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At some point in your writing career, you will ask yourself the question, “Should I say that?” Whether it’s how you’re characterizing a person or the image you’re trying to strike for a company, you’ll wonder if it’s a good idea to publish the potentially offensive material. After all, you are responsible for what you publish. If you’re putting out something unflattering, you open yourself up for libel. But not everything we write needs to be flattering, does it? Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! So what can you do to prevent libel in your writing?
You sure should write fan fiction and likely already have—at least partly, in your head. When you think of how a character should have acted or what you wish had have happened instead, you’re essentially starting your own fanfic. This is a brand new world of ‘what ifs’ you get to explore. How far you want to explore that world is up to you.
What is the first place that comes to mind if you think of published books? Chances are, it’s one of the big multinational publishers: Penguin Random House (now including Simon & Schuster), Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan. While there are literally hundreds of places to get published, these four take the cake in terms of annual revenue, number of titles, and notoriety.
Every writer worth their salt works on their craft. Whether you’re reading competitors or doing grammar exercises, that writer brain of yours is learning. There’s a lot to learn, though, especially when you’re trying to match a specific style guide in your writing. Cheat sheet would be too generous of a name, but this article outlines the top 10 things you should know when using the Chicago Manual of Style.
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