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Creativity or plagiarism? 
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 Creativity or plagiarism?
Hi guys,

I am writing my first fiction book right now, you know... And after five years of experience in web writing with its plagiarism issues (I mean, we all know that online texts are copypasted all the time, and bloggers struggle for copyrights every now and then), I wonder how does it work in fiction writing? Well, how do I know that my writing style or the plot of my story haven't been copied by others? Or, how do I know that I am not a plagiarist myself? In web writing, academia, and journalism, specific tools a la PlagiarismCheck exist to scan articles for duplications; but I suppose it won't work for books :x

Shall I read - or at least know the plots - all the bestselling books in my genre? :hmm:

I've heard about some cases of idea plagiarism among world-famous writers. Not sure if it's true, but the Internet can't lie :mrgreen:

1) William Shakespeare stole Othello and Romeo and Juliet

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2) George Orwell stole Nineteen Eighty-Four (oh please, no... I can't believe this! My favorite book!)

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3) Benjamin Franklin with his quips

4) Jack London rewrote The Call of the Wild

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5) Alexandre Dumas stole the characters of The Three Musketeers ??

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Does it mean we should follow their steps to get popular? :no: :kap:



Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:51 am
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Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
I see this as a non-issue for fiction-writing. If a writer wants to update Huckleberry Finn to the present day, by all means go for it. The execution will determine whether the book succeeds, but people won't care that the plot is derivative. It's an artistic risk for the writer and a big challenge to live up to a classic book. I guess the quote attributed to Pablo Picasso applies here: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." I'm not that clear on what the aphorism is supposed to mean, though.



Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:18 am
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Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the willful act of passing another's writing off as your own. That is why we have copyright laws. But if similarity in plot is plagiarism, almost all of the authors of pot-boiler western and detective fiction are guilty of this "sin." Back to copyright laws - some things can't be copyrighted. A title, a theme, a geographical setting (unless it is a fictional setting, such as Westeros in "Game of Thrones." Example: Anyone writing a civil war novel (other than Stephen Crane or Margaret Mitchell) would be guilty of plagiarism. Or writing a science fiction novel set on Mars - unless you are Ray Bradbury. So don't get overworried (is that a word?).


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Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:47 am
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