Mac on 07 Jan at A action story that rolls from one Punisher-esque action sequence to another will probably get pretty tedious. If the story is in third-person narration, you could also focus a chapter on a few of the villains.
Yet every fiction writer bases characters on real people.
Memoirists and nonfiction writers identify people by name. How can writers use real people in their work without risking a lawsuit? First, a simple rule.
For instance, you may thank someone by name in your acknowledgements without their permission. If you are writing a non-fiction book, you may mention real people and real events. However, if what you write about identifiable, living people could be seriously damaging to their reputation, then you need to consider the risks of defamation and privacy and how to minimize those risks.
I am not talking about portraying your mother-in-law as a bossy queen bee; I am talking about portraying your mother-in-law as a drug dealer. Common sense and a cool head are key. The laws of other countries are more favorable to the targets.
Defamation To prove defamation, whether libel for written statements or slander for spoken ones, a plaintiff target must prove all of the following: False Statement of Fact.
If a statement is true, then it is not defamatory no matter how offensive or embarrassing. Parody is not defamatory if the absurdity is so clear no reasonable person would consider the statements to be true.
Of an Identifiable Person: A defamatory statement must contain sufficient information to lead a reasonable person other than the target to identify the target. Typically, the target must be a living person, but companies and organizations have sued for defamation.
Oprah Winfrey was sued by a group of Texas ranchers after saying she had sworn off hamburgers because of mad cow disease.
Oprah won the case. One person other than the target must read or hear the statement. The statement must be more than offensive, insulting, or inflammatory. If the target is a public official or a public figure, then the plaintiff must prove the statement was made with actual knowledge that it was false or with a reckless disregard for the truth.
If the target is against a private individual, courts generally require some fault or negligence by the defendant. Invasion of Privacy Claims Even if you publish the truth, you may still be sued for invasion of privacy if you disclose private information that is embarrassing or unpleasant about an identifiable, living person and that is offensive to ordinary sensibilities and not of overriding public interest.
The target must have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Any conduct in public is not protected, particularly today when everyone carries a camera in their pocket.Writing a character reference You have been asked to write a character reference for someone going to court because this person has broken the law.
A character reference is a letter and includes your opinion of this person. Scarlett Johansson won a defamation suit against a French writer for creating a promiscuous character who happened to look like the movie star.
Character Reference Letters and Letters of Recommendation. Why write Character Reference Letters and Letters of Recommendation? Character Reference Letters and Letters of Recommendation help you in most cases if you have a DUI or other court case pending.
Writing a character reference for court. But this might be your first time writing a character reference and you may not be quite sure where to start. So we’ve prepared this guide and a sample letter for you. What to include. Sample Character Reference . Sample character reference This is an example of what a character reference could look like.
You should make sure that your reference relates to the circumstances of your case. Sample 3 – For a Friend (Court Reference Letter) Who to Select? When selecting an individual who will write a character reference, it is important to select someone that has known you for a long period of time and also someone that the court will respect.