As I write this . . .

November 20, 2011

Respect …

Filed under: General Info — aawriter @ 11:40 am

As I write this, I’m reminded of the legalities of writing about subjects, issues, and personal matters of other people.  You know, the very things that writers “borrow” in order to create believable characters.

Recently, I’ve been absolutely amazed about what liberties some writers take to develop a manuscript or sell their work.   Notice, I said “some” writers – not all.

Never mind the legal consequences of exercising such cavalier and egregious behavior – what about the moral ethics of this?    When writers do this, they earn their alternative names of “liar,” “plagiarist,” and “sell-out.”  And, these are the kinder ones.

In the midst of world crises, both financial and moral, writers continue to craft their words and events into believable stories.  Readers anxiously look forward to the fruits of their efforts.  They hope for carefully woven words that are “sensitive” to protecting the identity of the person the author models key personalities after.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

We all know our readers keep us on our creative toes.  No-one appreciates reading about him/herself in a published work when they had no idea that their former words and actions were being watched and saved for future use.  It’s worse than tacky, despicable or deplorable – it’s unconscionable.  Recent high-profile case in point: Amanda Knox.  Remember that she successfully sued for liable after Italian “author,” Fiorenza Sarzanini confiscated and used her diary entries as fodder for the book “Amanda e gli Altri (Amanda and the Others). In spite of this being heard in an Italian court, Ms. Knox was awarded over $50,000 in damages.  And, rightfully so.

So authors, as I write this, I conscientiously remind you and myself that our words and stories, albeit ever so carefully used and crafted, should continue to be applied with the utmost respect to all aspects of the publishing world – but, most especially, to those of our inner circles and all around us.

For some, it’s an additional layer of “creativity.” For others, it’s only natural.


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