words into it and I don't want to let it go to waste because of her "sensitive" nature and the fact that her husband works with me in my department.
     
  7. thedarkknight
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    thedarkknight Member

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    I don't know... did you spell her name right?
     
  8. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Rewrite that scene into something completely different, tell her the story might not make much sense, as it's still a work in progress, and then let her read it.
     
  9. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    Do you mean like write an alternative version just for her that doesn't involve anything she could recognize as her? and keep the original for everyone else?
     
  10. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Yes, that is what I am saying.
     
  11. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    That sounds like a lot of work. The incident on the horse trailer involved her and I and I think if I approached her in private, she would keep her mouth shut because I don't think she wants her husband to know what went on. The only problem is that it was her office mate knows about what happened, just not that it was me, and her husband is kind of ignorant anyway and probably wouldn't understand what happened unless you made a power point out of it.

    I might consider a pen name to do an end run around this.
     
  12. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    How would a pen name solve it? You already told her it was your story right? I suggest you just tell her you are still working on the story, and you decided you dont want to show it off until it's done.
     
  13. Cerebral
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    Cerebral Active Member

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    Just tell her you trashed it and no longer have it. Unless you don't care how she feels and think you can take her husband on. It's that simple.
    Besides, I highly doubt she can sue for defamation unless you used her actual information. I don't think there's anything wrong with using real life experiences (even if they're not yours) and adapting them to fiction. The only problem you have here is that you might wind up with two less friends.
     
  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Can you give her everything up until that scene?
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like everyone in your office is reading or will read your story. From what you have written, it appears that you based the character around a woman in your office with whom you had a sexual encounter. You've then written a story about that encounter, which took place on a horse trailer, and several people in the office were present and/or know about the incident.

    Why would you tell anyone who works in your office that you had written this story? Most probably want to read it only for its lascivious and gossipy nature. I'd suggest not discussing the story at work, but keeping your stories separate from your office life. There's probably even more fodder for stories in your office, and this problem will likely come up again. If you want to share and discuss your work, you should find some different people who are not privy to the actual incidents in your stories. Particularly given the nature of the story, I'd say no good can come of sharing it with anyone in the office.
     
  16. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    Does your wife know about this horse trailer incident?
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    legal advice given above isn't valid...

    she can sue you for a variety of civil torts, if it's read by anyone who can recognize her as the character in the story... if you were consulting a libel attorney, instead of asking people on a writing site, s/he'd tell you that, too...

    and even if she didn't win the suit, you'd still be out a lot of attorney's fees and time, the book would be kept from being published till the case was settled...

    my best advice is to trash the trashing of this poor gal and behave yourself when basing characters on real people...
     
  18. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    If you're writing a book that presents people you work with in a bad light than it's probably best not to tell them you're writing a book in the first place.
     
  19. Keith Trimm
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    Keith Trimm Banned

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    I'ts a framework to base a story on, not autobiographical. I finally come up with something that sounds reasonably original based on true events and now I have to modify the story and make it sound like an episode of M*A*S*H

    No wonder tv and movies these days suck so bad, everyone's afraid of being sued.
     
  20. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    When you point out girl as a slut, mean you get easily jealous. I think its because you're loser or the bitch has to be your slave. The second one might be better if you play that smoothly ;)
     
  21. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    I smell troll.

    Just saying.
     
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  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's a short story.

     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Meanwhile, pray she doesn't know how to google, since you just admitted here that you based it on her. Furthermore, you characterized her in writing as "a slutty girl from work."
     
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  24. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Don't hire a lawyer. Instead, book a hotel room and reservations at a nice restaurant. You said she was slutty, right?
     
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  25. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    And insert foot into mouth, you walked right into that one.
    If you're going to base characters off people around you, I recommend being careful about bringing it to their attention. It usually doesn't end well and just gets you into a world of trouble.
    Now, how do you get out of it? You can try the more direct approach of apologizing, saying something like "I'm sorry, but after reviewing my work I don't think it would be right to share it." Since you are questioning if you should share this story, the apology would work. Or, you can pull the typical approach of lying you're way out of it and hoping you get off scott free (dun expect this to work). Then there is the approach most people never want to face. You can let her read the story, admit to the truth and deal with the consequences.
    As Mamma said though, next time behave.
     
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