Plagiarism and Jung

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Wench Pat here:

Since I’ve been having an excruciatingly difficult and not particularly creative week, (and my internet just went out–again) I’ve opted to pull a question from the Wenches Question Box (anyone else interested, just e-mail your question to our whipmistress, Sherrie—click on her head down there on the left).  RevMel is our questioner today, and she has a recent book of her choice from my website at patriciarice.com coming to her.

“The saying goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  Have any of the Wenches had the experience of reading a book or a review and thinking "Hey!  That writer stole my idea/plot/name/family!"?  If so, how did they/do they feel about it? (No names and/or specific instances need be named, LOL!) (Do people in the writing community ever sue each other?)  On the other hand, have any of the Wenches read a book and thought, "I could do that better," and then written their own version (even unconsciously?)?”

Rt
Can’t name names because my memory is so bad, but very definitely, yes, I’ve opened up RT’s Book Reviews to discover the plot of my current WIP, or similar character and family names, or book titles.  I don’t have enough ego to believe anyone is actually imitating me, so I’m not flattered, just annoyed that I’ll have to change what I’m doing. <G> 

It’s equally startling to call up the title of a book on Amazon and discover half a dozen of the same title by six different authors. I try to avoid that by checking Amazon before I title a book, but there’s no avoiding the collective unconscious. I’ve seen three books of the same title come out in a single month.  Conspiracy theorists may believe editors write down the titles of proposals they’ve rejected and keep a file to use later, but if editor brains operate anything like mine, that title just stuck in their  subconscious and came out at the proper moment.

Badgirl
I can go to the bookstore and find recent books using my old titles, which makes me feel old <G> but doesn’t otherwise bother me. We can’t copyright titles.  When I read a review that resembles my WIP, I’m annoyed because I prefer to think I’m original and don’t want anyone saying I stole their ideas. But always, if I buy the book and read it to be certain I’m not losing my touch, there is nothing remotely similar between the stories. Reviews are condensed to such basic romance tropes that after a while, it’s a miracle they don’t all sound alike. 

As to writers suing writers, it happens enough that it ought to give anyone who plagiarizes nightmares.  I know everyone has read about the big lawsuits involving J.K. Rowlings and the author of Da Vinci Code.  In those cases, plagiarism wasn’t proved since all the plaintiffs had were similar character names and a vague idea.  You can’t plagiarize ideas or character names. But I have known cases where even big name authors have copied entire passages, word for word, out of other people’s books and included them in their own. When that’s discovered—and if the book is at all well read, it will be discovered—it’s a nasty stomach-churning ordeal for everyone involved. No one comes out the winner. There isn’t enough money in suing over copyright for the victim to feel at all compensated for being ground through a mill.  Usually, there isn’t any money at all, just the vindication of proving the other person a thief.  The authors I’ve known have sued out of principle—to prevent the plagiarist from repeating the crime, but they still feel personally violated.

As to the “I could do better” line, I suspect many of us started writing because we thought that. <G> Love
I’ve rewritten endings many a time (in my head only!), and I’ve heard others say the same. But what  finally forced me into attempting to write a romance was falling head over heels in love with the genre. I totally respected the ladies who produced such sigh-inspiring stories, and when I paid hard-earned money for the copycats who jumped on the bandwagon later with poorly-thought-out, hastily scribbled garbage, I threw their books against the wall and muttered that fateful line.  And because I couldn’t find enough of the books I loved at the time, I started writing my own, propelled by the confidence that if the copycats could get published, then surely I could. Does that make me a copycat?

Has anyone else noticed similarities between books, ideas, characters? Do you think the similarities are related to Jung’s “collective unconscious”? Or can we more directly relate the similarities to media—TV, movies, other books?

175 thoughts on “Plagiarism and Jung”

  1. Interesting post Pat. I remember once that in the space of one month, there were at least 3 books in various Harlequin/Silhouette series that had the same basic premise. Boss inherits baby, gets secretary/assistant/underling to help him with said baby and they fall in love. I think sometimes there is something just something in the air, and all of a sudden you see similar plots or themes, but it’s what each individual writers does with them that makes it interesting. Although I did once read a book that was a total rip-off of Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck but set in the UK instead of the Hudson Valley.

    Reply
  2. Interesting post Pat. I remember once that in the space of one month, there were at least 3 books in various Harlequin/Silhouette series that had the same basic premise. Boss inherits baby, gets secretary/assistant/underling to help him with said baby and they fall in love. I think sometimes there is something just something in the air, and all of a sudden you see similar plots or themes, but it’s what each individual writers does with them that makes it interesting. Although I did once read a book that was a total rip-off of Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck but set in the UK instead of the Hudson Valley.

    Reply
  3. Interesting post Pat. I remember once that in the space of one month, there were at least 3 books in various Harlequin/Silhouette series that had the same basic premise. Boss inherits baby, gets secretary/assistant/underling to help him with said baby and they fall in love. I think sometimes there is something just something in the air, and all of a sudden you see similar plots or themes, but it’s what each individual writers does with them that makes it interesting. Although I did once read a book that was a total rip-off of Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck but set in the UK instead of the Hudson Valley.

    Reply
  4. Interesting post Pat. I remember once that in the space of one month, there were at least 3 books in various Harlequin/Silhouette series that had the same basic premise. Boss inherits baby, gets secretary/assistant/underling to help him with said baby and they fall in love. I think sometimes there is something just something in the air, and all of a sudden you see similar plots or themes, but it’s what each individual writers does with them that makes it interesting. Although I did once read a book that was a total rip-off of Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck but set in the UK instead of the Hudson Valley.

    Reply
  5. Interesting post Pat. I remember once that in the space of one month, there were at least 3 books in various Harlequin/Silhouette series that had the same basic premise. Boss inherits baby, gets secretary/assistant/underling to help him with said baby and they fall in love. I think sometimes there is something just something in the air, and all of a sudden you see similar plots or themes, but it’s what each individual writers does with them that makes it interesting. Although I did once read a book that was a total rip-off of Anya Seton’s Dragonwyck but set in the UK instead of the Hudson Valley.

    Reply
  6. I read so much, and I see inevitable repetitions of titles,names, plots, etc. I do think that somehow writers are pulling stuff out of some communal romance stew.
    I just discovered (yesterday) another aspiring writer has nearly the same title and the exact same name for the heroine as my current WIP.I could give up my title, but not my heroine’s name, but of course if I don’t finish, query and publish, it’s all a moot point anyway, LOL.
    I find the similarity in book titles the worst, though, cause I can never remember if I read One Night of Sin or One Sinful Night.
    Copying another writer’s work is absolutely inexplicable. Why?

