Monday, September 13, 2021

Character Rights

Can literary characters file complaints for the treatment they receive from an author?

Case in point, Lynn Carter, the love interest in my current work-in-progress, is living a nightmare. She’s been kidnapped, injured on the job, and expected to perform dangerous feats of physical strength and endurance without the proper training. On top of that, she’ll disappoint many people if she doesn’t show up at the scheduled time to perform her maid-of-honor duties in a few days.

Admittedly, I am interfering with her personal activities for which she has pre-approved vacation time. And she wasn’t informed of the hazards of the plot and setting when she took the job.

I think Lynn filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA would never approve of the hazards in my book’s plot and setting. They left a message on my voicemail last week – something about a workplace inspection.

As the author, am I legally responsible for characters’ health, missed commitments, and any lasting psychological impact my plot lines might have on them?