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  1. Hubardo

    Hubardo Contributor 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

    Steerpike Felis amatus 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

    Aaron Smith Contributor Contributor

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

    Hubardo Contributor Contributor

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

    Steerpike Felis amatus 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

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff 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

    Steerpike Felis amatus 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

    Steerpike Felis amatus 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

    Hubardo Contributor 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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