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Writing Books/Real Characters & History in Fiction


My novel has a woman keeping a journal for many years and in it she comments on current events (wars, politics, people in the news)and she has her own opinions about them.  Would it be libelous for her to say things like "I think Monica Lewinsky purposely ran after the president" or "Reagan looked like he was out of it at the Contra Trials" or "Charlie Manson was a nutcase"?

Karen... I'm not an attorney, so I will have to skip your question.... although usually just commenting on current events is not a problem, saying something that might be considered harmful to a living person, might be a problem. so bottom line, I wouldn't use "real" names....

I'm not sure why you would need to do this... use made-up names or leave it vague... such as..."who would want to harm our president"... no names...

sorry I can't be more helpful


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Sue Viders


I can answer various questions about how to create characters for fiction writers.


Two published books, Heroes and Heroines, and Ten Steps to Creating a Memorable Character, plus years of teaching both on-site and on-line

Several national magazines...had monthly columns


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