1. Fizzedine
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    Fizzedine Member

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    writing based on true events

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fizzedine, Jun 7, 2014.

    Hi guys

    (sorry if this is in wrong area)

    I read a while ago on this really horrific event that happened to a young lady in the sixties.
    As i read the account of the event i began to "play it out in my head" and thought, this would be a good story?

    But my question is how do you write based on true events? I worry writing on this is a form of plagiarism?
    Is it simply a case of changing names or how do you go about this style?

    Thanks guys and thanks for your time reading this
     
  2. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Research. Research everything, interview the people, tell the story as it really happened. Be objective about it.

    That's how I would do it.
     
  3. Fizzedine
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    Fizzedine Member

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    Hey

    Thanks for response :)
    Thats good advice :)
     
  4. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    You're welcome! :D

    Good luck. :)
     
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  5. Fizzedine
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    Fizzedine Member

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    Thanks man. Got quite a few ideas just need to write write write lol
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you wanting to write this as nonfiction or as fiction? If nonfiction, then yes, research like crazy - and be looking for a literary attorney to check things over, because writing about real people can open a big can of worms if you aren't careful with your facts. If you're looking to write fiction, well, a lot of novels are based on real events which are then "maneuvered" into a good story. But again, if you're too linked to the specifics of the real event, there are potential problems from a legal standpoint.

    And no, writing about or basing fiction on real events is not plagiarism. Only if you take what someone else has written and claim it as your own.
     
  7. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fact can be stranger than fiction. You may think that your story is very believable because it is based on reality, but if it includes very unusual or extreme events, people may find it unbelievable and not 'buy into it'. So I'd take extra care to establish an appropriate context and characters so the events appear plausible.
     
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  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the person is still alive, or has descendants, it would be wise to seek their permission, if you intend to use the real events in your story.
     
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  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!
     
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  10. Fizzedine
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    Fizzedine Member

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    thanks guys. great advice here :)
    Good luck to everyone on their writing journeys :)
     
  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Not too long ago a writer over here got smear-campaigned because she wrote a successful novel about one family's tragedy. While it did not yield any monetary compensations for the family through the court, I think, it upset them quite a bit because basically the author made money out of their pain. It painted a pretty negative picture of the author too. But if the story is about an event that happened so long ago the people aren't even alive anymore, I think there's far less danger of anything like that happening.
     
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  12. Fizzedine
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    Fizzedine Member

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    Yeah, something like that I imagine would be bad. I'll have to think hard about this project.

    Thanks katrian :)
     

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