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I am writing an autobiographical piece about events that happened 35 years ago, using actual people who were in my life at that time. Is there a danger if they recognize themselves? - Question/Answer Now Playing


I am writing an autobiographical piece about events that happened 35 years ago, using actual people who were in my life at that time. Is there a danger if they recognize themselves?

Oct 03, 2011

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I am writing an autobiographical piece about events that happened 35 years ago, using actual people who were in my life at that time. Is there a danger if they recognize themselves? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion


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mdoyle56: I would like to hear more.
at Oct 04, 2011 - 12:31 AM
      This question, to me, relates to a project that is more in the nature of a "fictionalized" memoir than a general historical piece. The writer is aiming to capture and share a special time in his life without giving the real-life people that his characters are based upon reason to claim that he has invaded their privacy or defamed them, etc., while presumably retaining the freedom to deviate from the actual facts and circumstances as they occurred in real life, as the writer sees fit to enhance or otherwise serve the story that he wants to tell. If a character is recognizable to himself or others, it seems likely that there could be a real problem, especially if the character is based upon a private citizen as opposed to a public figure, and/or the events involved are not considered newsworthy.
      I wonder whether Mr. McKee would be willing to elaborate a little more on how to handle this. Perhaps other members might have some insight on the legal issues that might arise.

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