Hello friends. You may have noticed that many of my journal entries have been mysteriously disappearing. This is due in part to a series of recent concerns I have had about protecting my work. This is partially my own fault- I should know that the internet is not entirely populated by well-meaning readers with a sense of right and wrong. Still, the damage is done, and I have decided to rectify it by protecting my work more stringently.
I want to expand a little bit on what I actually consider plagiarism, since I think it's a topic that confuses people. Authors and artists have a vast range of what they find acceptable and what they don't. Some authors even ban fanfiction, which for the most part I find silly. Firstly, I love fanfiction, I think it's a great way for authors to stretch their writing muscles, and even the most depraved and insane fanfiction of one of my stories would still be sort of flattering to me, because honestly if someone likes my characters enough to want to continue their stories it's the ultimate ego boost. That said, if you make money off of fanfiction without the author's permission- BAD!! Don't do that. I feel as though most authors (most) are reasonable people and can give you reasonable answers as to why or why not they'd like to let you publish companion books or the like. Respect them!
So I don't consider fanfiction plagiarism at all, unless the fanfic-writer is unfairly making money off of the author's property. What I do consider plagiarism is a word-for-word copy of one of my works, even if names and situations are slightly changed. This should be obvious! And honestly, how shameful is it to try and make money like that? I feel that not only are those sort of people greedy, but they must have a low sense of self-worth. I have enough pride in my own writing to consider it abhorrent to even think about submitting false work. Why would I do that when I have so many lovely original things to offer?! So for people who do this sort of plagiarism- are you sure you don't have your own ideas to offer? Surely you, too, have a story you want to write. Maybe you plagiarize because you're too afraid of rejection to write it. Well, stop it! I can promise you the rewards will be a million times greater if you actually sit down and work to create something.
And besides, the work that I post here is the unedited, first draft version. If you think that is publishing-ready, well, the joke's on you! If I were ever to publish any of this stuff it would be vastly cleaned up and polished.
Anyway, from beyond the obvious copy-paste stuff, the concept of plagiarism becomes more fuzzy. I would consider it plagiarism if someone comes out with a story about a girl named Bryony and how she was raised by a wyvern named Volte and there's a wyrm-hunter named Keegan who is half-fey. I would also consider it plagiarism if someone comes out with a story about a girl named Ivy and how she was raised by a little dragon named Swift and there's a dragon-killerr named Keegan who is half-demon. ANYTHING that directly copies ANY of my actual words is plagiarism.
However, what if someone wants to write a story about a person raised by a dragon or wyvern and their own struggles with the adversity in their world? This is harder to classify, because it's not a word-for-word copy, it's a premise. And frankly, I can hardly copyright a premise. So, if you are inspired to have your own idea by my story, and it's very similar to mine... I do not consider that plagiarism, not if you then write it in your own words. I know many people would disagree with this point, but honestly, even though I might find it irritating if something like that popped up, I can't very well say "All stories with wyverns and girls and problems in them are mine!" That's stupid. And if I'm to be honest with myself, nothing I write is really 100% original. It's really a rehash of ideas and styles I've absorbed over many years of reading and viewing different forms of entertainment. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anything truly original these days. And I don't actually think this is such a bad thing. We live in a very derivative society, where people build off of ideas and creations constantly, seeing what directions they can take them into to surprise people and to make them think. I mean, just look at memes- not that most memes really make you think, but there's something awesome about how people can endlessly re-use a very familiar idea in ways that make you laugh. I think this is great, and I don't have a problem with it happening in literature. If you look at my stories and you think, hmm, I could take it in this direction, or hmm, I could honestly make this better, than you know what? More power to you.
And those are my thoughts on plagiarism- sorry if it was a bit tl;dr. Back to how this relates to my journal.
From now on, I will not post any work aside from short stories, story concepts, or stories I will never consider publishing.