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Hi, today I'm going to be Double the Trouble - I'm going to be posting here and also chatting away my day on torquere_social.

Yeah, I will be expecting double comments *lmao*.

On the Social, I'm going to be posting some snippets of my Torquere Press publications. I don't have anything new to pimp, but it's always fun to revisit!

And I also want to touch on something that intrigues me : Plagiarism.

I've sympathised with friends who've suffered this. Personally, I struggle to understand why people would seek to pass someone else's work off as their own, especially if they've added no value of their own to it, and in fact are actively lying to their readers by presenting it so.
It's a waste of their time and their integrity - and possibly their own potential talent - and also insults the reader's intelligence.
*coughjustsaywhatyouthinkClare*.
I don't think I've ever suffered it myself.

But... have I?!

Last week I read a new e-book (not at Torquere, I hasten to clarify) that I sort of enjoyed. It wasn't brilliant, the dialogue was a bit stilted, the head hopping rather noticeable. I suffer from that myself on my older fics, so I notice it more now *lol*. Not a 'keeper', but it was entertaining.

One of the character developments reminded me of a fanfic story of my own from 2004. The same premise; the same unusual background for the character. Then a bit further on, there was a plot twist that reminded me of the *plot* in my fanfic story. Then, finally, there was a plot device used by the ebook hero to save the day - and that was *totally* reminiscent of the same thing in my story!!!

Well, I've thought it through a lot since. It wasn't EXACTLY the same, and there were no passages of text that were close to mine (though who can remember from 2004, what they wrote?! LOL). And so I'm starting from the point of me being both flaky and paranoid, and that it's all coincidence *lol*.

Makes for interesting thoughts though, doesn't it?

* Obviously there are few original plots in life, let alone fiction - we authors make them fresh only by our re-telling. I suspect that these plot steps are common in many, many stories (though strange that only this one has ever rung such loud bells).
* Many of us come from fanfiction backgrounds. Maybe not the same fandom, but again I suspect that the canon/fanon plots repeat themselves many times. I'm sure I've been guilty of that myself. After all, I started out like many people - just 'copying' the format and themes of the stories I read and loved.
* Maybe what we read seeps into our subconscious more than we think. Even this story, which I'd only ever have rated a 4 out of 10, will stay in my mind for these very odd reasons.
Maybe some of it will appear in one of *my* future stories!

Without opening any old wounds, do YOU have any experiences like this to share?
Have you been plagiarised - have you suspected it?
What did you do - or what WOULD you do?
Were you flattered? Amused? Disgusted? Bored???

let me know! ♥



-----------------------------

Follow this month with Clare (yes, it's all about the MEEEE...):

Jan 01 : the Cheeky Cherubs welcome us to 2009 with a pithy verse or two and the threat of piercings...
Jan 02 : sweet, sexy fiction from lilzazu, all about the perennially tricky problem of a sticky shift...
Jan 03 : excellent editing tips for all authors who ever wondered whether to be cruel to be kind to their prose, hosted by jolilightner...
Jan 04 : Clare pimps the fabulous I DO anthology, now available in ebook and all proceeds to Lambda...
Jan 05 : abstractrx ponders the changing role of Romance and its reflection of - or on?! - the society around it...
Jan 06 : FREE FICTION from me and my friends!
Jan 07 : Jordan Castillo Price discusses what tempts us to try out a new author...



Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Comment HERE!!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
clarelondon
Jan. 8th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
You're right!
Often our style is similar or reminiscent of someone else's when we haven't even read them. Or let's face it - it's 'reminiscent' in the eyes of a reader, who is looking for a 'hook' to describe how they felt about it. In other words, it may be the *reader* who has the blurring, not the author!

Which I suspect is me, in this case *lol*.

How's that face? I've been thinking a lot about it and getting worried, esp. when I heard you hadn't been given anti-biotics *is fussing*.
^__^
chrissymunder
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
I know how odd I felt just having used a quotation in a piece of free fiction and then within a couple of days seeing someone else use that same quote at the top of their piece.

