“New Suits Could Chill Writers’ Use of Own Experiences”

Two lawsuits filed last month claim that writers improperly based fictional characters on the complainants. [Matthew Heller, OnPoint News] A much noted case last November, in which a Georgia jury awarded $100,000 to a woman who said she had been wrongly used as the basis in part for a character in the novel “The Red Hat Club”, may have encouraged the filing of such suits.


  • Then why mention publicly that some material is factual if you’re writing fiction?

  • I write military science fiction and yes, I have based characters on people I knew during my time in the Navy. If I get sued, at least I’ll have the ridicule factor when I ask them on the stand if they ever flew around in spaceships. I do use different names and the descriptions are not the same.

  • “Yes, I am the frightful harridan who lies constantly and has sex with small domestic animals. ”


  • Writers are now falling into the sued if you do and sued if you don’t category.

    Write an autobiography but add a little fiction – get sued.

    Write a fictional story but add a little truth – get sued.

    If I write a true story with a lot of fiction, does that make me a lawyer?

  • […] "New Suits Could Chill Writers’ Use of Own Experiences" […]

  • Stories have to come from SOMEWHERE. No story is entirely made up from someone’s imagination. This is getting to be silly.