Most of the time I’ve found it pretty easy to disguise the fact I’m constantly thieving form the lives of people around me (only when writing, honest) but recently someone let me in on some wild gossip that I missed happening a few years ago and I’m dying to turn it into a bit of fiction. The problem is, while I didn’t realise that this particular bunch of craziness was going on at the time, I do still know (at least vaguely) a whole bunch of the people involved and there’s not a chance they wouldn’t recognise the story and themselves if they happened to read it.
My head tells me I shouldn’t try writing it and that I’d only end up weakening the story if I tried to change it enough to make sure the characters had no resemblance to their real-life counterparts, but my typing fingers are dying to get stuck in.
I feel pretty bad about it to be honest, because I’ve always said I wouldn’t care about the consequences if I wanted to tell the story, but it looks as though I might have been a little inaccurate there – obviously the thought of pissing off/upsetting some folks is enough to still my pen, at least temporarily.
8 thoughts on “It’s ok if I steal your life right?”
I really hate when this happens- the stuff I hear is too good to pass but I don’t want to upset people by writing a story…
When the story just won’t leave me alone and I feel like I have to get it down on paper, I write to whole thing without any censor and just luck it up somewhere to make sure it never sees the light of the day 🙂 That way at least I get it out of my head… It’s not the most satisfying solution but it’s the only one I got… 🙂
That’s a good idea, but if you write it out and write it out well and in a way you’re happy with, don’t you find it really hard to know that you’ll technically not be able to show it to anyone? I’ve got plenty of writing that won’t see the light of day because I don’t think it’s good enough, but I don’t know how well I ‘d take to hanging on to something that’s been completed – have you ever been tempted to submit any ‘real life’ stories to magazines or the like?
Hmm, you have a point there, if it’s too good, the temptation for sending it out there may be too hard to resist 🙂
I never sent any ‘real life’ stories to any magazines but then again I rarely hear or witness any real stories that are interesting enough to actually get down on paper. And when I do, there is always something about them, they never sound ‘just right’ to me, so I never had to face the dilemma of them being too good to keep them to myself… But if it’s good, I’m afraid the writer in me is going to say- send it… 🙂
I know it is a horrible thing to say but use a pen name, chance the character’s names, buy all the copies of the magazine yourself, but send the story…:)
maybe I’ll take a tip out of your book and write it with plans to hide it. Then, I’ll at least know the choice is there! And I’ll think up a few new pen names too… 🙂
I guess you could write it and then stick them in the acknowledgements, making it clear you knew full well what you were doing and hope that their small spot of fame appeased them enough not to slaughter you where you stand.
Or ask them. After you’ve already written it and have it lined up for publication anyway 😀 and if they say no then just whose friends are they anyhow??
(I’m so the devil on your shoulder)
The Devii Kit, in one handy package. Unfortunately the people in question are more equipped than most to get their revenge, seeing as a good few of them write themselves. I don’t want to be the thinly veiled villain of any anybody else’s opus, so I guess I can’t make them mine. While I still live in the same country as them anyway….
I’ve taken real-life situations as jumping-off points, and then taken the story in a totally different direction. Which, if the real-life people were to read, might be even more creepy because they’d possibly feel like I was fantasizing about their lives … yeah, it’s icky territory, but hard to avoid sometimes!
hehe, I’m loving the image of your friends squinting at you over the top of a magazine, trying to figure out if you’ve been secretly imagining them as, for example a serial killer, all this time 🙂