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Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic
I should have been writing today, but I haven't. Instead I've upgraded to a paid account, changed my LJ theme, added lots of links, and other purely cosmetic things.

However I have been thinking all the time, and now I know how I can get past the Barrier of Cordy's Hair. I'll start writing the moment I finish this post.

I've put things right with bloodshedbaby, which is a weight off my mind. The only good thing about my habit of thoughtlessly upsetting nice people is that nice people are also nice about accepting apologies. I'd still prefer to upset nasty people, of course, as long as they are not the type of nasty people who come round and break your legs, or launch invasions of your country for no logical reason, or - thinking about it, there's a lot to be said for upsetting only nice people.

I've been following the big Plagiarism kerfuffle. I still can't understand why anyone would do it. Use the odd idea, yes; I think most of us do it to some extent; but pinching whole stories? What's the point? It's still made me nervous, both of having my own work stolen and of using ideas from other authors without due credit.

I've had a look around the net and I don't think anyone has pinched anything of mine. There are two stories in progress at the moment that read as if they have been influenced by "Pandora's Boxer", but they're definitely not plagiarism. From a similar starting point they are rapidly spinning off in completely different directions, and they develop the situations in a way that is nothing like the way I handled them. I regard those stories as "Fair use", if indeed it's not pure coincidence, and I don't mind at all. If either started using my dialogue or major plot points that would be a whole different vibe.

I had better give credit to a couple of stories that in turn influenced me.

If I hadn't read Here is Gone by Terri Botta then "Pandora's Boxer" wouldn't have been quite the way it is. Anyone who has read both stories (and you should read hers, it's great!) will know that there is virtually no similarity, but it influenced some of my thought processes when forming the framework in which "Pandora's Boxer" operates.

I would never have done "It's Got to be Perfect" if I hadn't read kallysten's Practically Perfect, the definitive answer to the same Challenge by kantayra. I don't think I've used anything from the story itself, and if I have it is totally unconsciously.

The passing mention of Harmony having a sister called Megan in IGTBP, and in my "Roxyverse" story "The Secret Diary of Dawn Summers", are deliberate in-jokes referring to rahirah's classic Necessary Evils. I see that as effectively a "pop-culture reference". If rahirah is unhappy about it I'd change it straight away.

I wouldn't have written "I was made for loving you baby" if I hadn't previously read Buffybot behind Bars & Buffybot in Tabula Rasa by keswindhover, and The Buffybot Adventures by The Visitor. I'm confident that my story is completely different to the stories cited, but I can't deny that they did have an influence on me. Of course, I was also strongly influenced by "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein, "Terminator 2", "Blade Runner", "Red Dwarf", the original "Stepford Wives", and "Gregory's Girl", as well as the original BtVS concept.

Well, having done that (hopefully totally unnecessary, but I was feeling a bit paranoid) unburdening, I'll get on with some productive writing.

I leave you with this notice; the Roxyverse stories that I keep trying to persuade you to read include some by my wife and they are hot. She's much better at writing porn than me; I tend to fade to black a bit, whereas she can write stuff that has to be kept in lead-lined cabinets under thirty feet of iced water. Even then you can track it by the trail of copulating penguins.

Current Mood: Paranoid
Current Music: Black Sabbath, "Paranoid"

13 comments or speak 2 me
appomattoxco From: appomattoxco Date: September 15th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm worse

I'm always a bit paraniod if bit of dialogue comes too easy I run and check if I didn't read it somewhere. I once put a "Who did I steal this idea from?" disclaimer on a drabble. Lindsey getting Ethan Rayne out of prison to tatoo him still feels familar.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 15th, 2004 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm worse

When I read your heading "I'm worse" I thought you were referring to the writing porn bit, and that you wrote stuff that had to be buried under 200 feet of Greenland icesheet and still made walruses shag like bunnies.
appomattoxco From: appomattoxco Date: September 15th, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I'm worse

I wish, I can't write porn to save my life. I always fade to black with a kiss.
missmurchison From: missmurchison Date: September 15th, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see a lot of people going through this kind of soul-searching, and they're all writers who would never knowingly steal anything. Allusions and shout-outs are not stealing. And being influenced--that's called learning from people who do something well. This is one of the things that made me erupt in what I assure you is an uncharacteristic volcanic fashion today.

But it's nice to know you share my admiration for Kes and Barb.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 15th, 2004 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've just stumbled upon another major case of plagiarism myself; I was reading the Bloody Awful Gutter Yahoo! group and saw a fic posted that looked awfully familiar.

I won't go into further details here but I've contacted the real author, one of the biggest names in BtVS fanfic, and she is deciding what to do about it. She doesn't want a fuss made at this stage.

The thief must be a lunatic. I mean, the story in question has won more awards than Tiger Woods has won golf championships. How could they expect to get away with it? Even as I was doing my post to the real author someone else was doing the same thing.

missmurchison From: missmurchison Date: September 15th, 2004 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear that. I was just starting to hope that things would die down. Although I seem to have stirred up quite a bit myself. I seem to be getting my 15 minutes of wank, anyway.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 15th, 2004 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's related. Although maybe it is, a sort of nomadic serial plagiarist driven from her normal haunts and forced to seek out new prey.

It's not a cut and paste job, it's a rewrite. Minor details changed, a little more than just search-and-replace, but still definitely the same multiple award winning story.

I'm almost scared to go to bed now in case she's busy stealing my work. However it's 4.45 am my time so I have no option.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: September 15th, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nah, I don't mind. I've lent several of my original characters and establishments out to other writers. (Though if they're going to make a Major Appearence in someone else's story, with lines and everything, it's nice to be asked ahead of time.)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 16th, 2004 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
If she did ever did get lines, rather than just being mentioned as existing, I would ask you.

In "Pandora's Boxer Book 2" Harmony's sister will be making an appearance with actual lines, in fact she'll be a fairly significant character, but I won't be using the "Megan" name there, and she won't have the same personality as your nitwit Megan from "Necessary Evils".
nihilistbear From: nihilistbear Date: September 16th, 2004 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree comepletely with influences. Every Spike story I have ever written ever, any point at which Spike speaks fo his past, thinks about his past of you kow, does anything, is influenced entirely by 'Many Loves' by Jessica Walker. I cannot go into how much this story is my personal idea of Spike's life, because that would take too long. Suffice to say, it's my canon Spike.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 16th, 2004 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I've ever read "Many Loves". Must do so.
hurry_sundown From: hurry_sundown Date: September 17th, 2004 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
She's much better at writing porn than me; I tend to fade to black a bit, whereas she can write stuff that has to be kept in lead-lined cabinets under thirty feet of iced water...

magista's spouse Frohickey, who is also a fic writer, had an interesting observation about why girl-written fic = lavishly detailed smut, while boy-written fic = tasteful fade to black (he was talking about his own writing, but I tend to think it's broadly applicable). Frohickey says it's because a women dishing with her friends will discuss her sexual encounters in great detail, while a man is more apt to say, "Yeah, we did it. What channel is the game on?"

btw, glad to see you're in better spirits.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: September 17th, 2004 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've read some pretty hot stuff by other women writers, but my wife is in a totally different league. Compared to her even nautibitz writes chaste and demure fade-to-black romances.

I don't know how sex-related the difference is; I try to write smut, but I end up writing in allusion and implication rather than graphic detail. It just seems to work better that way, and it does end up reasonably hot. But I can't set the sheets on fire, and she can. In fact she can set the sheets in the next street on fire.
13 comments or speak 2 me