    Reply
  7. I read so much, and I see inevitable repetitions of titles,names, plots, etc. I do think that somehow writers are pulling stuff out of some communal romance stew.
    I just discovered (yesterday) another aspiring writer has nearly the same title and the exact same name for the heroine as my current WIP.I could give up my title, but not my heroine’s name, but of course if I don’t finish, query and publish, it’s all a moot point anyway, LOL.
    I find the similarity in book titles the worst, though, cause I can never remember if I read One Night of Sin or One Sinful Night.
    Copying another writer’s work is absolutely inexplicable. Why?

    Reply
  8. I read so much, and I see inevitable repetitions of titles,names, plots, etc. I do think that somehow writers are pulling stuff out of some communal romance stew.
    I just discovered (yesterday) another aspiring writer has nearly the same title and the exact same name for the heroine as my current WIP.I could give up my title, but not my heroine’s name, but of course if I don’t finish, query and publish, it’s all a moot point anyway, LOL.
    I find the similarity in book titles the worst, though, cause I can never remember if I read One Night of Sin or One Sinful Night.
    Copying another writer’s work is absolutely inexplicable. Why?

    Reply
  9. I read so much, and I see inevitable repetitions of titles,names, plots, etc. I do think that somehow writers are pulling stuff out of some communal romance stew.
    I just discovered (yesterday) another aspiring writer has nearly the same title and the exact same name for the heroine as my current WIP.I could give up my title, but not my heroine’s name, but of course if I don’t finish, query and publish, it’s all a moot point anyway, LOL.
    I find the similarity in book titles the worst, though, cause I can never remember if I read One Night of Sin or One Sinful Night.
    Copying another writer’s work is absolutely inexplicable. Why?

    Reply
  10. I read so much, and I see inevitable repetitions of titles,names, plots, etc. I do think that somehow writers are pulling stuff out of some communal romance stew.
    I just discovered (yesterday) another aspiring writer has nearly the same title and the exact same name for the heroine as my current WIP.I could give up my title, but not my heroine’s name, but of course if I don’t finish, query and publish, it’s all a moot point anyway, LOL.
    I find the similarity in book titles the worst, though, cause I can never remember if I read One Night of Sin or One Sinful Night.
    Copying another writer’s work is absolutely inexplicable. Why?

    Reply
  11. I’ve noticed different types of sameness. The first type I’ve noticed is some rewriting of Georgette Heyers books or at least the plots. And, I really don’t mind, except for that moment when my mind goes, “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read this before.” But, then I can relax and finish it and enjoy the rewrite, which in most cases is just as good if not better then Heyers. I don’t have a problem with the “I can do it better” author. I think in a lot of cases that’s a truism.
    Now I will back paddle. About 10 years ago I read a book by an author who shall remain nameless. In that book were obvious rewrites of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” That rewrite bothered me and I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t any good; it was. I guess maybe it was because I’d always considered Pimpernel sacred, or maybe I viewed the author as being lazy and taking the easy way out of writing something “original” by copying.
    There is another trend which I find distracting and that is taking movies and rewriting them into books. What irritates me about this trend is I become so busy trying to think of the movie that I don’t enjoy reading the book.
    I do find it interesting when there are similar books released in the same time period. I usually think that it’s some kind of publisher conspiracy, but I know that’s not true. So, I blame that on some space time continuum.
    I really don’t have a problem with the borrowing of an idea and making it into something that is one’s own, as long as that is what happens.

    Reply
  12. I’ve noticed different types of sameness. The first type I’ve noticed is some rewriting of Georgette Heyers books or at least the plots. And, I really don’t mind, except for that moment when my mind goes, “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read this before.” But, then I can relax and finish it and enjoy the rewrite, which in most cases is just as good if not better then Heyers. I don’t have a problem with the “I can do it better” author. I think in a lot of cases that’s a truism.
    Now I will back paddle. About 10 years ago I read a book by an author who shall remain nameless. In that book were obvious rewrites of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” That rewrite bothered me and I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t any good; it was. I guess maybe it was because I’d always considered Pimpernel sacred, or maybe I viewed the author as being lazy and taking the easy way out of writing something “original” by copying.
    There is another trend which I find distracting and that is taking movies and rewriting them into books. What irritates me about this trend is I become so busy trying to think of the movie that I don’t enjoy reading the book.
    I do find it interesting when there are similar books released in the same time period. I usually think that it’s some kind of publisher conspiracy, but I know that’s not true. So, I blame that on some space time continuum.
    I really don’t have a problem with the borrowing of an idea and making it into something that is one’s own, as long as that is what happens.

    Reply
  13. I’ve noticed different types of sameness. The first type I’ve noticed is some rewriting of Georgette Heyers books or at least the plots. And, I really don’t mind, except for that moment when my mind goes, “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read this before.” But, then I can relax and finish it and enjoy the rewrite, which in most cases is just as good if not better then Heyers. I don’t have a problem with the “I can do it better” author. I think in a lot of cases that’s a truism.
    Now I will back paddle. About 10 years ago I read a book by an author who shall remain nameless. In that book were obvious rewrites of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” That rewrite bothered me and I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t any good; it was. I guess maybe it was because I’d always considered Pimpernel sacred, or maybe I viewed the author as being lazy and taking the easy way out of writing something “original” by copying.
    There is another trend which I find distracting and that is taking movies and rewriting them into books. What irritates me about this trend is I become so busy trying to think of the movie that I don’t enjoy reading the book.
    I do find it interesting when there are similar books released in the same time period. I usually think that it’s some kind of publisher conspiracy, but I know that’s not true. So, I blame that on some space time continuum.
    I really don’t have a problem with the borrowing of an idea and making it into something that is one’s own, as long as that is what happens.

    Reply
  14. I’ve noticed different types of sameness. The first type I’ve noticed is some rewriting of Georgette Heyers books or at least the plots. And, I really don’t mind, except for that moment when my mind goes, “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read this before.” But, then I can relax and finish it and enjoy the rewrite, which in most cases is just as good if not better then Heyers. I don’t have a problem with the “I can do it better” author. I think in a lot of cases that’s a truism.
    Now I will back paddle. About 10 years ago I read a book by an author who shall remain nameless. In that book were obvious rewrites of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” That rewrite bothered me and I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t any good; it was. I guess maybe it was because I’d always considered Pimpernel sacred, or maybe I viewed the author as being lazy and taking the easy way out of writing something “original” by copying.
    There is another trend which I find distracting and that is taking movies and rewriting them into books. What irritates me about this trend is I become so busy trying to think of the movie that I don’t enjoy reading the book.
    I do find it interesting when there are similar books released in the same time period. I usually think that it’s some kind of publisher conspiracy, but I know that’s not true. So, I blame that on some space time continuum.
    I really don’t have a problem with the borrowing of an idea and making it into something that is one’s own, as long as that is what happens.

