I want to start this post by saying that it’s not aimed at anyone or anything personally. I know you’re groaning and thinking whenever someone makes a statement like that, they’re really having a dig and blogging about it to really drive home the point—or stick the knife in deeper. I’m not. It’s been just been on my mind and since I’ve been neglecting the blog for a bit, it seemed right. Also, there are serious sides to this business some people are scared to touch on. Not me! (7 words ending in –ing... that’s not good but another story entirely)
So this post is about plagiarism. The definition should be well known to us all but I’ll stick it here anyway.
Plagiarise – take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own.
We’ve all read a book and thought, wow that was a killer idea. We’ve all read a paragraph and thought, I wish I came up with that. We’ve all seen a title and oohed and ahhed over it. Awesome! I love it when any number of those things happen. Sometimes I read a sentence twice and analyse the flow, the words, the impact. I would never copy it. No I haven’t been accused but over the course of my writing and studying life it’s come up a few times. Either that someone else has plagiarised or ‘borrowed’ and they’ve been taken to task over it.
At the end of the day it isn’t fair. If I took that awesome sentence with its flow and impact and genius and passed it off as my own, I would be stealing it. Even if I took some of it and rearranged it to be how I like it, the words would be the same and they still wouldn’t be mine. We’re all in this business to be the next best thing. I would love to have written Twilight or Harry Potter or even The Diary of a Wimpy Kid but I didn’t. I’m over it. If I couldn’t think of my own stories and twists and turns, I couldn’t be an author. If my imagination was broken (that’s how my five year old puts it when she can’t play on her own) or I couldn’t come up with a killer idea of my own, then I don’t deserve to be a published author. Creative writing is just that. You create. You can’t steal, copy or ‘borrow’.
People keep telling me that every story has already been written. Every idea has already been thought of and used. They’re right. But it’s the unique spin you put on your story that makes it yours. It all starts with an idea but it takes your voice and your emotions and your experiences to turn that idea into your story. Own it. Create it. Write it.
Nuff said =)
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I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.