TALKING ABOUT REAL PLACES AND QUOTATIONS

by ASHUVI
(INDIA)

Question: I WANT TO WRITE A NOVEL FOR WHICH I NEED TO KNOW IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO TALK ABOUT REAL PUBLIC PLACES AND TO ADD QUOTATIONS OF WRITERS IN ORDER TO MAKE NOVEL COMPLETE? OR SHOULD I NEED TO GET PERMISSION FOR DOING SO? PLEASE GUIDE ME ON TAT AND ALSO I REQUEST YOU TO LET ME KNOW FROM WHAT POINT OF VIEW IT IS GOOD TO NARRATE A NOVEL?


Answer: First, there is no need to shout (all caps is the equivalent of shouting online and is annoying for the reader).

As for your questions:

1. Of course you can mention real public places to add authenticity to your story. They are in the public domain, after all.

2. Brief quotations from other authors are acceptable -- but they must be brief. I believe the limit is 10% of another work. So a line or two from a novel is fine. More than that should not be necessary and just looks bad.

If you are quoting a poem, you must be especially careful because poems are short, so it is harder to use a meaningful quote without going above the limit. Same for song lyrics. In fact, it's safer to never quote song lyrics.

The exception is that you can freely quote a source if it is in the public domain, which generally means the author has been dead for more than 50 years (75 years in the US). But even then, long quotes usually look bad.

In other words, quoting a line from Shakespeare is fine, but you shouldn't need to quote an entire soliloquy.

3. Different points of view work for different types of story. You have a lot of freedom to choose what works for yours. If you want some guidance on the pros and cons of different options, check out this article...

https://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/narrative-mode.html

Best of luck.

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