    Reply
  15. I’ve noticed different types of sameness. The first type I’ve noticed is some rewriting of Georgette Heyers books or at least the plots. And, I really don’t mind, except for that moment when my mind goes, “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve read this before.” But, then I can relax and finish it and enjoy the rewrite, which in most cases is just as good if not better then Heyers. I don’t have a problem with the “I can do it better” author. I think in a lot of cases that’s a truism.
    Now I will back paddle. About 10 years ago I read a book by an author who shall remain nameless. In that book were obvious rewrites of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” That rewrite bothered me and I’m not really sure why. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t any good; it was. I guess maybe it was because I’d always considered Pimpernel sacred, or maybe I viewed the author as being lazy and taking the easy way out of writing something “original” by copying.
    There is another trend which I find distracting and that is taking movies and rewriting them into books. What irritates me about this trend is I become so busy trying to think of the movie that I don’t enjoy reading the book.
    I do find it interesting when there are similar books released in the same time period. I usually think that it’s some kind of publisher conspiracy, but I know that’s not true. So, I blame that on some space time continuum.
    I really don’t have a problem with the borrowing of an idea and making it into something that is one’s own, as long as that is what happens.

    Reply
  16. The basic story of romance is the same no matter which sub genre one is writing. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after. The difference is in the skill of the writer.
    There seem to be themes and characters that recur in romance- the SEAL or some other government agent, the secret baby, etc. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes those stories is a plagirizer. And book titles tend to come from popular songs or poetry.
    As to word for word plagirizing the work, I don’t know how the thief can sleep at night. It’s probably an act of desperation. Not only is one presenting work as her own when it isn’t but it gives fuel to the argument that romance is repetitive and formulaic.
    I know I’m not creative enough to write the romances I so love to read, so no danger from this quarter.I suspect it’s the ones who do have some basic ideas but lack the skill to bring the story to life (and aren’t willing to do the work required to develop the skill)who are the worst offenders.

    Reply
  17. The basic story of romance is the same no matter which sub genre one is writing. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after. The difference is in the skill of the writer.
    There seem to be themes and characters that recur in romance- the SEAL or some other government agent, the secret baby, etc. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes those stories is a plagirizer. And book titles tend to come from popular songs or poetry.
    As to word for word plagirizing the work, I don’t know how the thief can sleep at night. It’s probably an act of desperation. Not only is one presenting work as her own when it isn’t but it gives fuel to the argument that romance is repetitive and formulaic.
    I know I’m not creative enough to write the romances I so love to read, so no danger from this quarter.I suspect it’s the ones who do have some basic ideas but lack the skill to bring the story to life (and aren’t willing to do the work required to develop the skill)who are the worst offenders.

    Reply
  18. The basic story of romance is the same no matter which sub genre one is writing. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after. The difference is in the skill of the writer.
    There seem to be themes and characters that recur in romance- the SEAL or some other government agent, the secret baby, etc. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes those stories is a plagirizer. And book titles tend to come from popular songs or poetry.
    As to word for word plagirizing the work, I don’t know how the thief can sleep at night. It’s probably an act of desperation. Not only is one presenting work as her own when it isn’t but it gives fuel to the argument that romance is repetitive and formulaic.
    I know I’m not creative enough to write the romances I so love to read, so no danger from this quarter.I suspect it’s the ones who do have some basic ideas but lack the skill to bring the story to life (and aren’t willing to do the work required to develop the skill)who are the worst offenders.

    Reply
  19. The basic story of romance is the same no matter which sub genre one is writing. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after. The difference is in the skill of the writer.
    There seem to be themes and characters that recur in romance- the SEAL or some other government agent, the secret baby, etc. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes those stories is a plagirizer. And book titles tend to come from popular songs or poetry.
    As to word for word plagirizing the work, I don’t know how the thief can sleep at night. It’s probably an act of desperation. Not only is one presenting work as her own when it isn’t but it gives fuel to the argument that romance is repetitive and formulaic.
    I know I’m not creative enough to write the romances I so love to read, so no danger from this quarter.I suspect it’s the ones who do have some basic ideas but lack the skill to bring the story to life (and aren’t willing to do the work required to develop the skill)who are the worst offenders.

    Reply
  20. The basic story of romance is the same no matter which sub genre one is writing. Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever after. The difference is in the skill of the writer.
    There seem to be themes and characters that recur in romance- the SEAL or some other government agent, the secret baby, etc. But that doesn’t mean that everyone who writes those stories is a plagirizer. And book titles tend to come from popular songs or poetry.
    As to word for word plagirizing the work, I don’t know how the thief can sleep at night. It’s probably an act of desperation. Not only is one presenting work as her own when it isn’t but it gives fuel to the argument that romance is repetitive and formulaic.
    I know I’m not creative enough to write the romances I so love to read, so no danger from this quarter.I suspect it’s the ones who do have some basic ideas but lack the skill to bring the story to life (and aren’t willing to do the work required to develop the skill)who are the worst offenders.

    Reply
  21. I go with the Jungian idea myself–some ideas are just in the ether, and since we’re all paddling around in the same corner of the creative unconsciousness, authors come up with similar stories.
    Plus, there are public events that suggest certain stories.
    For those of us writing in a narrow time period, it’s not uncommon to come up with similar names, too. (Jo and I have similar taste in names, though our plots seldom have much in common.) And the theory about There Are Only Seven Basic Plots (or three, or nine or whatever), most certainly applies in romance, where we’re all aiming to create a certain emotional dynamic.
    But–there are also plagiarists. Sometimes unconscious ones, and very sadly, sometimes flat out amoral thieves. As Pat says, there are no winners in such cases.
    Mary Jo, who had given up worrying about general similarities

