1. live2write
    Offline

    live2write Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    53

    Personal Experience I want to write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by live2write, Mar 24, 2012.

    For the past few days it had hit me that I should be writing a story or a novel about my life and the things that are going on in life. I feel that the story I have is one that is worth writing. There are some issues that I have come to realize before I start doing this or even planning on doing this.

    1. When writers write about their own life experiences with family, friends etc. What are the restrictions to releasing information that may or may not hurt the reputation of others?

    2. Are there restrictions to what I can write about from what I have experienced? What happens if I go overboard or write too much information?

    3. Is it possible to keep my identity and other identities sealed?

    4. How do I approach this?

    I prefer to leave out the details of my story. But in general with personal experiences good or bad how would one solve these issues?

    Thank you
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Much of this, you will have to discuss with an attorney. Liability can be complicated, and if reputations are on the line, it's like clog dancing in a minefield.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    definitely!

    see above...

    there are no legal restrictions other than those that would keep you from being sued... if you go overboard and include 'too much' info, it will simply not be a good read... you need to do your homework and study how the most successful memoirs are written...
    don't know what you mean by 'sealed' but you can use a pen name to keep your real name off the cover of the book, but that doesn't mean your identity won't 'get found out' one way or another, as that's what usually happens...

    as for those you write about, you can change names and places, but then it wouldn't be a memoir or autobiography, would be crossing over into fiction... and people you write about and those who know them could probably guess who you and the others in the book are, from the situations you describe, so you could still be in legal hot water if someone didn't like being written about, or felt you didn't portray them fairly...

    1. by first consulting an attorney who specializes in literary law and libel...
    2. by studying how similar books are written...
     
  4. live2write
    Offline

    live2write Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    53
    One other question to this,

    If I write a fiction book, is it possible that I can use real life experiences as inspiration to creating conflict and situations?
     
  5. Erato
    Offline

    Erato Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    A place called home
    I don't see why not, but you'd have to disguise characters taken from real life so that they aren't recognizable. Mix situations, exaggerate, change things up, but there's little worse than someone realizing that you just wrote about them, and they probably won't like all that you say, because you aren't them; you will never portray them as they'd like you to.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Is it possible not to?
     
  7. Cassiopeia Phoenix
    Offline

    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Brazil
    ^ This. That's pretty much it -- even if you write a piece of fiction, you can still talk about your personal experiences. Especially if you don't want to say names and point out people.
     

Share This Page