Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Lieu of Actual Content

Because I am deep in IT Hell trying to replace the laptop I oh-so-stupidly spilled water on (no data was lost; gotta love external hard drives and file servers), and the only working computer in the hosue now is the Frankenputer that my mom's boyfriend resurrected from three non-functional computers, blogging is going to be light. Great timing on the writing front: a story out on submission and the next project in the throes of "hmm, maybe it'll work better if I switch it to first person POV" analysis. Not so great timing with the DDJ, but what can you do.

So, here are some neat takes on the whole Cassie Edwards plaigarism scandal because I certainly don't want to spend any time rehashing it in a clever fashion.

One of the plaigarized authors in question responds. (Warning: Tolme is understandably miffed and suffering form a case of cognitive dissonance as to the context of appropriated words. He dumps on the entire romance genre in addition to his warranted snark at Ms. Edwards. I can't really fault him for it. If that sort of attitude toward romance in general ruffles your feathers, you might want to read with caution.)

Another romance writer got tired of having to explain the hoopla to others and resorted to putting everything in context of a Greek tragedy (complete with wailing chorus!).

It's a bit more serious, but a really neat essay on admiring someone else's work and using it to improve your own writing rather than just taking the words and grafting them.

On an interesting related note, I once read a book in which the author plaigarized one of her pseudonyms. The author was a friend of a friend, so I looked up her books at the used book store so I could tell my friend that I had read the author. I found two books: one a regency and one a western and each under a different pseudonym. I read the regency first, thought it good enough to warrant reading the western, and started on the second book. The plot was lifted pretty much wholesale. Entire scenes were copied between one book and the other with just a search and destroy for details like character & place names and hair color, etc. This was over five years ago, just as I was getting started in my own writing endeavors. I was disgusted but didn't really think about anything beyond getting rid of the books and never reading anything by that author again. I've since forgotten the author's names and the titles of the books. If I had encountered this today, knowing what I know now about publishing, I would've certainly written to the publisher. I might've written to the author and/or agent, too. I can't imagine putting it on the internet, but then it's not like I'm a poster for a very popular romance review site. Maybe one day I'll do some research into the books and author and see if I can get the particulars again, but it's a bit of an odd situation: she recycled her own words, not someone else's.

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