Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How To Handle Case Histories

Case histories are very popular in writing. They make pages of dull explanation come alive. AND you have to be very careful not to open yourself to legal action when using them. There are a number of ways to handle case histories in writing. First you can contact the person you are writing about and ask for permission to use their story in your book. Be sure go get that permission in writing and be sure to ask if you can use his or her real name in the book. If they say “yes” you’re covered. If they say you can’t use their real name make a footnote that says “Not her real name.” Referencing the real name is also done with a footnote. If a digital publisher program will now allow footnotes simply put the information in parentheses just behind the story or the story title. Finally, if you do not get permission to use a specific story you can write a composite story. Use different parts from different people’s stories so that it is clear to a client or patient that you did not use their story in your book. I generally put in “not his real name” for double protection and to give an edge of credibility to the story.

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