1. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Trade names

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by zaffy, Apr 17, 2010.

    I entered a short story competition. Surprise, suprise, I did not win. I was not on the shortlist. And I was not on the very, very long list.

    It could be that my story was rubbish.

    But I am wondering if another factor may have come into the equation. I used a vehicle trade name in the title and also mentioned it in the body of the piece.

    Can anybody tell me, before I delete this story, would mentioning a specific product render me and my work null and void?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nope, trademarked names are used in short stories and novels all the time. Your characters can drive a Ford Mustang, smoke Marlboros, and chow down at Burger King with a Southern Comfort chaser all they want. It's then up to you to decide if he crashes into a school bus and dies of congestive heart failure before the EMTs can save him.

    But there is no restriction from using trademarks in your writing.
     
  3. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Thank you for the answer, however it brings me no comfort.
    My story was obviously rubbish. Funny that, I thought it was brilliant when I sent it in.
     
  4. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    Obvious, is it? Just because it didn't show up in a contest? Perhaps you submitted it later than they would have liked. Or perhaps they had too many submissions and yours was sidelined. Perhaps no one saw it. Perhaps someone meant to add it to the short or long list, but left it off by mistake. But let's assume that none of that is true and that they just didn't like it. That still doesn't mean it was trash. I personally can't stand any piece of classical lit that I've been forced into reading, yet that doesn't stop other people from singing their praises.

    Don't let the (lack of) words from a few strangers tell you that your stories are rubbish. If you do, you won't get far.
     
  5. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Thank you, just what I needed.
    I think what really got me was the long list was so very long.
    Remember the Charlie Brown sketch when the cinema queue went right aroung the block.
    There was seating for 100, Charlie Brown was 101.
    Maybe I just missed out by one.
    I feel better already.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Winning or not winning a contest is not a measure of your writing. Contests are often popularity contests, even if those who establish the contest try to prevent it. Also, a good piece of writing may lose to a fluff piece that embodies a popular theme.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    consider the source, too... what contest was it?... who were the judges?... were any of them actually authorities on what good writing is/isn't?
     
  8. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    One of the judges is/was querky off beat.
    I like to describe my story as ditto.
    I thought it might be a perfect match.
    The judge referred to is a known name.
    I Googled some of the chosen ones, some were professionals.
    I presume they know how to do it.
     

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