    Reply
  22. I go with the Jungian idea myself–some ideas are just in the ether, and since we’re all paddling around in the same corner of the creative unconsciousness, authors come up with similar stories.
    Plus, there are public events that suggest certain stories.
    For those of us writing in a narrow time period, it’s not uncommon to come up with similar names, too. (Jo and I have similar taste in names, though our plots seldom have much in common.) And the theory about There Are Only Seven Basic Plots (or three, or nine or whatever), most certainly applies in romance, where we’re all aiming to create a certain emotional dynamic.
    But–there are also plagiarists. Sometimes unconscious ones, and very sadly, sometimes flat out amoral thieves. As Pat says, there are no winners in such cases.
    Mary Jo, who had given up worrying about general similarities

    Reply
  23. I go with the Jungian idea myself–some ideas are just in the ether, and since we’re all paddling around in the same corner of the creative unconsciousness, authors come up with similar stories.
    Plus, there are public events that suggest certain stories.
    For those of us writing in a narrow time period, it’s not uncommon to come up with similar names, too. (Jo and I have similar taste in names, though our plots seldom have much in common.) And the theory about There Are Only Seven Basic Plots (or three, or nine or whatever), most certainly applies in romance, where we’re all aiming to create a certain emotional dynamic.
    But–there are also plagiarists. Sometimes unconscious ones, and very sadly, sometimes flat out amoral thieves. As Pat says, there are no winners in such cases.
    Mary Jo, who had given up worrying about general similarities

    Reply
  24. I go with the Jungian idea myself–some ideas are just in the ether, and since we’re all paddling around in the same corner of the creative unconsciousness, authors come up with similar stories.
    Plus, there are public events that suggest certain stories.
    For those of us writing in a narrow time period, it’s not uncommon to come up with similar names, too. (Jo and I have similar taste in names, though our plots seldom have much in common.) And the theory about There Are Only Seven Basic Plots (or three, or nine or whatever), most certainly applies in romance, where we’re all aiming to create a certain emotional dynamic.
    But–there are also plagiarists. Sometimes unconscious ones, and very sadly, sometimes flat out amoral thieves. As Pat says, there are no winners in such cases.
    Mary Jo, who had given up worrying about general similarities

    Reply
  25. I go with the Jungian idea myself–some ideas are just in the ether, and since we’re all paddling around in the same corner of the creative unconsciousness, authors come up with similar stories.
    Plus, there are public events that suggest certain stories.
    For those of us writing in a narrow time period, it’s not uncommon to come up with similar names, too. (Jo and I have similar taste in names, though our plots seldom have much in common.) And the theory about There Are Only Seven Basic Plots (or three, or nine or whatever), most certainly applies in romance, where we’re all aiming to create a certain emotional dynamic.
    But–there are also plagiarists. Sometimes unconscious ones, and very sadly, sometimes flat out amoral thieves. As Pat says, there are no winners in such cases.
    Mary Jo, who had given up worrying about general similarities

    Reply
  26. My memory is such (and like Maggie, I read so much) that it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember if stories are similar unless I happen to be writing one. “G” But I can see the temptation to update Heyer (although imitating the dialogue would be impossible, wouldn’t it?) or use a Pimpernel theme simply because the ideas behind the books are so intriguing. I do wonder if these authors lack the ability to conceive their own ideas though.
    As to why an author would plagiarize–desperation, maybe? It’s not as if the ones who’ve done are all new or unknown. Some well-known authors have stolen the work of other authors. Maybe they’re meeting a deadline and they’ve had some personal tragedy and can’t think themselves out of a paper bag? (I’ve had days like that, but again, I wouldn’t remember a book well enough to reach for the one I needed to copy! Not that it would occur to me to do so, either.)
    Maybe it is a form of flattery. They’re reading someone else’s book and admire a passage…
    I’m trying to be generous, but I shouldn’t be. Plagiarists are thieves. I just want everyone to be happy. Someone hand me a magic wand!

    Reply
  27. My memory is such (and like Maggie, I read so much) that it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember if stories are similar unless I happen to be writing one. “G” But I can see the temptation to update Heyer (although imitating the dialogue would be impossible, wouldn’t it?) or use a Pimpernel theme simply because the ideas behind the books are so intriguing. I do wonder if these authors lack the ability to conceive their own ideas though.
    As to why an author would plagiarize–desperation, maybe? It’s not as if the ones who’ve done are all new or unknown. Some well-known authors have stolen the work of other authors. Maybe they’re meeting a deadline and they’ve had some personal tragedy and can’t think themselves out of a paper bag? (I’ve had days like that, but again, I wouldn’t remember a book well enough to reach for the one I needed to copy! Not that it would occur to me to do so, either.)
    Maybe it is a form of flattery. They’re reading someone else’s book and admire a passage…
    I’m trying to be generous, but I shouldn’t be. Plagiarists are thieves. I just want everyone to be happy. Someone hand me a magic wand!

    Reply
  28. My memory is such (and like Maggie, I read so much) that it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember if stories are similar unless I happen to be writing one. “G” But I can see the temptation to update Heyer (although imitating the dialogue would be impossible, wouldn’t it?) or use a Pimpernel theme simply because the ideas behind the books are so intriguing. I do wonder if these authors lack the ability to conceive their own ideas though.
    As to why an author would plagiarize–desperation, maybe? It’s not as if the ones who’ve done are all new or unknown. Some well-known authors have stolen the work of other authors. Maybe they’re meeting a deadline and they’ve had some personal tragedy and can’t think themselves out of a paper bag? (I’ve had days like that, but again, I wouldn’t remember a book well enough to reach for the one I needed to copy! Not that it would occur to me to do so, either.)
    Maybe it is a form of flattery. They’re reading someone else’s book and admire a passage…
    I’m trying to be generous, but I shouldn’t be. Plagiarists are thieves. I just want everyone to be happy. Someone hand me a magic wand!

    Reply
  29. My memory is such (and like Maggie, I read so much) that it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember if stories are similar unless I happen to be writing one. “G” But I can see the temptation to update Heyer (although imitating the dialogue would be impossible, wouldn’t it?) or use a Pimpernel theme simply because the ideas behind the books are so intriguing. I do wonder if these authors lack the ability to conceive their own ideas though.
    As to why an author would plagiarize–desperation, maybe? It’s not as if the ones who’ve done are all new or unknown. Some well-known authors have stolen the work of other authors. Maybe they’re meeting a deadline and they’ve had some personal tragedy and can’t think themselves out of a paper bag? (I’ve had days like that, but again, I wouldn’t remember a book well enough to reach for the one I needed to copy! Not that it would occur to me to do so, either.)
    Maybe it is a form of flattery. They’re reading someone else’s book and admire a passage…
    I’m trying to be generous, but I shouldn’t be. Plagiarists are thieves. I just want everyone to be happy. Someone hand me a magic wand!

