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  1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing excerpts of what your character is reading

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Hubardo, Sep 25, 2015.

    One quick question first -- Do authors ever share excerpts of real books in works of fiction? That would make this easier.

    Assuming the answer is no -- we have to write our own fictional non-fiction, that's where the difficulty is for me. My character is reading a book about violent insurgencies and I want the reader to take a quick peek into what she's reading. Writing that is difficult for me. In particular, in this passage, I want it to be about the Sobibor Uprising (imprisoned Jews who killed a bunch of Nazis). I have some tabs open with websites citing facts about the event, and so in theory all I have to do is synthesize something and pretend it's written in a book in my fictional story. It just seems a little intimidating.

    Has anyone else done this? Or have advice?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Sure, authors share excerpts from real books in fiction. Likely to be Fair Use if you keep it to relatively small portions of the cited work.
     
  3. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why is it important that we know this?
     
  4. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think I've come across this. can you think of any examples?
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Hmmm. I'll have to look. I know I've seen books with excerpts from other books in preambles to chapters, that sort of thing. I wanna say Roberto Bolano, in books like 2666 where the characters are literary scholars/critics, but I'd have to look back at it to see what he actually does.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Authors also share excerpts of fictional books that their characters are reading. Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany comes immediately to mind. It's a veritable encyclopedia of citable examples of so many different facets and features of writing. :)
     
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  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. Maybe, also, Among Others, by Jo Walton (Wrebies, if you haven't read that you'll love it for being a great story as well as the references to so much classic SF/F).
     
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  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies

    I may have linked this book, also by Jo Walton, before. If so, my apologies for repeating myself:

    EDIT: Can't link it. Search Amazon for "What Makes This Book So Great," by Jo Walton.
     
  9. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Free on Amazon Prime! *downloads and pees pants*

    This is the second book I will have read because of you, and the third I will have read because of posts on this website. Cool.
     

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