Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

6

There is nothing new under the sun, my friend. If you read TV Tropes you might be forgiven for thinking that all plots are like all other plots. However it is not the plots (there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway) but the characterisations, details, names etc that make your world unique to you. If you are worried that you have by ...


6

Yes, it's certainly possible that posting on the internet could lead to someone stealing your ideas, here or on any other site. But will this actually happen? There are risks, however small, to showing your work to anyone. Most writers that publish know the benefits of peer feedback, and take the risk anyway. Many people have reaped benefits from posting ...


5

Consider that the theme in author A's book that is inspiring you was almost certainly found by author A in author B's work and inspired them, and so on. What's important is that you find a unique and original way to weave a story around that theme. For instance: Humble, unremarkable individual finds, quite by accident, some supremely important object ...


4

I'm hoping those weren't restaurant reviews! Also, IMHO, your phrase is a nod to Tolkien, a literary allusion. That is not plagiarism, any more than it would be plagiarism to say at the end of a review of a robotics show, "Next year, for sure, I'll be back."


4

Work with reputable proofreaders and designers, who have proven track records with satisfied clients. Anybody with a reputation to maintain will have no profit from plagiarizing clients' work. First of all, a manuscript on its own isn't worth a whole lot (it takes a lot of work to earn good money off a manuscript), and secondly, they'll stop getting ...


4

Excellent question. The boundaries between different forms of derivative work are constantly being pushed and redefined. "Derivative" has come to be used mostly as an insult, but as you rightly point out, some works of fiction (I would argue 'most works') draw inspiration from preexisting sources. In a way, storytelling is an ongoing cultural endeavour. ...


3

On my last university course the department insisted everything was submitted to a system called "TurnItIn" (http://turnitin.com/en_us/home) but there are loads of others. TurnItIn gave a load of different metrics for direct copies of other material, rephrasing and the like. Only problem I found was it often got confused with citations and references.


3

Take elements from multiple sources and combine them in a unique way. The reality is that none of us is entirely original; we all borrow (consciously or unconsciously) from others. French writer Georges Polti claimed in the 19th century that there were only 36 dramatic situations that could occur in a story or performance. More recently Christopher Booker ...


2

Even when no-one steals my ideas, I don't want the bones of my book exhibited on the internet for all my readers and critics to pick over. I only post ideas and excerpts in closed forums with a small number of members that I personally know. If I hand out text for feedback, I have the recipients sign a non-disclosure agreement. Also I give paper copies ...


2

Your best bet is to break down the source into broad mythical elements and rebuild your story from that. Harry's tale is both a coming-of-age and a Hero's Journey, and you don't get much more archetypal than those. JKRowling admits she modeled Harry-Ron-Ginny after Luke-Han-Leia, and Lucas was working with Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. (An ...


2

Copying ideas is not plagiarism. Copying execution is. Further, some phrases are so common they couldn't possibly be considered plagiarism. The idea of being unable to quite recall something is not unique. It's a little bit like me using the phrase, "it's a little bit like." I'm sure if you did a google search of the phrase, "I could never quite recall" ...


2

In addition to "Work with reputable proofreaders and designers," as Standback correctly notes, you can also add a non-disclosure agreement to your contract. The language might state that the contents/cover/etc. of the book is to remain strictly confidential until official publication by X publishing house or Y printer. Honestly, I don't think this is ...


1

Copying discrete details, outside of parody, is plagiarism and is often protected under copyright laws. Think of it this way. Copying large ideas is okay. Copying the actual details or implementation of those larger ideas is violating someone's rights. Writing a story about a boy who goes to wizardry school is okay. Writing a story about a boy with round ...


1

I constantly read books and watch movies that are totally unlike anything that I have ever read or seen before. There is an unlimited wealth of stories that have never been told. If your story is like "all other" alien invasion stories, then that is because you have seen or read those other stories, learned their underlying schema, and now have applied it ...


1

At my college they use this software to determine the authenticity of a thesis when submitted.


1

The difference between copyright violation, plagiarism, and inspiration is a range and not three distinct points. Obviously -- I think this is obvious anyway -- if you copy somebody else's story word for word and put your own title and by-line on it, that's copyright violation. If you take somebody else's story and make just enough changes to avoid ...


1

When a phrase from a novel or movie becomes so widespread that it can be considered a common figure of speech, using it is no longer plagiarism. No-one in their right mind would accuse you of plagiarism when you opened a review with: "To read or not to read, that is the question." Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is one of the most read books of our time, and ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible