Saturday, 11 April 2009

The things people do…

So I spent Good Friday writing until my fingers were pulp trying to finish what I call the NY thing – a proposal type do-hickey to an NY agent who had asked me – “what have you got in your bag of writing tricks Amarinda?” Well, I had stuff all but I came up with something. It should be done and sent in the next couple of days. If it gets shot down in flames – so be it. I’ve been shot down before. I know how to fall. Tuck and roll, baby, tuck and roll…

On to other things…like, say…plagiarism…

I was reading this blurb the other day of an another writer’s upcoming release and I thought – holy crap – the story sounded exactly like that of a well known writer whose book, part of a well known series, sounded precisely like this blurb. Hello? Am I the only one who can see that? It screamed obvious to me. Bloody hell…this author either has huge balls, doesn’t care or hasn’t worked out the direct correlation between her story and that of another’s…good luck with that if the body of the story is as direct a rip off as the blurb.

Writing romance books is difficult in the fact that the premise is falling in love – and no, that cannot be plagiarized because love is all to do with life. I suppose some cosmic being could stamp their feet and have a hissy fit but no one owns human life – as far as I know. I could be wrong. So making a book distinctive and different especially in a climate where women are falling in love with demons, vampires, shifters, zombies, robots…okay – I don’t know about robots…maybe someone can correct me on that too – but being unique is hard to do in romance land and cheating happens.

I will admit I do shamelessly plagiarize events from my own life and some personal emails. “Is that me on page 7 Amarinda?” Maybe…Yes, shocking of me but I reckon you get your best ideas when you base them on real life. It’s not rocket science is it? But, in saying that, I don’t mean real life as in sitting and reading someone else’s book one night when you can’t sleep and then thinking – well, crap I could write a story exactly like that. That’s just asking for trouble. Or what happens when you ‘inadvertently’ nick someone’s else’s story and you realize it? Do you fiddle with it so it seems different or do you think “stuff ‘em I spend X numbers of hours writing this so too bad for them.” What happens when you don’t realize it and someone points it out to you? Do you do the right thing and scrap it or cross your fingers and hope that no one will know like the blatant one I saw? Yes, yes – we all assimilate stuff we hear or see but if something belongs to someone else how far would you push it to get ahead in a competitive industry?

When I was at University – they would kick your arse from here to billy-o – billy-o being a very long way, away…no, I’m not sure how far, it’s an Aussie measurement but it’s probably equivalent to ‘as far as the crow flies’ which is pretty far…if you plagiarized. They do the same if they catch you in the publishing world. Why would you even take the risk? Who do I think is going to get their arse kicked for blatant nicking when their book is released?
Go Ahead : Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?