How silly was that? I mean, it was a quotation for God's sake - not anything of mine - but the timing was so odd that I felt some type of ownership and violation.

Then I had another piece of free fiction turn up on as someone else's piece of free fiction - changed some yes - but very blatantly (and poorly I might add) taking my story and changing brief parts of it to suit their idea of how my story should have gone.

Was this really any different than anyone taking favorite characters in books and movies, etc and expounding on the characters? Or is the difference simply that is was mine and of course, I'm a selfish beast. I've wondered about that often.

In this case though - if it is anything other than a random shift of coincindence - and I'll hope that's what it is - then someone is making money off your idea. And that's disturbing.



clarelondon
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
Good God, so you had a piece of your fiction actually STOLEN (let's not mince words) and then hacked about and presented as their own??!!!

But IMHO that IS different - VERY - from developing 'original' fiction like fanfiction, albeit that's based on someone else's established characters. Fanfiction isn't using the words and cliaming them as you own - there's additional creativity (and value, some might say!) involved.

I can't identify any of my words at all, I think I'm just being miffed for the sake of it. Someone over on T-social suggests the author may have read my story in the past and some of it remained in her mind.

It does make me a bit wary of submitting that story for publication, as I was thinking of doing later this year, if only because I don't want other readers to think we're both on the same synopsis *lol*. But I suppose if she didn't use the scene in the hotel corridor, she can't have remembered it *that* well... *smirk*

Thanks for dropping in. TWICE!!! *hugs*
erastes
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
I may have been - my old writing journal has been lying fallow for years now, it wouldn't be at all difficult to nick my work, rename it and repost it - who'd remember underlucius after all this time? I'd be annoyed - hugely so - if I found out, but I'd only find out if someone pointed it out.

As to being influenced, I know I am - without really being aware of it. I wrote Standish and wasn't really aware of what I was pouring into it, but it was really a meld of everything I loved about the genre. I saw a couple of James Mason films recently and thought "OMG - this is in Standish" ! Things like a duel in a wood with fog and the clinking of horses' harness.

I find plagiarism pointless, more than anything else. It's like... telling everyone you are on a diet, and cheating on it. You are lying and most importantly you are lying to yourself. You can't take any pride in your work, because it isn't your own. Doesn't stop people doing it though.
clarelondon
Jan. 8th, 2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
That's a good point actually, there are all sorts of things I have in archives all over the place. To some extent, you think, if they can be that bothered, let them get on with it. But no, it's a stupid and rude thing to do, and you're right, it's pointless. Cheating yourself.

And yes I know they still do it, but I'll never understand why. *sigh*
lilzazu
Jan. 9th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
I think it could just be that...there aren't original ideas? It's kinda odd though, to think that there could be so much similar in a single story (so alike to a fic I mean). I mean, give anyone on LJ a prompt, a specific one, and they could still take it in totally different directions, right?

Then again, I've been told by a friend when I bounced a bunny off of him that it 'sounds like this book by this author' and I'd be like 'wait, who?' because I'd honestly never heard of the author or read the book.

That said, I've had blatant plagarism done...someone copied my fic word for word and pasted it on a different site, a site I don't frequent, and it was another reader who brought it to my attention (and when I looked at it, some of the reviewers thought that it was a good fic, asked for updates, while others openly flamed the 'writer'...) And it was taken down form the site after I contacted the site managers. @_@ That's about it. I don't know if I was flattered, it was (at that moment) a sort of 'um, what and why?' feeling. @_@
clarelondon
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, I didn't know you'd been copied! What a nerve! I just don't know what they think they'll achieve, because when they're found out, they look really stupid.

And BTW I've got your email, hope to get to it over the weekend. I'm sorry I'm such a too-busy beta *sigh*

*hugs*
lilzazu
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
It happened a while back. I think she(?) argued with me, too, about how she wrote it first. Which is funny; her post date on the website alone was off from my archive dates on GWDiaries. Never heard from her(?) again. @_@

Thanks! I'm not so much waiting on the iia disera chapter as I am on the...other bits. The rest of the long, draggy email that I shall apologize for yet again, here. I'm sorry *snugs*!

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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