Writing about a training camp

Question: I was wondering if I need permission to write about the WAC training camp in Daytona Beach in a book I'm working on. You see,I'm writing a fiction book about a WAC who trains there.


Answer: Please understand that I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice. (Fortunately, big publishers have experts in this area who can deal with these issues.)

That said, what you should not do is include real people in your book and assault or defame their characters. Fictional characters are fine. I'm sure you've seen the disclaimers books often include saying that they are works of fiction and any resemblance to people living or dead is coincidental.

Even if you base a character on someone you know, you should change enough details of the character so that no one will make the connection.

If you're concern is about portraying the WAC in a negative light, you have an obligation to be fair. For instance, if you want to have a story about a small group within the organization that engages in ritual murder, that might be okay as long as it's clear to the reader that the story is fiction. But if you claim that organization in real life has always been a criminal organization, that would not be fair or accurate. You want the facts on your side in cases where it's not clear you're making things up.

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