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Date Posted: 11:19:34 02/20/11 Sun
Author: Lady Stormwing
Subject: Hello ladies...seeking some writing advice...

I've been writing a sort of fictional autobiography. Fictional in the sense that a lot of the people involved in the original situations have gone through name changes, personality changes, melds with other people, etc. The timing of some events has changed, but essentially, what the main character goes through is almost exactly what I went through in high school and college. It's been an interesting look back through time.

However, for a good chunk of my working life, I've been employed by two major international entertainment companies and their partners, none of which have ever been hesitant to send out a lawsuit for any reason. Additionally, I've signed multiple confidentiality agreements with all these companies (sort of "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" sort of thing).

So when I get around to writing the scenes that involve my life and work there (it was something that had social repercussions far beyond the jobs themselves), do you have any suggestions on going about it? Change the names of the companies? Change the nature of the work itself? Make up something completely new? About the only option not viable is omitting that part of my life, and thus, the character's life, completely.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts! Thanks, ladies!

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Replies:

[> This reminds me of The Devil Wears Prada >>> -- Fi, 13:24:26 02/22/11 Tue

The author used to work for Vogue and the impossible-to-please boss was apparently based on her old boss. However, she changed enough details so she wasn't sued (and the controversy didn't harm her sales). I would change the names of the companies and fudge the nature of the work. Maybe you could merge the two companies into one, and create composite characters.

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[> Hey Lady Stormwing! This way please >>> -- Esther, 13:32:11 02/22/11 Tue

It's great to see you here and your fictional autobiography sounds interesting.

As for my thoughts, well...I'm afraid I don't feel like I'm going to be too helpful. But here goes anyway. *G*

If it was me that had signed papers that effectively said that what happened in Vegas stays in Vegas, I'd be extrememely careful to make sure what I put into my fictional autobiography was as far out to left field as possible. The potential for lawsuit would make me doubly careful.

The good news is that what happened had social reprecussions. So if it was me, I'd prolly explore that angle. It doesn't have to be omitted, but I don't think changing names would be good enough. I obviously don't have the particulars, so concur that making up something completely new might work, but I just don't know. I understand that it's your life, but given the social repercussions, maybe research would bring to light documentation that would support your position, so you can justify any inference to the companies you worked for. So maybe not as exciting as giving out the goods on what actually happened, but instead focusing on the consequences and how it has affected you. If that makes any sense. *G* But again, I don't know the legal aspects, and therefore, would make every effort to minimize the link between what you write and what actually transpired.

Hope this helps

Esther

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[> Thank you! I'll be keeping these thoughts in mind when I get to writing those sections. :) -- Lady Stormwing, 20:15:14 02/25/11 Fri

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[> I'm no lawyer but I say write the story as you think it should be written- changing names to protect the innocent (that would be you) and let the agent/publisher that will most likely LOVE this help you with those legal issues- what might have to be edited, etc. Good luck! It sounds great. -- susiej, 18:10:58 02/27/11 Sun

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