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woman who reads too much

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12:36 am: an ethical question
Suppose you read a newspaper article about an unjust oppressive thing happening to a kid. Suppose that later, you became possessed by a desire to write fiction about kids figuring out how to protest against injustice and oppression. You thought you'd start with something like that incident you'd read about, but you were mostly interested in how the kids might respond to it: what might they do, to try to change things? What effect could they have? What would people do to try to stop them? Who would help them? How would they feel about the unintended consequences of their actions? And so on.

Eventually you noticed that you had neglected to come up with a different inciting incident. In fact, a lot of what you had come up with was pretty firmly rooted in the details of the actual thing that happened to some actual child. Because the actual thing was pretty much perfect, for your story. You didn't want to give up any part of it.

Would it be enough to change the name, age, sex, and nationality of the kid the incident happened to? Or would you still feel like you were stealing someone else's story?

This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/297345.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:randomdreams
Date:November 18th, 2016 04:22 am (UTC)
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I will make the case that if nobody else has narrated it, you should. It's only someone else's story once it's told.
[User Picture]
From:boxofdelights
Date:November 20th, 2016 08:36 am (UTC)
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That is a good point. And the part of the story that I want tell hasn't been told yet.
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