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Fiction focus: Whose life is it anyway?

Putting real-life characters into fictional stories may be tempting, but consider it carefully, suggests Margaret James

It’s my life. Or maybe it’s someone else’s? We’ve all seen this kind of disclaimer at the start of a novel: The characters in this story are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental...

But it’s unusual to find something like …except for Chris, who is as big a knob in real life as he is in this book.

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