I'm writing a book, HELP ME!

Through the Immaculate Heart,

There was a thread which got pulled with the same subject which got pulled for reasons I know. Anyway, I’ve made another and this time, I’m going to be careful what to write. Thanks to everyone who helped me and who commented on my old thread.

I’m writing a series of novels where the Blessed Virgin Mary is the main character. It is not going to be a novel version of the Blessed Virgin’s life, nor am I going to write a novel about a woman who is very similiar to the Blessed Mother set in a modern world. All I can say is that the novel is set in the present and that the Blessed Virgin will already be glorified in heaven and that I’m not gouing to make page afte rpage saying how nice and sweet and beautiful the Blessed Virgin is. Even if I am talking about the Blessed Virgin, I’d turn people off and it would be boring. I’m going to make the Blessed Virgin into a fully fleshed character and I am even going to depict her suffering alot from us and for us.

Now my problem here is that I do not know much about copyright infrigement. I am going to speak alot against politicians and I am even going to offend alot of people (who to be sincere, I do not care how much some of them pretend to be offended as I am not going to be mean or angry and many of those who I am going to speak against know that what they do is wrong. Corrupt police, the liberal and anti-catholic truth twisting media, corrupt priests and bishops who give a bad example to the good Church they are supposed to represent, Freemasons, the Illuminati, homosexuals, pro-abortion people, etc…).

I know that speaking against politicians is legal and that it is useless and unfair to sue somebody in court because he spoke against your views but, is it legal to speak against and mention books in your book? For example, I want to mention the Da Vinci code and the lies it speaks and also want to mention the author (Dan Brown). Is it legal? I also want to mention Twilight and the bad influence it has on girls and even boys.

Some language which I use may be offensive. For example, lets take the graphic novel by Frank Miller The Dark Knight Returns. I wanted to buy this novel to see it’s plot because Batman: Year One’s subject and treatment of police corruption really impressed me. But, reading the reviews, I found out that this version of Batman willingly kills people and villains and that it depicts him being the same monster which he wanted to destroy. Batman even uses guns in this story.

I could for example write a scene where some wild and fanatical comic fans make fun of one of their friends because he doesn’t like TDKR, to which he responds that he is sick of angry, bitter, angst-filled fanboys clinging to the stupid novel because it legitimizes their inability to function socially and to lead a good virtuos life. Would such a scene be copyright infrigement or at tleast be illegal? Thanks.

Make it juicy, so the potential is there for a television mini series,preferably HBO.

It is not legally wrong to mention other works in order to criticize them or their message. Such would be called “fair use.”

Problems would only arise if your work were entirely a spoof or parody of another’s; then you would need permission from the 1st author in order to do it.

Good luck and ICXC NIKA!

you certainly have a wide range of ideas and personal feelings. it does not appeal to me using Mary or Jesus as a means to promote political idealogy. Or, to judge. Such harsh words about those with whom you disagree. Jesus was always civil towards his constant accusers. They both are for both. Jesus is for the liberal as well as the conservative.
Mary is for both the liberal and the conservative. Surely there are many ways to depict Mary helping those in need. I think the Beatles song Let It Be pays tribute to Mother Mary nicely. She could be that weird old lady who always wears purple, and lives in that big old house. No one knows where she actually came from. Some say back east someplace.
She takes in the young unwed mother and her child, she befriends all of her young friends. Somehow becomes involved with someone suffering from alcoholism, and no one knows how she knows so much, and how some things just work out that seemed impossible. And, there is one person who does know the truth. He is the sick young man who is the father of the child. His life is changing because of Her intervention, treatment, helping others, and in the end, a changed man, is face to face with a young woman who sees hope of marriage and success. Mary is missing from the wedding reception, just mysteriously is gone. Then She is there, in another town far away, a similar situation, and the reader knows what will be will be. Don’t make a mouthpiece out of Mary. bob :confused:

As others have said, the mention of a book or movie’s name is not infringement. You can also discuss the ideas mentioned in the work. That said, you can’t trade on the work of others by copying excessive amounts of source material or confusing your readers about where source material came from. So basically you can mention The Dark Night Returns but you can’t copy of a big section of it into your book without crediting the original.

Even though you’re technically protected by fair use, it’s worth remembering that your book will go through an editing process before publication. Your publisher might ask you to replace known names with pseudonyms. It might be worth reading some novels in the same genre as yours from publishers that interest you to see how they format in general.

Thanks everybody for the fair use notice. I didn’t know what it meant before.

As for ‘using’ Mary to spread my political idealogy, I am not going to use Mary as a mascot for a political idealogy!

The thing is, Democracy, Republicanism, Monarchism, Aristocracies’, ultramonatism (where the Pope reigns as absolute power) are actually all good, just as long as they follow good morals. For example, George W. Bush could have been a good President but was he? No, he wasn’t. He duped the entire world into believing he was some hero with his fake war on terror, he illegaly took over Afghanistan, he was responsible for 9/11 and he is a dirty freemason (he joined the Skull and Bones secret society in the '60’s.) Neither is Obama because he is pro-abortion, he is a liberal in a bad sense and he steals peoples privacy with all those rubbish and unnecassery body scanners which he implanted in airports.

Yet for that, I don’t despise them personally (except for the fact that they really are evil men for ruining peoples lives). May they have a good family life but if they don’t change their ways and their rotten laws (down with the patriot act!) they surely will go to hell as their laws break catholic morals and decency.

Actually it’s of topic but that’s a very reductionist view of the The Dark Knight Returns which was written at a time Miller still could write as opposed to the awful train wrecks he turns out nowadays. Which he gets to write simply based largely on past accolades. The Dark Knight Returns does not show Batman willingly killing a la the Punisher. He does uses guns on four occasions within the story, but all make sense. Also the non-gun rule for Batman was brought in some time after the character was created in the late 1930’s and early issues of Batman and Detective comics are far more brutal in that regard and have Batman gleefully machine gunning villains. All I can is if you like Frank Miller you’d probably be fine with the The Dark Knight Returns or his work on Daredevil but for heaven’'s sake stay away from All-Star Batman which is his latest take on the character and which is positively hideous with Batman muttering about been, ‘the goddamned Batman’ every so often.

As to writing a novel on the Theototokos. Your description worries me somewhat as this book could easily turn into merely a polemic with little substance beyond vitriol by this description.

Btw, this panel of Batman using of all things a machine gun is apparently one of the reasons the editors brought into the no-killing and no-gun rule early on in Batman’s history. It’s from Batman no 1 from 1940 which appeared a short time after character first appeared in Detective comics 27.

As to writing a book there are no absolute right or wrong answers but I’d very wary of using figures like the Theotokos or St. Joseph or Christ as the carry so much risk of causing damage if misused in a literary form.

Before I continue, I have to say one thing… I AM NOT USING THE BLESSED VIRGIN TO SPREAD ANY POLITICAL IDEALOGY! I am not going to depict Her saying that Obama or Bush or Truman are evil men, I’m going to portray their actions in the context of history.

The book isn’t even about politics. There will be some necessary political themes (such as the bad effects the war on terror has on people, a scene where our heroes protest against an unjust law, rises of good and corrupt governments, etc…) but it will not be the main subject of the book. The book is about the Blessed Virgin and about Her role in our salvation. I won’t say anymore though.:stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not a fan of comics. I used to be but really am not. I gave them up completely years ago because they were blatantly immoral, whether in sexual things or not. I’m not saying that superheroes can’t have flaws of course, like any other hero in a book, but the cruel things which they do should not be justified.

I’m not saying that TDKR by Miller is a bad story, just an immoral one. Miller also wrote Sin City which they say has good plot but glancing at a few pictures of it (and reading imdb’s parents guide on the film) we know that Sin City is really brutal and immoral.

Also, I agree that if a superhero were to exist it wouldn’t be a bad thing that he uses some violence to hold back his attacker or to save somebody but do you really need to resolve to killing? Can we justify Batman’s brutality? It includes a scene where Batman twists the Joker’s back until the latter dies.

The subject of comics aside, I don’t think that some violence, even graphic is bad when portrayed in books, films and comics but there must be a reason to depict it. Don’t put violence for the sake of it so that you could shock and disgust people but put it so as to make them think and care. I don’t want my book to look like some silly PG-13 film, I want it to be realistic.

This isn’t a Batman thread and comics run the gamut from well written and insightful to pure trash as do all genres. Where one starts and the other ends is where your mileage may very to coin yet another cliche. However in the Batman story you reference Batman does indeed attempt to kill the Joker - after witnessing a number of small children he has killed and after witnessing him performing such acts for 30 odd years or so. He still doesn’t suceed in killing him as his conscience holds him back from playing at been judge, jury and executioner. The Joker effectively kills himself as the scene unfolds. Batman also deliberately stops others killing criminals. The books is ambigous, Batman is a vigilante and given to extreme methods including torture at points but whether you see him as a neccesary evil or a force for good against the relentelessly grim world that is the backdrop of the work is your decision. He certainly to an extent sees himself as a criminal as he remarks to Superman at one point that, ‘Of course we’re criminals. We’ve always been criminals.’ That’s the last Batman exchange I’ll do as it’s way off-topic and I’m indulging a penchant for discussing a favourite character a bit too much.

You are saying the book will not be about politics but the whole gist of your post tends to make one think otherwise. Everything is about politics in the end however it should be noted but there are differing ways of framing things and approaching them. The Theotoks’ role in salvation is as the Mother of Our Lord.

I’m wondering what the plot of your novel is.

From your description so far, it sounds like there is a lot of philosophizing in the book, but no actual plot. Of course, probably you are not telling us about the plot because you don’t want to give it away and tempt someone to steal your ideas! :thumbsup: But can you summarize the plot in a sentence or two, please?

E.g., here is the plot summary in my first skating novel: (please visit the website in my signature to learn more about my novels)

“Little girls can accomplish a lot.”
So says Officer Chuck Zander, Worldpol Juvenile Specialist, as he works with the Novice Jazzicals Synchronized Skating Team to thwart an international bioterrorism plot and rescue a kidnapped missionary who uses the nickname “Scheherazade.”

You see, philipmarie, in two sentences, I’ve told you what the plot of my novel is. I would love to hear what the plot of your novel is, and I’m sure others would also be interested. Thanks so much!

Sorry everyone (that means particularly YOU Cat!:tsktsk:) but I can’t reveal the plot of my novel, no matter how curious you all are! Yes, I am a cruel, cruel boy but, not that I don’t trust anyone here but, this forum is accessible to non members too and I can’t risk anybody stealing my ideas.

Before I continue, check out my new poll where I’m asking if people would read a 1000 page novel: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7514396#post7514396

However, I’ll make some things clear about it: it is not going to be an allegory (although some characters will have allegoral names), it is not going to be first-person (and it’s not going to be a first person shooter either, so there will not be a video game based on my book! Sorry video game fans!), and it is not, definitely not going to be some litarary novel like James Joyce’s Ulysses or Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost time. It’s going to be for the normal reader so that they may understand and get the message more clearly.

What I can say though is that I do not think it is going to be very appropriate for somebody under 14 or fifteen. I’m not saying that there will be crude humour or intense sexuality because that rubbish will not be depicted in a funny or positive way (for example, I can make characters say sexual innuendo which disgusts the Blessed Virgin and other virtuous characters). I am going to put in some mature themes which include sexual ones (such as purity, characters struggling with lust, child abuse, rape…) and the book is going include some very violent instances, because I want to catch the reality of life and I want my book to actually make the readers think. There will also be themes I warn though, that may even offend catholics (such as corrupt bishops and clergyman, the invalidity of some orders because of apostate and heretical Priests and Bishops, etc… although the Church definitely is not going to be shown as unnactractive as the Church was founded by Christ through Mary. SPOILERS!) Even though it is going to be serious I am going to include alot of humour and I really wish to make this book a work of art, a work of art devoid of any cliches or flat characters. The only thing I’m going to reveal that really has anything to do with plot is that one of the main characters is a Priest who loves the Blessed Virgin with his whole heart, or at least he struggle too as… SPOILERS!

Comics can be pure art too, even if they are about superheroes and even if they do mention mature themes. Take Batman: Year one as an example. I liked it how they depicted Catwoman as a sypathic character, from being a thieving prostitute with a horrible pimp named Stan, to finally becoming the thief which she is. I liked the police corruption theme too. Also, Year one had nice, beautiful artwork, unlike TDKR, whose artwork was really, really sloppy.

Whether Miller’s art is sloppy or not is a matter of taste but Barman Year:One was actually written several years after The Dark Knight Returns and was story arc within the normal run of the Batman title. It was written primarily because DC comics had undergone radical changes because of a far reaching min-series they put out and they were to an extent rebooting all their major characters. It would never have been written at all if TDKR was not published as that caused a huge industry stir and made Miller a natural choice for the Year One project.

This novel sounds great! You must tell us when you’re finished and I really pray you get published because I wanna read it! I love Our Lady and I cannot bare the DaVinci code OR Twighlight for the exact reasons you mentioned and I dont know much about legalities etc (Im sorry, I wish I could give some advice) but it would be so wrong if you were not allowed to express these views artistically. If Dan Brown is allowed to speak all sorts of unfounded, ill-researched tosh and if Stephanie Meyer is allowed to glammorise treating girls like pieces of meat who also tend to play boys off against on another, then you should be allowed to express your vies too. Lets not forget Dan Brown managed to escape being successfully sued for plagiarising another man’s research. What you would be doing in your novel would be your own work and would be expressing a personal and artistic view, so overall I would guess you should have no problems. :thumbsup: Good luck with your book (which Im dying to read) and God Bless.

Well thanks everybody for all the appreciation and the help.

Hey guys, whats is the most saddest book which you ever read? I don’t mean books which have alot of over the top melodramatic romance (like Twilight) which are really bad examples of love, although Romance novels can be included. Something which you never forgot and which stayed clear in your mind for a long time. Oh, and please don’t mention the killing of soft fluffy animals, that’s not enough to make a book sad!:yawn:

Easy for me. JANE EYRE.

I was made to read it twice, for grade 9 and for university, and EACH time when I came to the part about Jane’s young friend dying, I became depressed.

Second would be BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, where young Ilyusha dies at the end.


The death of Turin in Tolkien’s work stands fairly high on gloomy moments I’ve read. Although as he wanted it to be gloomy he did succeed rather well there.

T.H. White’s, ‘The Once and Future King,’ is at once very sad and strangely uplifting at the same time.

Wolf at the Table was profoundly devastating for me. Also I think parts of Oryx and Crake.

To the OP: this thread is getting derailed again… do you want to discuss YOUR book or other books?

If you want to have discussions about other books, I suggest you start another thread with an appropriate title, just to avoid confusion and disappointment.

Well, I think bluerose is right. The thing is though that my book is either going to be very long (1000+ pages) or divided into three books, with me favoring the latter, because there will be more space to develop plot and character and more space to provide even more thrills and scares. So if you see in the future three books which have ‘The Consecration written on them’, with the words ‘PHILIP MARIE JOHNSTON’ then know that it is my novel. Also, I don’t want to release my novels a year each. If I have say, two novels finished, can I tell the publisher to release them immediately together? If my first novel gets released in October, for example, can the second one be released at the same time too? Thanks.

They will be called: Angels and Devils, The del Vaticano code and ‘The Lost Scriptures’ and they will have Demonologist Herman Poirot as the main protagonist. These titles are obviosly, fake, and there are no surprises to whom they are spoofed after:p.

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