Quick Links: Pros & Cons: Referencing the Real World in Our Story

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

The wonderful Jamie Gold goes over the potential and pitfalls of using real world references in your story. A must read if you have ever considered doing this!

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Pros & Cons: Referencing the Real World in Our Story

by Jami Gold

I’ve often mentioned that I appreciate questions from readers (even though I can’t answer them all, especially with my health issues this year). Every question gives me ideas for potential blog posts, and today I’d like to thank Lee Green for the idea for this post (and Julie Sade for encouraging me to write it). *smile*I’ve run into the issue Lee mentions within my work as well, so I’m glad her question forced me to think deeper about the pros and cons. As with many things, we might answer one way at first glance but later discover a different angle that changes our opinion.

Lee asked:

“In a WIP, is it OK to have the lead female reading and maybe referring to a book written by a real life current author and naming that author, title of book and maybe a sentence from the book?”

That is a fantastic question that got my brain spinning in multiple directions. On the surface, it’s a question about copyright (and maybe the right to publicity), but deeper down, it’s a question about the relatability of our story and character. Let’s take a closer look…