Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:50 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Creativity or plagiarism? 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membership
Atop the Piled Books


Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 35
Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 8 times in 6 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United States (us)

 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

Image

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

Image

3) Benjamin Franklin with his quips

4) Jack London rewrote The Call of the Wild

Image

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

Image

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



The following user would like to thank Lesley_Vos for this post:
Robert Tulip
Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:51 am
Profile WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5881
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1514
Thanked: 1604 times in 1248 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

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
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nobel Laureate in Literature

Book Discussion Leader

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 986
Location: Wyoming
Thanks: 435
Thanked: 425 times in 339 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 1

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?).


_________________
Love what you do, and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. -Ray Bradbury

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it. -Robert A. Heinlein


The following user would like to thank Cattleman for this post:
DWill
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:47 am
Profile Email
Finally Comfortable


Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 50
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 12
Thanked: 10 times in 9 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl.

Been done a thousand times but it's not plagiarism.


_________________
There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.
-- Benjamin Disraeli


Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:14 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5368
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 1899
Thanked: 1823 times in 1383 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
The term "stole" here is not warranted. The book Hamlet's Mill documents the epic sources for Hamlet, but does not imply Shakespeare "stole" it. Same with Noah and Gilgamesh, Jesus and Horus, or Orwell and Zamyatin, as discussed at https://ofexceptionalpromise.wordpress. ... re-orwell/

Such reuse of plot, theme and character is a legitimate literary method. Indeed, Orwell published a review of We, which shows that calling his use of it 'plagiarism' is unfair.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:13 pm
Profile Email WWW
Not latency, or power shortage, nor bedtime shall keep me from my appointed screed


Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 47
Location: Texas
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 20 times in 17 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
Moby Dick could be regarded as just another fish story, and pretty tame compared to some of the ones I've heard bloviated at family gatherings.



Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:05 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5881
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1514
Thanked: 1604 times in 1248 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Creativity or plagiarism?
Robert Tulip wrote:
The term "stole" here is not warranted. The book Hamlet's Mill documents the epic sources for Hamlet, but does not imply Shakespeare "stole" it. Same with Noah and Gilgamesh, Jesus and Horus, or Orwell and Zamyatin, as discussed at https://ofexceptionalpromise.wordpress. ... re-orwell/

Such reuse of plot, theme and character is a legitimate literary method. Indeed, Orwell published a review of We, which shows that calling his use of it 'plagiarism' is unfair.

We was one cool book, wasn't it? At least I thought so when I read it as a teen. I should go back to it and see how it impresses me now.

Plagiarism applies to use of another writer's words without attribution. Not crediting a writer for ideas that aren't one's own isn't as clearly plagiaristic, but it's very dishonest. As for content such as plot, I agree there's really no problem there. As students, we were told that if we lifted more than 3 consecutive words from a source, we were plagiarizing.



Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:39 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

BookTalk.org Newsletter 



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book

Featured Books

Books by New Authors


*

FACTS is a select group of active BookTalk.org members passionate about promoting Freethought, Atheism, Critical Thinking and Science.

Apply to join FACTS
See who else is in FACTS







BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2017. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank