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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mysterious Afternoon

A few Saturdays back, 13th April 2013, I spent a pleasurable two hours at One Mysterious Afternoon, A Crime Writers of Canada Event with authors, Cathy Ace, Debra Purdy Kong, and David Russell. Hosted by the Maple Ridge Library, each author read from their mystery novels and answered questions.

They talked about how their writing styles differed. I always enjoy hearing how different writers work. In school, they tended to make you feel that there was only one way to write when in reality everyone has their own methodology. The authors were unanimous in their belief in the value of using professional editors, always nice to hear, but also realistic that mistakes still happen.

The questions took an interesting direction about the challenges of maintaining a realistic feel for locations and people while not crossing that line to libel. Obviously, authors need to be careful about libeling real people but they also careful about creating fictional people that are too close to real people. Not being a fiction writer, I hadn't given much thought to the idea of libelling a location prior to this discussion. The upshot being not to murder your character in a real restaurant or make your fictional company seem a little too familiar.

I found a good article on this topic on the Examiner website, Too many novelists are basing fictional characters on real people & being sued, published April 29, 2012, by Anne Hart about this topic if you are looking for more information.

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