Hello all. I'm new here, and have never joined a forum such as this one. I've been working on a book for some time now. It's coming along, albeit quite slowly, but that's ok with me. I've always tended to work more slowly than most people on creative projects. I wanted to seek help because I've been debating with myself about something for a while now, and I wanted to solicit other writer's opinions. My question is this. The story I'm writing deals a lot with crime and criminal groups. If I were to involve, for example, a street gang, is it generally ok or not ok to write that gang as Bloods or Crips or any other real-life gang? Or should I just invent a gang or gangs? The reason I'm conflicted about this is because the tone I'm going for is gritty and realistic, and I'm aiming to inject as much authenticity as I can wherever I'm able. I see some movies and books with a tone similar to what I'm going for use real-life criminal organizations, and some that used entirely fictional ones, both convincingly. Opinions? Are there any written or unwritten rules that I'm not aware of regarding this subject? Thanks.