Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Didn't Fucking Plagiarize

I'm in a pissy mood.

Someone accused me of plagiarizing part of Birching His Bride in their review.  Which is not at all true. I clicked on the comment's "report abuse" button that Amazon provides and said it was libelous since I definitely didn't do what the reviewer is publically accusing me of but I have no idea whether Amazon does anything about that kind of thing. And of course the reviewer says they've reported ME to amazon. Good luck asshole, since you obviously don't understand what plagiarizing actually is.

Here's the thing...

1. I have too much respect for myself to ever do such a thing

2. I have too much respect for authors period to ever do such a thing

3. IT WASN'T PLAGIARISM and it really pisses me off the people don't understand what plagiarism actually is.

1.
an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author: It is said that he plagiarized Thoreau's plagiarism of a line written by Montaigne. appropriation, infringement, piracy, counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off.
2.
a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation: “These two manuscripts are clearly plagiarisms,” the editor said, tossing them angrily on the floor.
 
Are there similarities between the first birching scene in my book and that of Ms. Randolph's? Yes. Absolutely. I was aware of this from the beginning because part of the reason I included a scene like that was because I wanted it to go a different way from hers. I liked the idea but I thought it could serve a different purpose.  So I wrote a similar scene... IN MY OWN WORDS.  With completely different characters, different motivations and yes... similar reactions. Because there are only so many reactions that a person can have to being birched and so many reactions to watching it.
 
The similarities: young woman is being birched by her father and there are young men watching it.  They each get one blow across their pussy along with the ones across their butt (so sue me, I liked the idea, it's still not plagiarizing because I wrote about it in a different fashion).  Oh, and afterwards the young men are horny (uh... duh). The stance used by the young women is similar because... OH WAIT.... That position for punishment is used in just about every single birching / spanking / caning story I've read on Amazon. All authors having any kind of story with a heroine standing in a stance like that were PLAGIARIZING! Off of... well whoever was the first one to write about that stance I guess. OR... maybe that's just actually the best stance for a person to position themselves in for punishment.
 
The differences: Well, every single word for one.  Eleanor is defiant from beginning to end, unlike Ms. Randolph's THREE young ladies who are being punished for the viewing pleasure of TWO young men.  Out of the THREE young men that are watching Eleanor being punished only two of them are aroused, one of them is her brother and he doesn't find it the least bit interesting in that way (unlike the brother in Ms. Randolph's book). Throughout the entire thing Edwin is thinking about Eleanor and how's she's changed as well as the birching she's receiving and the descriptions are setting up a pseudo-romance between them... whereas there is no romance in Ms. Randolph's book. The dialogue is completely different, the characters are completely different, the explanations about everything are completely different...
 
Oh, and may I mention again that it was all with my OWN words and that not a single page, paragraph or phrase were lifted from Ms. Randolph's? I can say that for certain because I just read through hers AND mine again to be sure I hadn't done so by accident... oh hey... I didn't. I've had my own work lifted - literally copied and pasted onto other websites with nothing changed but the character's name and I used to think that nothing could piss me off more. Now I know... being accused of doing the same thing definitely pisses me off more.  I re-imagined a scene that I liked for my own purposes, put it into my own words, and made it my own... being told that it's exactly the same as someone else's????
 
Grrr. Want to punch things.

5 comments :

  1. Something else to consider for the reviewer - UMMMM THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY FUCKING PLOT CONCEPTS IN A GENRE!!!!

    It's almost impossible to write something and NOT have elements in common with similar stories. Why do all cop buddy movies have certain consistencies - or romantic comedies or whatever?

    Try writing a fantasy novel and not having elements of Tolkien... or a mystery and not having bits of Poe, Doyle, or Christie...

    Erotica is the same way. There are only so many ways two or more people are going to meet up and fuck, so this reviewer is shocked that you had common elements? Is this the first smut story they've read?

    Anyway, don't let it get to you. As long as we write and share our stories, there will be those who aren't happy with the results.

    And, unless they've commissioned it as custom work, they don't have much room to bitch IMHO.

    Rant off.

    NdnCopVA

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    1. Thanks... and, my thoughts exactly. But it's really nice to know that someone else sees it the same way =)

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    2. Too bad this poster was anonymous--they said it well. Sure, there's ideas of imitation and starting something off with a similar premise, but yes, your own words, your own descriptions, your own plot take it to a whole different level.

      If nothing else you were inspired by the other story to a point perhaps--but that's just it. All writers end up inspired by something.

      Also as you've pointed out, there's only so many ways to do something when you get down to a limited theme. Too bad some idiot had to assume that some similarity=plagiarism.

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  2. There are idiots all over the internet. I know it's horrible to be accused of a crime you didn't commit, but try not to let it get you down too much. Those of us who read you often know that you have plenty of creativity on your own and don't need to borrow anyone else's.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you... it really does help me to feel better about it to hear from other readers. I totally get that I used a similar set-up for a scene but it's angering as hell to me that the differences aren't immediately apparent to this one person as well. Although I guess I should take heart that it's only one person that thinks that out of the many who have bought the book. =)

      Anyway, thanks for the support, I really appreciate it!

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