    Reply
  30. My memory is such (and like Maggie, I read so much) that it’s highly unlikely I’ll remember if stories are similar unless I happen to be writing one. “G” But I can see the temptation to update Heyer (although imitating the dialogue would be impossible, wouldn’t it?) or use a Pimpernel theme simply because the ideas behind the books are so intriguing. I do wonder if these authors lack the ability to conceive their own ideas though.
    As to why an author would plagiarize–desperation, maybe? It’s not as if the ones who’ve done are all new or unknown. Some well-known authors have stolen the work of other authors. Maybe they’re meeting a deadline and they’ve had some personal tragedy and can’t think themselves out of a paper bag? (I’ve had days like that, but again, I wouldn’t remember a book well enough to reach for the one I needed to copy! Not that it would occur to me to do so, either.)
    Maybe it is a form of flattery. They’re reading someone else’s book and admire a passage…
    I’m trying to be generous, but I shouldn’t be. Plagiarists are thieves. I just want everyone to be happy. Someone hand me a magic wand!

    Reply
  31. I recently had the stomach-churning experience of discovering that an upcoming release by an established author has the *exact same high-concept premise* as my WIP. I found out on the bus on the way to work one morning as I finished her current release and saw the ad in the back for her next book.
    I was frantic. My WIP is sort of a genre-bender. I’d felt from the moment I had the idea that I’d live or die by my high-concept hook–that if this was the book that finally took me over the line from unpublished wannabe to Real Author, it’d be because of my Cool Unique Idea. So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? But I love my story and characters and didn’t want to stop.
    I made myself stop hyperventilating long enough to email my agent (who has thus far read the first three chapters and synopsis of the WIP). She talked me down from the ledge, saying it wasn’t so much my Cool Unique Ideas as my Cool Unique *Voice* that will make or break my chances, that the ONLY thing my story has in common with the established author’s is that three-word high-concept hook, and that I should just write the kind of book I’d love to read and we’ll worry about where and how to sell it when it’s done.
    But that experience has convinced me there’s no point in even TRYING for a unique idea. It’ll just break your heart if you think you’ve found one and someone else beats you to it!

    Reply
  32. I recently had the stomach-churning experience of discovering that an upcoming release by an established author has the *exact same high-concept premise* as my WIP. I found out on the bus on the way to work one morning as I finished her current release and saw the ad in the back for her next book.
    I was frantic. My WIP is sort of a genre-bender. I’d felt from the moment I had the idea that I’d live or die by my high-concept hook–that if this was the book that finally took me over the line from unpublished wannabe to Real Author, it’d be because of my Cool Unique Idea. So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? But I love my story and characters and didn’t want to stop.
    I made myself stop hyperventilating long enough to email my agent (who has thus far read the first three chapters and synopsis of the WIP). She talked me down from the ledge, saying it wasn’t so much my Cool Unique Ideas as my Cool Unique *Voice* that will make or break my chances, that the ONLY thing my story has in common with the established author’s is that three-word high-concept hook, and that I should just write the kind of book I’d love to read and we’ll worry about where and how to sell it when it’s done.
    But that experience has convinced me there’s no point in even TRYING for a unique idea. It’ll just break your heart if you think you’ve found one and someone else beats you to it!

    Reply
  33. I recently had the stomach-churning experience of discovering that an upcoming release by an established author has the *exact same high-concept premise* as my WIP. I found out on the bus on the way to work one morning as I finished her current release and saw the ad in the back for her next book.
    I was frantic. My WIP is sort of a genre-bender. I’d felt from the moment I had the idea that I’d live or die by my high-concept hook–that if this was the book that finally took me over the line from unpublished wannabe to Real Author, it’d be because of my Cool Unique Idea. So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? But I love my story and characters and didn’t want to stop.
    I made myself stop hyperventilating long enough to email my agent (who has thus far read the first three chapters and synopsis of the WIP). She talked me down from the ledge, saying it wasn’t so much my Cool Unique Ideas as my Cool Unique *Voice* that will make or break my chances, that the ONLY thing my story has in common with the established author’s is that three-word high-concept hook, and that I should just write the kind of book I’d love to read and we’ll worry about where and how to sell it when it’s done.
    But that experience has convinced me there’s no point in even TRYING for a unique idea. It’ll just break your heart if you think you’ve found one and someone else beats you to it!

    Reply
  34. I recently had the stomach-churning experience of discovering that an upcoming release by an established author has the *exact same high-concept premise* as my WIP. I found out on the bus on the way to work one morning as I finished her current release and saw the ad in the back for her next book.
    I was frantic. My WIP is sort of a genre-bender. I’d felt from the moment I had the idea that I’d live or die by my high-concept hook–that if this was the book that finally took me over the line from unpublished wannabe to Real Author, it’d be because of my Cool Unique Idea. So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? But I love my story and characters and didn’t want to stop.
    I made myself stop hyperventilating long enough to email my agent (who has thus far read the first three chapters and synopsis of the WIP). She talked me down from the ledge, saying it wasn’t so much my Cool Unique Ideas as my Cool Unique *Voice* that will make or break my chances, that the ONLY thing my story has in common with the established author’s is that three-word high-concept hook, and that I should just write the kind of book I’d love to read and we’ll worry about where and how to sell it when it’s done.
    But that experience has convinced me there’s no point in even TRYING for a unique idea. It’ll just break your heart if you think you’ve found one and someone else beats you to it!

    Reply
  35. I recently had the stomach-churning experience of discovering that an upcoming release by an established author has the *exact same high-concept premise* as my WIP. I found out on the bus on the way to work one morning as I finished her current release and saw the ad in the back for her next book.
    I was frantic. My WIP is sort of a genre-bender. I’d felt from the moment I had the idea that I’d live or die by my high-concept hook–that if this was the book that finally took me over the line from unpublished wannabe to Real Author, it’d be because of my Cool Unique Idea. So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? But I love my story and characters and didn’t want to stop.
    I made myself stop hyperventilating long enough to email my agent (who has thus far read the first three chapters and synopsis of the WIP). She talked me down from the ledge, saying it wasn’t so much my Cool Unique Ideas as my Cool Unique *Voice* that will make or break my chances, that the ONLY thing my story has in common with the established author’s is that three-word high-concept hook, and that I should just write the kind of book I’d love to read and we’ll worry about where and how to sell it when it’s done.
    But that experience has convinced me there’s no point in even TRYING for a unique idea. It’ll just break your heart if you think you’ve found one and someone else beats you to it!

