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How can I handle real people that I would have stories about in my book without over stepping their personal boundaries? Some accounts about people in my life I would be very embarrassing to them but true none the less.



Hello Ricky:

You have two options in this situation:

1. Tell them what you mean to say about them, and get them to sign a release. This is best handled by a lawyer.

2. Disguise them so thoroughly that even they wouldn't recognize themselves. Give them new names, physical description, change gender, new background, etc.

Sorry for such a brief answer, but a few days ago I suffered a bad fall, injured my back, legs, arms, etc. If you want to come back in a week or so I will try to do better.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 1900 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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