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Real life events

(2 Posts)
littlebillie Fri 23-Aug-19 08:26:45

I just wondered if anyone could advise me, if you write about real large events what are the pitfalls legally ie writing about the titanic

GloriousMystery Sat 24-Aug-19 15:55:48

There aren't any pitfalls -- huge numbers of novels are based on real historical events, after all -- unless you defame a recognisably real person, either by name, or in such a way as someone could argue that the character was recognisably X. Or you follow historical sources for 97% of a character based on a real person, but then represent him as being a baby-eating alien. (And obviously, this will differ depending on whether you're writing about Henry VIII or someone with living children or grandchildren...)

Many historical novels loosely based on real events will have a disclaimer that 'These characters are all fictional. Any resemblance to any real person or event is unintentional' or 'This novel is based on the real life relationship of X and Y in the year Z. I have used [list of sources] and have not departed from the historical facts as they are known, but have felt at liberty to imagine events/exchanges of which there is no record.'

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