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Determining Genre : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Determining Genre

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
katiedog
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby katiedog » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:51 pm


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MookyMcD
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:24 pm

Libel is a personal tort, so it does not survive death under common law. That's not to say states can't enact legislation regarding defamation of the dead (I know of two that have; I'm pretty sure it's criminal in Utah -- not that you're likely to be prosecuted). Also, "right of publicity" and causes of action for "public disclosure of private facts" are things that also show up in a patchwork of state laws, sometimes -- but not always -- surviving a person's death. Generally, the law of the person's domicile at the time of his or her death controls the choice of laws question on those types of things. Functionally, you're probably OK with the dead, but you need to make sure you aren't saying things that can implicate the living. For example, as soon as you say someone fathered a child out of wedlock, you've also said someone younger is a bastard.

None of which is really intended to answer your question as much as to reiterate my opinion that this isn't really a "here's my answer in a BB post without ever having seen what you wrote" type of issue. But it shouldn't stop you from writing your book exactly the way you want to. Finish your book, see what you've got and you can either tweak it or not after then. These legal questions shouldn't interfere with your first draft any more than the fear you'll have to many adjectives should keep you from cranking out your first draft.

katiedog
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby katiedog » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:20 pm


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DrG2
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby DrG2 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:29 pm

is it fiction at all?

sounds more like narrative nonfiction.

katiedog
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby katiedog » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:52 pm


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MookyMcD
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby MookyMcD » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:59 pm

Well, that blog post I was thinking about when you first asked turned into a three-part series. Thanks for the content idea, and you may want to take a look.

katiedog
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby katiedog » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:58 pm

MookyMcD -- I've read your three-part series and am now a follower your blog. Thanks!

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MookyMcD
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Re: Determining Genre

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:44 pm

Great, thanks!

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