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You Have the Right to Remain Silent.

En Silence by Melanie Delon

 

“Silence is a source of great strength,” Lao Tzu.

Silence.  Sometimes nothing can be more beautiful for a writer.  At other times, silence can be disturbing. 
 
If you are like methat is having no life, you may understand what I meant by that.  I often feel like I know why a majority of writers around the Victorian era were alcoholics.  They didn’t have facebook. 
 
I am a recluse.  I live in the sticks, as they call it around where I live.  I used to live about 10 miles from town.  As the world grows smaller, I only need to drive about two miles to go the grocery store or get gas.  Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up one morning with a Subway in my front yard. 
 
I believe those of us who choose to write are a different breed of human.  Where some only see big picture, we can see the individual molecules that create the scene of the whole.  We are able replicate the picture realistically, or distort into an Urban Fantasy. 
 
Though our work and passion is lonely in nature, we are all inspired by the calamity of life.  Of course, we distort and rearrange details so that we are not held liable in court for making an impression of a living person or place.  God forbid, Aunt Mary believes she’s entitled to the little bit of money we do make because she turns up in the pages of our book, or your ex feel that you’re slandering them in your new romantic novel about infidelity; especially since the bastard cheated on you a million times over with your best friend. 
 
A writer’s work is filtered through personal perspective.  Even journalist have a hard time remaining objective.  However, what about our subjects? 
 
I am pretty fond of Cindy Adam’s Writer’s Miranda Writes for Their Subjects.  I original read this in article in Writer’s Digest in 2008, I believe, and I have chosen to share with you. 
 
     1 . You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand that I will make stuff up, with or without your input?
 
2. Anything you do say may be used in my next project. Do you understand that my opinion of you will affect how others perceive you?

3. You have the right to consult an attorney … now or in the future. Do you understand that if you seek legal action you will be, in effect, admitting you’re guilty of the actions and/or behavior of said character?

4. If you can’t afford an attorney, tough. Do you understand that I’m counting on it?

5. If you decide to answer questions, or otherwise continue our relationship, you’ll still have the right to stop answering questions at any time. Do you understand that I’ll still make stuff up?

6. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you still willing to be my friend?  

 Do our friends have the right to know when a character in a story is based on them, or should we leave them to wonder?

 

Adams, Cindy. “Writer’s Miranda Rights for Their Subjects”.  Writer’sDigest.Com.  2008.