Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am contemplating the story again...

The problem with basing a story in reality is covering your own behind in terms of avoiding a lawsuit. The real story has gone beyond complicated: police officers are distant cousins of the real guilty parties; there seem to be cover-ups, character smearing, and gay bashing; hate crimes are rampant; and there is a side story of a series of drug overdoses and a suicide. The real story is far more interesting than anything I could come up with myself.

The challenge, then, is telling this story without bringing a lawsuit upon myself. I don't know everything that I believe to be true, but so far, even my most ludicrous hunches have proven to be correct. What I need is a few private investigators and a really solid work of non-fiction, but many crucial plot points which likely are true are also unverifiable.

So how do I keep the complexity of the story without writing myself into court?

1 comment:

lola said...

The key thing is changing enough of the plot and the characters that any reader would not be able to connect the two--that while it may seem similar, it's clear the characters are fictional.

As hate crimes, drug overdoses and gay bashing/slanderous accusations are common, I wouldn't worry about the situation. But be very very careful on how the series of events unfold.
To distance the story, you may have to change the motives or the order of events. Or omit or invent things entirely.

I wouldn't worry too much because a lot of fiction is vaguely based on real events--but the key thing is making the focal character something of your own creation.