    Reply
  36. >>So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? << It seems to me you could actually benefit from an established author breaking ground ahead of you. A new idea is going to attract attention. Readers will at the least notice the next few iterations and some will be actively looking for them. Uniqueness means very little to me as a reader. Given a selection of new-to-me authors, I'll pick by a theme that I've liked in the past. (That's why "if you like . . ." lists are so popular.) After that, it's up to the author's Cool Unique Voice whether or not she/he becomes one of "my" authors. I recently read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and loved it. It's a medieval-ish fantasy with dragons. If the theme had been my favorite part, I'd have gone on a dragon-book buying binge. But her voice was my favorite thing so I went on a Patricia Briggs buying binge which included a second dragon book but also her urban fantasy series with werewolves. For me Voice is most important - a cool theme is just icing.

    Reply
  37. >>So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? << It seems to me you could actually benefit from an established author breaking ground ahead of you. A new idea is going to attract attention. Readers will at the least notice the next few iterations and some will be actively looking for them. Uniqueness means very little to me as a reader. Given a selection of new-to-me authors, I'll pick by a theme that I've liked in the past. (That's why "if you like . . ." lists are so popular.) After that, it's up to the author's Cool Unique Voice whether or not she/he becomes one of "my" authors. I recently read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and loved it. It's a medieval-ish fantasy with dragons. If the theme had been my favorite part, I'd have gone on a dragon-book buying binge. But her voice was my favorite thing so I went on a Patricia Briggs buying binge which included a second dragon book but also her urban fantasy series with werewolves. For me Voice is most important - a cool theme is just icing.

    Reply
  38. >>So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? << It seems to me you could actually benefit from an established author breaking ground ahead of you. A new idea is going to attract attention. Readers will at the least notice the next few iterations and some will be actively looking for them. Uniqueness means very little to me as a reader. Given a selection of new-to-me authors, I'll pick by a theme that I've liked in the past. (That's why "if you like . . ." lists are so popular.) After that, it's up to the author's Cool Unique Voice whether or not she/he becomes one of "my" authors. I recently read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and loved it. It's a medieval-ish fantasy with dragons. If the theme had been my favorite part, I'd have gone on a dragon-book buying binge. But her voice was my favorite thing so I went on a Patricia Briggs buying binge which included a second dragon book but also her urban fantasy series with werewolves. For me Voice is most important - a cool theme is just icing.

    Reply
  39. >>So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? << It seems to me you could actually benefit from an established author breaking ground ahead of you. A new idea is going to attract attention. Readers will at the least notice the next few iterations and some will be actively looking for them. Uniqueness means very little to me as a reader. Given a selection of new-to-me authors, I'll pick by a theme that I've liked in the past. (That's why "if you like . . ." lists are so popular.) After that, it's up to the author's Cool Unique Voice whether or not she/he becomes one of "my" authors. I recently read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and loved it. It's a medieval-ish fantasy with dragons. If the theme had been my favorite part, I'd have gone on a dragon-book buying binge. But her voice was my favorite thing so I went on a Patricia Briggs buying binge which included a second dragon book but also her urban fantasy series with werewolves. For me Voice is most important - a cool theme is just icing.

    Reply
  40. >>So if it wasn’t unique anymore, what was the point of writing it? << It seems to me you could actually benefit from an established author breaking ground ahead of you. A new idea is going to attract attention. Readers will at the least notice the next few iterations and some will be actively looking for them. Uniqueness means very little to me as a reader. Given a selection of new-to-me authors, I'll pick by a theme that I've liked in the past. (That's why "if you like . . ." lists are so popular.) After that, it's up to the author's Cool Unique Voice whether or not she/he becomes one of "my" authors. I recently read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and loved it. It's a medieval-ish fantasy with dragons. If the theme had been my favorite part, I'd have gone on a dragon-book buying binge. But her voice was my favorite thing so I went on a Patricia Briggs buying binge which included a second dragon book but also her urban fantasy series with werewolves. For me Voice is most important - a cool theme is just icing.

    Reply
  41. I suspect that there is definitely something to the notion that certain idea/themes/plot twists are in the ether. Think of the way certain names suddenly become enormously popular. (Twenty-five years ago, a little league coach could call “Mike and Chris” and the whole team would come running. And no one then would have expected Jacob to be the most popular boy’s name today.)
    But I also think that what is important is not so much originality as treatment. It doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, if the author can convince the reader that it’s important and the characters are worth caring about. After all, there’s nothing original about most of Shakespeare’s plots.
    In fact, I would wager that you wenches could all take the same plot and end up with seven very different but very good books. I don’t know how your publishers would react, but I would love to read them.

    Reply
  42. I suspect that there is definitely something to the notion that certain idea/themes/plot twists are in the ether. Think of the way certain names suddenly become enormously popular. (Twenty-five years ago, a little league coach could call “Mike and Chris” and the whole team would come running. And no one then would have expected Jacob to be the most popular boy’s name today.)
    But I also think that what is important is not so much originality as treatment. It doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, if the author can convince the reader that it’s important and the characters are worth caring about. After all, there’s nothing original about most of Shakespeare’s plots.
    In fact, I would wager that you wenches could all take the same plot and end up with seven very different but very good books. I don’t know how your publishers would react, but I would love to read them.

    Reply
  43. I suspect that there is definitely something to the notion that certain idea/themes/plot twists are in the ether. Think of the way certain names suddenly become enormously popular. (Twenty-five years ago, a little league coach could call “Mike and Chris” and the whole team would come running. And no one then would have expected Jacob to be the most popular boy’s name today.)
    But I also think that what is important is not so much originality as treatment. It doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, if the author can convince the reader that it’s important and the characters are worth caring about. After all, there’s nothing original about most of Shakespeare’s plots.
    In fact, I would wager that you wenches could all take the same plot and end up with seven very different but very good books. I don’t know how your publishers would react, but I would love to read them.

    Reply
  44. I suspect that there is definitely something to the notion that certain idea/themes/plot twists are in the ether. Think of the way certain names suddenly become enormously popular. (Twenty-five years ago, a little league coach could call “Mike and Chris” and the whole team would come running. And no one then would have expected Jacob to be the most popular boy’s name today.)
    But I also think that what is important is not so much originality as treatment. It doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, if the author can convince the reader that it’s important and the characters are worth caring about. After all, there’s nothing original about most of Shakespeare’s plots.
    In fact, I would wager that you wenches could all take the same plot and end up with seven very different but very good books. I don’t know how your publishers would react, but I would love to read them.

