Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Using real names

Author Topic: Using real names
Member # 4080

 - posted      Profile for tnwilz   Email tnwilz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited September 19, 2008).]

Posts: 556 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Public figures are fair game as long as no malicious intent to defame, libel, or slander them is published, and by published in the law that means conveyed to another party, vocally or in writing. For more details, Wikipedia has a comprehensive article under Defamation about what is and what is not actionable.
Posts: 5177 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can use them so long as they're not "in" the story. Further away, say when they're long dead, you can use them outright. (At least in the USA.)

I'm a little leery of novels that have a whole bunch of real people as characters. It seems a lot of them wind up saying and doing things that, I think, they wouldn't ever have said or done. (This can get really bad in alternate history---a dubious enterprise at best---where the characters often wind up in situations where they would never go.)

Posts: 8728 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1646

 - posted      Profile for Christine   Email Christine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You could definitely use any of your examples. I don't know the legalize here, but basically as long as you're not slandering anyone, you're fine.

Also, you are free to refer to businesses, books, TV shows, and characters therein.

For example: "The boy kind of reminded her of Harry Potter."

"They grabbed a burger from McDonald's." (You are even free to give your opinions about the quality of said burger.)

Posts: 3567 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 7974

 - posted      Profile for aspirit   Email aspirit         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Sally had voted for Bill Clinton the last time"

Remember that references to real people, especially politicians, may date your story. If your story were to survive ten years, young readers may wonder what Sally's voting for Bill Clinton is supposed to mean.

Posts: 1139 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grant John
Member # 5993

 - posted      Profile for Grant John   Email Grant John         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If the book lasts the ages then there can be footnotes or endnotes like in Austen or Shakespeare.

1. Bill Clinton was the 43rd President of the U.S.A
2. The U.S.A was a country on Earth

Posts: 181 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

Quick Reply

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2