As fiction writers we make things up. My WIP is set both in Tahlequah and in Bethesda, Maryland. I’ve given Bethesda a couple of new restaurants, businesses and a new art gallery. In Tahlequah, I’ve done the same thing–a new restaurant, a new non-profit, etc. I’ve also given Cherokee Nation a couple of departments that don’t really exist as well as a hotel in down town Tahlequah.
On the other hand, I’ve checked with several sources to make sure that historical events, tribal history, traditional practices and language are accurate.
I’ve set a completion date for the first draft of my novel–May of this year. I want my readers to know what is real and what I’ve made up. How long and how detailed of a disclaimer should I write? Should I have added new businesses and restaurants?
Some of my characters have my ancestors’ names and some of these names are common in Tahlequah. I feel I need to stress to readers that the characters in the novel are fictional and resemblances to actual persons purely accidental?
Input from your own experiences will be greatly appreciated.