Is it okay if I wrote a story based on true historical events?

Asked by: Tom Roland

A good historical novel is well grounded in history, including “true historical events.” The part that should be fictitious is that “your” characters are doing the heavy lifting. You might have a major character that was a bodyguard to General George Washington.

Can a fictional story be based on true events?

Combining real-life experiences from different parts of your life can be a great way to create a new and successful fictional narrative. Real events have emotional resonance for writers, and combining separate stories into one is a great way of recontextualizing details and crafting a compelling narrative.

Can you write stories about historical figures?

You can write about historical people because the two main legal areas you need to worry about when writing about real people—defamation of character and invasion of privacy—only apply to living people,” Cook says. “The deceased’s heirs cannot sue under those causes of action either.”

What is a fictional story based on real events called?

For writers and readers alike, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction. In general, fiction refers to plot, settings, and characters created from the imagination, while nonfiction refers to factual stories focused on actual events and people.

Can you write fiction about famous people?

Using someone’s name, image or life story as part of a novel, book, movie or other “expressive” work is protected by the First Amendment, even if the expressive work is sold or displayed. Therefore using a person’s life story as part of a book or movie will not be deemed a misappropriation of the Right of Publicity.

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Are historical figures copyrighted?

Historical facts are in the public domain, which means no one can claim authorship of them. An author of a creative work does, however, own a copyright to protect the particular manner in which he or she has recounted a history.

Can you get sued for writing a book about someone?

Understanding Invasion of Privacy

Even if everything you write about someone is completely true, you still need to consider her privacy. Invasion of privacy occurs when you publicly disclose private facts not related to public concern. As with defamation, only living people can sue for invasion of privacy.

Can a novelist Be Sued?

Libel & Privacy Law In The Real World. Writers anxious about libel / privacy law can, in most cases, relax: It’s exceptionally rare for a novelist to be sued for libel.