People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
— Banksy, from Cut It Out” —
~Banksy from Cut It Out
When you’re writing in a fictional world your readers do not know, you can get away with making a lot of stuff up. A colony on Planet Saturn in the year 2072? No problem. Wing it. Who’s going to know the difference?
The place you can’t get away with just making stuff up is in non-fictitious worlds your readers do know – and know well. For example, Hollywood or the New York publishing world.
This trips up a lot of beginning writers who write protagonists who are successful authors or successful Hollywood players. (Do not ask me why, new writers are compelled by some law of physics to as some point early in the career write a successful writer character. It’s like animation artists being compelled to as some point animate an evolution sequence. Everyone has to do it at least once and no one knows why.)
If you don’t intimately know the inner workings of the film industry, the publishing industry, or the locations New York or Los Angeles, and try to set a story in these worlds, this is going to kill you dead when you try to fake it because people in the film industry and publishing industry know these worlds intimately and every error you make “winging it” will stand out like a neon red elephant standing ankle deep in a kiddie wading pool.
The Smiths (via ruineshumaines