1. JoshuaLuke
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    JoshuaLuke Member

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    Zombie fiction set in local area-help

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by JoshuaLuke, Jun 6, 2016.

    Hi, this is my first post here and I want to write a zombie type fiction novel set in my local area and I wondered if it would be okay to write it set in my own area so using street names and actual real venues in my town etc. So for example specific motorways and shopping centers that kind of thing. I just wondered if this is normal or if people usually make places up instead but I wanted to write it about my home area as I thought it would be interesting. Is there any kind of legal acts in place also preventing me from doing this?

    Any feedback and information would be appreciated greatly, many thanks.

    Josh :)
     
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  2. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    Write it how you want, you can always make changes later, as you see fit. Welcome to the site.
     
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  3. Ex Leper
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    Ex Leper Member

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    Number one rule of creative writing: write about what you know. It will sound more convincing.

    The only problem I can think of is if you portray a place and it's people in a bad light. For example, you set a story in Africa and you portray the population as savages in need of civilising. I can't see that being an issue if you are using your local area.
     
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  4. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'll do you a disclaimer, here you go:

    The story is set in the town of (insert Yourville here) but in a parallel universe so all street names places and buildings, although mightily accurately familiar, are actually from there (and not here), all names, characters (alive and dead), and incidents portrayed in this story are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (again alive and dead), ought to be be inferred. So there.

    That ought to cover you :)
     
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  5. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    As thorough as town charters can be, somehow I think they might have missed this. I've never heard of a town with a by-law stating that it was illegal to write zombie fiction set in said town.

    But I suppose to be sure, you might wanna check with your town council. If nothing else, you all might get a good laugh about it. :)
     
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  6. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    There is a reason why 90% of Stephen King's main characters are writers from a small town in Maine.

    My only advice on law would be to change the names of individuals and small businesses.
     
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  7. JoshuaLuke
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    JoshuaLuke Member

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    Thank you for the welcome and inspiration :)

    That's what I thought if I write about what I know I can talk about it in so much detail :D and ah thank you I will make sure not to do that.

    That's a great help thank you! This will definitely come in handy :)

    :D very true I'm sure we would get a good laugh about that, thank you for your help.

    I thought that too being a Stephen King fan his books are inspiration for me really. Thank you for the advice :)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you to all of you for replying it's a great help and very inspiring for me to write :)
     
  8. Buttered Toast
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    Buttered Toast Active Member

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    I was going to say pretty much the same as everyone else.
    On another note, what about actually people? Some books get around this by naming them different but is that enough?
    Also what about the news when reporting the outbreak? Do you need to make up a fake news station/radio station?
    I'm curious as I use the BBC news a lot in my book :confused:
     
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  9. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Thomas Wolfe Look Homeward Angel, anyone?

    It only matters if you write slander. Think of South Park... Just add a disclaimer.
     
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  10. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first rule of using actual people is: never admit it.

    Second rule: change the name enough that you have plausible deniability.

    Third rule: Don't recount events that actually happened to that person... unless they're dead and no one else cares.

    I think they're open season. Here in Canada, the CBC is publicly owned, so we can get away with it, but I don't know about the BBC. Is that owned by the public or the crown?

    And as an aside, public figures can be used as long as it's nothing defamatory. For instance, you wouldn't want to portray the queen as anything but a stoic, Mona-Lisa-smiling monarch of few words and you would never claim that Donald Trump has his head screwed on straight.
     
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  11. JoshuaLuke
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    JoshuaLuke Member

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    What if the person/people are not famous for example my family?
     
  12. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Lol, I noticed you said Trump would be defamed by suggesting his head is on straight. :D
     
  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    My first two books were set mostly in the area I work. I used real train station names and I mentioned one real restaurant (because I love them and knew they wouldn't mind!) but all the other businesses were made up.
     
  14. Romana
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    Romana Member

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    If they're family, you can just ask them if you can use their names.
    I think the rule is never to use someone's full name without their permission, so you could just change everyone's name very slightly. Kelsey -> Kailey, Corey -> Cole. That sort of thing.
    Or you can just never admit that they're real people, use their real names, and hope for the best. Or a combination. I'd go with combination. Sometimes real people have really cool names that don't have a replacement that fits.
     
  15. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    I try to either create an entire fictionally place or avoid putting a name to the place I'm using. Using any real-world businesses/brands is a big no-no for me, it seems wrong somehow to use those things (even in a good light) without permissions.

    I don't know the laws regarding copyrights or trademarks, slander or liable, but they're certainly things you should be aware of before attempting to publish.

    Setting it in your local area might help with some local publicity/sales, so there's that too.
     

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