Recently I wrote a story that was inspired by some friends of mine. No details, just the characters in the story sort of mimic their background, their values, some adventures they have had. It’s definitely fiction, and definitely my own work, but there’s a trace, a hint of them on it.
It got me thinking – what is an author’s obligation to their inspiration? Should I tell them, get their permission? Should I at least show them the story so they know it’s out there? I worry: maybe they won’t like it. Maybe they’ll think it presumptuous or strange. Maybe they’ll feel awkward and I’ll put a strain on things.
But I kind of like the story. I meant it as a tribute. I’d want them to have it as a kind of love letter to who they are, their spirit, the mark they’ve left on me.
Have you ever written a story that was inspired by, but not literally about, real life people? Not famous people, but people you actually know?
Did you get away with it?
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