The Public Domain is a magical place full of fun shiny things begging to be used by writers, not only enhance their stories but to give them a little grounding in the real world.
Seriously, go take a second and look at songs, books, characters, and poems that are in the pubic domain.
And they aren’t the only things. One thing that I have found is technically in the Public Domain are Urban Legends. Have you ever actually gone and looked at the sheer number of myths that are out there?
As a special treat, with James’ permission of course, I’m going to give you guys a little piece of the short story I’m working on for All The Petty Myths.
“Since the beginning of time, man has told stories. When a letters came along, these were written down. Some would surpass their origins, over the years, becoming what we know to be legends. Today we call the study of those legends, mythology. Every culture has their own distinct system yet at the same time we all share a group of similar stories.”
Who’s talking—well, you’ll have to wait for the anthology to come out to find out who. But let me tell you, I’m looking forward to seeing how this story turns out.
But things come into the public domain all the time. And people don’t realize the sheer volume of things you can find. For example here, let’s look at my book Badge City: Notches. There’s a scene where I use a song that is in public domain. For me, it just added a little something extra to the scene (and honestly, it’s one of my favorite scenes that I’ve written).
Some things to note, different countries have different public domain laws so be sure to double check and make sure that what you are using is in fact in the public domain. Canada got James Bond in their public domain, this year. Meanwhile, the United States had a legal battle to affirm Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain—and there’s currently a legal war going on to prove Buck Rogers (and characters like him) are as well.
It’s easy to fact check though (and as a writer, you should be fact checking anyway). A simple Google search will point you in the right direction.
Its something I’ve enjoyed looking at and seeing what I can use to enhance and improve my scenes within my stories.
What are you going to find?