1. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    stories based on true events

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mercy, Jan 16, 2008.

    What are the rules on writing realistic fiction based on true events? Do you have to change the names of all the people? Can you use direct quotes from trials or newspapers? If so, do they have to be cited and how? Some serial killers or murders are given certain names by the people e.g., Łucjan Staniak - aka The Red Spider and The Red Ripper, Władysław Mazurkiewicz - aka The Gentleman Killer, or the more commonly known, Vincent Johnson - aka the Brooklyn Strangler. Is it possible to use these titles as story titles or to include them in the story without citation if they are given by the general public?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it's 'fiction' there are no rules... you can write anything you want...

    you don't have to, if the events were public knowledge and covered in the news media... but you can, if you don't want to risk getting sued for writing something one of the parties or their relatives don't like...

    yes, but you do have to cite the source, if using exact quotes... the way around that is to paraphrase...

    what citation could there be?... if a nickname has become a household word/term, there's no source to cite and it can be used freely...

    for the official rules 'n regs: www.copyright.gov
     
  3. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    thanks mamma
     
  4. andycerrone
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    andycerrone Member

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    However, be careful about how you cite and how far you expand the truth. Otherwise, if it does in fact get published then you've got to deal with the bull**** that happened with "A Million Little Pieces".
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what 'happened' over that thing was the stupid writer's own fault, not anyone else's... and the outcry that was raised over it was not toro kaka, but totally justified... are you implying it wasn't, andy?
     
  6. mercy
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    mercy Senior Member

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    What is Toro Kaka??
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    toro kaka = bull manure.
     

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