August 10th, 2006


On the Originality of Speakers

There seem to be a couple of major kerfuffles going on in the Buffy fandom at the moment. I’m going to ignore them. I have Friends – and in fact friends – on both sides and I don’t want to get involved.

Outside this fandom there is the Cassandra Claire Plagiarism Affair and I have been thinking about it a lot recently. The article that the link leads to is very long and often tedious. To sum it up; a major figure in the Harry Potter fandom has been discovered to have been peppering her fanfic with quotes from other books, and to have taken major plot elements and monsters from a different published Fantasy series without any disclaimer or credit being given.

This is held to be plagiarism, and that worries me. If you have read my stories you will know that they are filled with quotes from other works. To me it’s a necessary part of writing Buffy fanfic; chop out the Pop Culture references and it just isn’t Buffy. I obviously don’t intend people to believe that the phrases in question are all my own work; I intend the sources to be recognised, and in many cases the jokes simply wouldn’t work if the reader doesn’t know the original. The creative element as far as I am concerned comed from my choice of quotes, and their placement; and of course I do frequently twist them. But I don’t annotate my works with explanations of where I am getting the quotes. If anyone picks one out and asks me I will tell them, certainly, and often the characters will say something to give away the source. But life’s too short to spend ages putting loads of footnotes after each of my chapters or ficlets. And I’m not going to start now.

However I am not certain that what I do differs from what Cassandra Claire has done. I don’t feel as if I am doing anything immoral. BtVS and AtS were absolutely littered with quotes. Hell, the very last line of ‘Not Fade Away’ is a quote from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and Joss doesn’t give any credit. Well, maybe he does in the DVD commentary, but I never listen to those. So, is Cassandra Claire innocent, or am I guilty? And, if I am guilty, then isn’t Joss guilty too?

In other news, my story ‘Life, Resumed’ has been nominated in the Love’s Last Glimpse Awards as Best WIP, Crossover, and Future Fic. ‘Crossover’ there means between BtVS and AtS. I have also been nominated as Best Author. Oh, and ‘Merry Sport’ was nominated at the Serenity on the Hellmouth Awards in June, for ‘Best Joyce’, and I didn’t get round to mentioning it here. That category didn’t receive enough nominations and was held over until the next round. Thanks to whoever nominated me (and apologies for not mentioning the ‘Serenity in the Hellmouth’ nomination earlier).

And I am currently reposting a rewritten version of my Season 4 magnum opus ‘Pandora’s Boxer’ at seven_seasons. For the first time ever it is available on LiveJournal and is in my memories HERE. It’s about halfway through at the moment and I’m posting at a rate of a chapter a day or so. Of course it makes use of non-original material. Not only is it Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic but it is peppered with quotes from songs and movies and TV shows. And one of the characters uses an idea taken from the ‘Modesty Blaise’ books by Peter O’Donnell. But she does talk about where the idea originated. I hope that is enough.

Birthday greetings and future plans

I have seriously neglected my Birthday posts. I went 3 days without checking the list and missed several people including some very long-standing Friends.

Belated happy birthdays to mefnord, opalescence, and souloftherose

and happy birthday to mnmbelle

Only 11 days to go now until my posting day for the watchersdiaries ficathon, 5 of which will be work days when I can't do any writing, and I haven't even started on 'Days of No Trust'. Meep! And I want to do updates for 'Tabula Avatar', 'Life, Resumed', and 'Dojo Hard', and a 'Where did Olaf go' ficlet or two as well. Reading will have to take a back seat to writing for a while. And it might take me a while to respond to the comments on my last post.

I won't be able to go to the mini-meet preceding a possible forthcoming UK Writercon (see writerconuk). I will be at work and the possibility of swapping holidays to free up that period has now been ruled out. I think that I might like to go to the full thing, however, assuming that work permits. If I do go I might even be able to make an actual practical contribution. A panel on writing fight scenes? Would this be interesting?