Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is there a lawsuit in my future?

In the first writing class I attended, the instructor passed around an assortment of glossy magazines and had us tear out photos of two protagonists and one antagonist. "These," she said, "were the main characters of the story each of us was going to plot." I made my selections, cut and pasted well, considering how long I'd been out of grade school, and developed my first story arc. The models had no life story, so I was safe from a close encounter with a defamation of character suit.

I have based settings and character's actions on personal experience. I live on a farm, hence my comfort with my farm-ranch setting. I've woven other dynamics of my childhood and motherhood into characters' POV. I confess I've incorporated personal intimate moments into some sex scenes. I don't think I've cut and pasted any living person onto a page.

I wonder if the type of story makes a difference. Memoirs could be risky.


  1. I'm just trying to work out how many people could (would?) sue me if I wrote my memoirs!
    Interesting exercise to start with photos from magazines. I work the other way round (all will be revealed when I post my blog on this theme on Wednesday!)

  2. Hi,

    Re Lawsuit for the future! OMG, I could never write a memoir for fear of giving away too much about my past and people (men in particular) whom introduced to. One way or another it would read like a "who's who of men on the make", and they would no doubt recognise themselves!

    In fact, if a few ever read my previous novels (erotic) they may have recognised themselves, but of those they would have been proud of their secret portrayal as rakes. ;)


  3. Ahm, Ana the old photo routine eh? Produced such a scenario for my students!
    It's good that you can use your background for your novels too, Ana. Always handy and farming/ranching is always interesting for us city / townies.

  4. I've done the magazine cut apart as a writing prompt as well. It's a great way to visualize a scene.

    Definitely won't be writing any memoirs.