Writing Books/BOOK TITLES


Can one use a bastardization of a word or phrase with impunity? For example if I wrote a book about President Bush and called it "Bush-Wacked" or Former NY Governor and entitled it All-Spitzered Up or about any public figure or institution

Since public figures are mostly exempt from anti-slander laws (though I'm only sure of this for North America, the UK, and probably most of Europe), you can use a bastardization of a word or phrase.

However, I would avoid anything that was especially insulting about the person because you could be sued for libel. This, for example, might get you into trouble: "Bush-Whacked: The Story of How His Dick (Cheney) was Cut Down". Extreme, granted, but I think you get my point here.

I would hesitate to use an institution's name in a title. These are entities that can and will sue for what they feel is slander/libel. I suppose it would depend on the institution you used. If you used a governmental or otherwise public institution, you might get away with it, but try to just make a pun and nothing insulting, libelous, etc.

If it's something privately owned, then it would probably be a better idea to avoid mentioning that institution at all. Places like Wal-Mart and Target and such have copyrights on their tradenames and many of them feel uncomfortable with other people using them, even as a title.

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I can answer almost any question on the mechanics that go into writing a full-length novel (80,000-100,000 words): characterization, setting, plot, world-building, dialogue, etc. I can answer some questions on the aspect of publishing, but I'm not one hundred percent familiar with it. I specialize in science fiction, fantasy crossovers (sometimes called science-fantasy) and am very familiar with the idea and technique of crossing genres, such as horror with science fiction, romance, and western.


I have been writing for almost ten years now as a hobby.

High School graduate with close to 45 hours of concurrent classes, most of them English and creative writing classes. I have taken literature classes as high as the 400 mark.

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