Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Can I be sued?

I have to confess – my very first novel in 1968, which was based on a story I originally wrote in my teens, had a very idealised and romantic view of a teacher I had a crush on when I was about 15. But I don’t think for one minute he would recognise himself!
I suppose Aaron Sorkin and NBC could sue me for using their West Wing characters in my fanfiction stories despite the disclaimer one writes for every fanfic story. Martin and Stockard would probably laugh their socks off at the sexy scenes I gave their characters in those stories!
I don’t base my invented characters on anyone I know. When I start writing a story, I have a vague image in my mind of what they look like. As I continue, that image solidifies somehow. I can see them. If I can’t I know I’m in trouble!
Then I may see a picture of someone and think ‘Yes, he/she looks just like my hero/heroine’. It happened when I saw a singer on TV and thought ‘That’s Jess.’ It doesn’t always happen but that doesn’t matter. The image is there in my mind.
I have to hear their voices in my head too. With one of my novels, I had problems finding a ‘voice’ for my hero, until the first friend who read it said she could hear the voice of a certain famous music mogul. Voice-wise anyway. But no way did I want my favourite hero to look like him (not with that hair!). I could see him – vaguely, but not enough. Then I found him (think Darcy). Yes, now I’ve got him. One man's voice and anothe man's looks. Don't think I can be sued for that!


  1. Hi,

    Hee hee, teacher indeed. Girls can make it hell for some male teachers, especially the lookers poor devils.

    Numerous writer blogs are out there proclaiming Colin Firth (Darcy), Richard Armitage (Spooks etc) Russell Crowe (Gladiator/Robin Hood) as inspiration for hero characters. These actors are all as real as You or I, and some of the guys it is claimed have had sex with the protagonist and often as not the author sees themself as the leading lady hence fantasy hero the spitting image of any of above named stars! ;) It's all relative in terms of imagination and not doing a real-time kiss 'n' tell story, unless the other kissed-to-tell is up for it.

    Re celebrity scandals and the like, I think it's all to do with marketing and money!


  2. Screenwriters can write parts with specific actors in mind. Maybe we can write with that same optimism. Colin Firth playing Paul?

  3. No, Colin Firth is Kyle, Ana! (if Margaret will let me 'borrow' him for a short time, of course!)

  4. No you can't borrow him!I've told you before.
    I know your music guy fantasty man - you know for someone who is madly in love with Martin Sheen the music chappy seems an odd choice. Aren;t you also forgetting the delicious and delectable Hugh Jackman?

  5. Knew you'd say that about Colin, Margaret!
    And it's only the music man's voice - forget the rest of him!
    I'm saving Hugh for another story LOL.
    Martin's a bit old now for a contemporary romance - but of course he was pretty gorgeous in his 30's! In his 20's he still looked like a teenager LOL.

  6. Ah, yes, in my first (very sad) attempt at writing a romance, my hero was based on my favorite singer. I didn't do a very good job of disguising him, but luckily the novel will never see the light of I'm good there!

  7. Think we're all better with invented characters, even if they do sound or look like our favourite TV or movie men - or women?