    Reply
  45. I suspect that there is definitely something to the notion that certain idea/themes/plot twists are in the ether. Think of the way certain names suddenly become enormously popular. (Twenty-five years ago, a little league coach could call “Mike and Chris” and the whole team would come running. And no one then would have expected Jacob to be the most popular boy’s name today.)
    But I also think that what is important is not so much originality as treatment. It doesn’t really matter what the McGuffin is, if the author can convince the reader that it’s important and the characters are worth caring about. After all, there’s nothing original about most of Shakespeare’s plots.
    In fact, I would wager that you wenches could all take the same plot and end up with seven very different but very good books. I don’t know how your publishers would react, but I would love to read them.

    Reply
  46. MaryK, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but you’re right. I know when we brainstorm a “high concept” idea that we pull from known factors for selling purposes. But I’ve always hated to read the same old cliches (in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!) and so, like Susan, I’ve tried to be “different.” I suppose there are readers out there looking for different, but you’re right, most of them are looking for something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
    So there you go, Susan, you may have hit on an early trend!
    And I totally agree that Voice is everything once you open the cover. Maybe the wenches should take up Jane’s suggestion and find a novella sized plot that we can all play with and turn it into an anthology just to see what happens. It could be very…scary.

    Reply
  47. MaryK, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but you’re right. I know when we brainstorm a “high concept” idea that we pull from known factors for selling purposes. But I’ve always hated to read the same old cliches (in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!) and so, like Susan, I’ve tried to be “different.” I suppose there are readers out there looking for different, but you’re right, most of them are looking for something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
    So there you go, Susan, you may have hit on an early trend!
    And I totally agree that Voice is everything once you open the cover. Maybe the wenches should take up Jane’s suggestion and find a novella sized plot that we can all play with and turn it into an anthology just to see what happens. It could be very…scary.

    Reply
  48. MaryK, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but you’re right. I know when we brainstorm a “high concept” idea that we pull from known factors for selling purposes. But I’ve always hated to read the same old cliches (in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!) and so, like Susan, I’ve tried to be “different.” I suppose there are readers out there looking for different, but you’re right, most of them are looking for something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
    So there you go, Susan, you may have hit on an early trend!
    And I totally agree that Voice is everything once you open the cover. Maybe the wenches should take up Jane’s suggestion and find a novella sized plot that we can all play with and turn it into an anthology just to see what happens. It could be very…scary.

    Reply
  49. MaryK, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but you’re right. I know when we brainstorm a “high concept” idea that we pull from known factors for selling purposes. But I’ve always hated to read the same old cliches (in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!) and so, like Susan, I’ve tried to be “different.” I suppose there are readers out there looking for different, but you’re right, most of them are looking for something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
    So there you go, Susan, you may have hit on an early trend!
    And I totally agree that Voice is everything once you open the cover. Maybe the wenches should take up Jane’s suggestion and find a novella sized plot that we can all play with and turn it into an anthology just to see what happens. It could be very…scary.

    Reply
  50. MaryK, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but you’re right. I know when we brainstorm a “high concept” idea that we pull from known factors for selling purposes. But I’ve always hated to read the same old cliches (in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!) and so, like Susan, I’ve tried to be “different.” I suppose there are readers out there looking for different, but you’re right, most of them are looking for something they’ve enjoyed in the past.
    So there you go, Susan, you may have hit on an early trend!
    And I totally agree that Voice is everything once you open the cover. Maybe the wenches should take up Jane’s suggestion and find a novella sized plot that we can all play with and turn it into an anthology just to see what happens. It could be very…scary.

    Reply
  51. Many years ago I wrote a story where the heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert swordswoman and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle.
    A fellow RWA chapter member asked if I’d critique her work, and said she’d critique mine in turn. She got mine first, gave it a good critique, and 6 weeks later sent me hers. The more I read, the sicker I felt. Her heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert *sharpshooter* and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle. Her character’s personality was identical to mine. However, I knew that her copying me was completely unconscious. I mean, if you intentionally stole from a writer, would you then submit your own work to that same writer to critique?
    I did mention the similarities in our work, and her reaction was an unfeigned blank look. She didn’t realize what she’d done until I told her. Unfortunately, we’d entered our stories in the same contest, and months later one of the judges saw us at an RWA chapter meeting and corralled us both. She then proceeded to say how surprised she was at the incredible similarity of our stories. The other lady said a weak, “Oh, really?” and left abruptly, and I had the awkward job of explaining our history to the perplexed judge.

    Reply
  52. Many years ago I wrote a story where the heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert swordswoman and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle.
    A fellow RWA chapter member asked if I’d critique her work, and said she’d critique mine in turn. She got mine first, gave it a good critique, and 6 weeks later sent me hers. The more I read, the sicker I felt. Her heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert *sharpshooter* and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle. Her character’s personality was identical to mine. However, I knew that her copying me was completely unconscious. I mean, if you intentionally stole from a writer, would you then submit your own work to that same writer to critique?
    I did mention the similarities in our work, and her reaction was an unfeigned blank look. She didn’t realize what she’d done until I told her. Unfortunately, we’d entered our stories in the same contest, and months later one of the judges saw us at an RWA chapter meeting and corralled us both. She then proceeded to say how surprised she was at the incredible similarity of our stories. The other lady said a weak, “Oh, really?” and left abruptly, and I had the awkward job of explaining our history to the perplexed judge.

    Reply
  53. Many years ago I wrote a story where the heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert swordswoman and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle.
    A fellow RWA chapter member asked if I’d critique her work, and said she’d critique mine in turn. She got mine first, gave it a good critique, and 6 weeks later sent me hers. The more I read, the sicker I felt. Her heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert *sharpshooter* and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle. Her character’s personality was identical to mine. However, I knew that her copying me was completely unconscious. I mean, if you intentionally stole from a writer, would you then submit your own work to that same writer to critique?
    I did mention the similarities in our work, and her reaction was an unfeigned blank look. She didn’t realize what she’d done until I told her. Unfortunately, we’d entered our stories in the same contest, and months later one of the judges saw us at an RWA chapter meeting and corralled us both. She then proceeded to say how surprised she was at the incredible similarity of our stories. The other lady said a weak, “Oh, really?” and left abruptly, and I had the awkward job of explaining our history to the perplexed judge.

