Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Non fiction Novel (1 Viewer)

M

marvinq

Hi everyone,

I'm glad I found this place. I need some advice.

My fiancé has had a horrendous last 7 years. Basically her sister and brother-in-law scammed her. What they did and the lengths they went through to do it was quite extreme. We don't have much proof of this fact.

We have decided to write a novel about it. My question is, Is it ok to mention their names in the novel? Or do we have to change their names for protection? Should we keep it the same or should we change their names?

How should we go about writing it? Considering it is non-fiction and since it involves the experiences of two people (Me and my fiancé)... should we write it from one person's POV then switch back and forth to the other? Or do we write it in 3rd person? Any tips or ideas?

Also what does everyone think, is it better to self publish or try to find a publisher?

Thanks in advance
Marvin
 

PatriciaL

Member
Be careful

Hello Marvin,

I would be very careful about writing a book about a real occurrence. Even if you change the names, the people involved could sue you based on general recognition. I would definitely check with an intellectual properties or publishing attorney before telling this story.

Patricia Fry
Author of 25 books including, "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book." www.matilijapress.com
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
Non fiction Novel

first of all, that's an oxymoron... there ain't no sech thang... all novels are fiction, even if they're based on true events... so, you're either writing non-fiction or a novel... can't be both...

My fiancé has had a horrendous last 7 years. Basically her sister and brother-in-law scammed her. What they did and the lengths they went through to do it was quite extreme. We don't have much proof of this fact.

...part in bold will be a deal killer...

We have decided to write a novel about it. My question is, Is it ok to mention their names in the novel?

...sure, it's ok... if you want to be sued for libel and invasion of privacy and assorted other nasty stuff [and lose!]...

Or do we have to change their names for protection? Should we keep it the same or should we change their names?

...changing their names won't help a bit, if the story, events, place, etc. are recognizable to even one person... you'll still be at risk of being sued and almost guaranteed to lose all you own and a hefty chunk of all you'll ever earn/own...


How should we go about writing it?

...imo, you shouldn't!... getting revenge isn't worth the cost... besides which, it's probably not going to make a commercially viable story/plot/book, even if you can write well... if you can't, you'll be wasting a year or more of hard work...

Considering it is non-fiction and since it involves the experiences of two people (Me and my fiancé)... should we write it from one person's POV then switch back and forth to the other? Or do we write it in 3rd person? Any tips or ideas?

...any of the above can work, if you write well... there's no one-size-fits-all answer...

Also what does everyone think, is it better to self publish or try to find a publisher?

...no sane traditional publisher will touch such stuff, unless the people/events involved have been well-publicized in the media... to do so otherwise, would leave them open to lawsuits and they're in business to make money, not give it away...

...if you are foolish enough to vanity/self/pod publish, you'll be losing a lot of money just getting it in print, then lose more when you're sued... and it won't sell, unless it's very well written and you work non-stop on pr, marketing and distribution, 'cause such 'publishers' don't do any of that...

...as patricia fry said, go see a literary attorney before going any further with this... they'll tell you the same things i have...

love and hugs, maia
 
Last edited:

tbs21

Senior Member
i agree with maia. a novel is pure fiction. if you write this book, your sister and brother-in-law may suspect something and file a lawsuit. however, i suppose you could change their names and some events. this way, the scam is your inspiration.
 

Jon1jt

Member
I am really perplexed by the comments from folks discouraging Marvin to go forward and write his book idea. Marvin, don't waste another second on this chatter---go write your book NOW and simply change the names and positions to the extent they're not recognizable to those parties involved. And sure, see a lawyer when it's done. The end.

Let's not forget those who transformed the greatest real life stories into masterpieces of literature.


Jack Kerouac
Alberto Moravia
W. Somerset Maugham
Thomas Wolfe

Real experience is the lifeblood of novels, the ones that mean something, anyway.
 

Chessrogue

Senior Member
Yeah, keep the story but change the names for your own protection. The story is what's important, not the names...
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top