Real-life has moments that are far stranger than anything I could dream up. I’m not alone in this—everyone has a story. That story will have moments that are difficult to hear and others that are amazing.
Writing fiction allows me to put reality into more palatable chunks. It’s easier to cope with that way.
One of the ways I design my worlds is by drawing on the real world to help develop the unreal. Reshaping and reusing the scenery and terrain around you are habits of good world-building.
However, crafting characters is different. We shouldn’t use the real names and exact situations of people we are acquainted with for any reason. Don’t thinly disguise your hated boss or neighbor with a different name because they could recognize themselves and sue you.
This was made clear by the late Betty MacDonald’s situation. Her first published book was picked up by
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