    Reply
  54. Many years ago I wrote a story where the heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert swordswoman and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle.
    A fellow RWA chapter member asked if I’d critique her work, and said she’d critique mine in turn. She got mine first, gave it a good critique, and 6 weeks later sent me hers. The more I read, the sicker I felt. Her heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert *sharpshooter* and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle. Her character’s personality was identical to mine. However, I knew that her copying me was completely unconscious. I mean, if you intentionally stole from a writer, would you then submit your own work to that same writer to critique?
    I did mention the similarities in our work, and her reaction was an unfeigned blank look. She didn’t realize what she’d done until I told her. Unfortunately, we’d entered our stories in the same contest, and months later one of the judges saw us at an RWA chapter meeting and corralled us both. She then proceeded to say how surprised she was at the incredible similarity of our stories. The other lady said a weak, “Oh, really?” and left abruptly, and I had the awkward job of explaining our history to the perplexed judge.

    Reply
  55. Many years ago I wrote a story where the heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert swordswoman and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle.
    A fellow RWA chapter member asked if I’d critique her work, and said she’d critique mine in turn. She got mine first, gave it a good critique, and 6 weeks later sent me hers. The more I read, the sicker I felt. Her heroine was 6′ tall, red-haired, an expert *sharpshooter* and knife-thrower, and her name was Belle. Her character’s personality was identical to mine. However, I knew that her copying me was completely unconscious. I mean, if you intentionally stole from a writer, would you then submit your own work to that same writer to critique?
    I did mention the similarities in our work, and her reaction was an unfeigned blank look. She didn’t realize what she’d done until I told her. Unfortunately, we’d entered our stories in the same contest, and months later one of the judges saw us at an RWA chapter meeting and corralled us both. She then proceeded to say how surprised she was at the incredible similarity of our stories. The other lady said a weak, “Oh, really?” and left abruptly, and I had the awkward job of explaining our history to the perplexed judge.

    Reply
  56. Pat, I am so thrilled to be getting a book from you!
    When I asked that question I had a particular wench’s work in mind, as I had recently finished a series by a non-wench author whose “concept” bore an uncanny resemblance to the wench’s work. (Was that murkily enough stated?)
    I think that this is part of some collective unconscious thing, and it’s intriguing to me how often it seems to happen. I agree that it’s the voice, and the style, and the accomplishment of the author that speaks to the reader’s soul and makes or breaks the book, regardless of plot or name similarity or whatever.
    On the anthology topic, there is such a thing in the works between Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, and Jacquie d’Alessandro, to be published Oct 08, called “It Happened One Night”–four novellas by four different authors, each of whom was given the same basic plot setup as a starting point. I believe it was Mary Balogh’s idea. . .
    I would LOVE to see a wench version. . .

    Reply
  57. Pat, I am so thrilled to be getting a book from you!
    When I asked that question I had a particular wench’s work in mind, as I had recently finished a series by a non-wench author whose “concept” bore an uncanny resemblance to the wench’s work. (Was that murkily enough stated?)
    I think that this is part of some collective unconscious thing, and it’s intriguing to me how often it seems to happen. I agree that it’s the voice, and the style, and the accomplishment of the author that speaks to the reader’s soul and makes or breaks the book, regardless of plot or name similarity or whatever.
    On the anthology topic, there is such a thing in the works between Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, and Jacquie d’Alessandro, to be published Oct 08, called “It Happened One Night”–four novellas by four different authors, each of whom was given the same basic plot setup as a starting point. I believe it was Mary Balogh’s idea. . .
    I would LOVE to see a wench version. . .

    Reply
  58. Pat, I am so thrilled to be getting a book from you!
    When I asked that question I had a particular wench’s work in mind, as I had recently finished a series by a non-wench author whose “concept” bore an uncanny resemblance to the wench’s work. (Was that murkily enough stated?)
    I think that this is part of some collective unconscious thing, and it’s intriguing to me how often it seems to happen. I agree that it’s the voice, and the style, and the accomplishment of the author that speaks to the reader’s soul and makes or breaks the book, regardless of plot or name similarity or whatever.
    On the anthology topic, there is such a thing in the works between Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, and Jacquie d’Alessandro, to be published Oct 08, called “It Happened One Night”–four novellas by four different authors, each of whom was given the same basic plot setup as a starting point. I believe it was Mary Balogh’s idea. . .
    I would LOVE to see a wench version. . .

    Reply
  59. Pat, I am so thrilled to be getting a book from you!
    When I asked that question I had a particular wench’s work in mind, as I had recently finished a series by a non-wench author whose “concept” bore an uncanny resemblance to the wench’s work. (Was that murkily enough stated?)
    I think that this is part of some collective unconscious thing, and it’s intriguing to me how often it seems to happen. I agree that it’s the voice, and the style, and the accomplishment of the author that speaks to the reader’s soul and makes or breaks the book, regardless of plot or name similarity or whatever.
    On the anthology topic, there is such a thing in the works between Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, and Jacquie d’Alessandro, to be published Oct 08, called “It Happened One Night”–four novellas by four different authors, each of whom was given the same basic plot setup as a starting point. I believe it was Mary Balogh’s idea. . .
    I would LOVE to see a wench version. . .

    Reply
  60. Pat, I am so thrilled to be getting a book from you!
    When I asked that question I had a particular wench’s work in mind, as I had recently finished a series by a non-wench author whose “concept” bore an uncanny resemblance to the wench’s work. (Was that murkily enough stated?)
    I think that this is part of some collective unconscious thing, and it’s intriguing to me how often it seems to happen. I agree that it’s the voice, and the style, and the accomplishment of the author that speaks to the reader’s soul and makes or breaks the book, regardless of plot or name similarity or whatever.
    On the anthology topic, there is such a thing in the works between Mary Balogh, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, and Jacquie d’Alessandro, to be published Oct 08, called “It Happened One Night”–four novellas by four different authors, each of whom was given the same basic plot setup as a starting point. I believe it was Mary Balogh’s idea. . .
    I would LOVE to see a wench version. . .

    Reply
  61. >>in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!<< Ha! Yeah, I agree that's taking it too far - theme as plot outline. I wonder if it could be considered plagiarism to copy a plot line. I've read one of those so detailed it couldn't have been accidental.

    Reply
  62. >>in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!<< Ha! Yeah, I agree that's taking it too far - theme as plot outline. I wonder if it could be considered plagiarism to copy a plot line. I've read one of those so detailed it couldn't have been accidental.

    Reply
  63. >>in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!<< Ha! Yeah, I agree that's taking it too far - theme as plot outline. I wonder if it could be considered plagiarism to copy a plot line. I've read one of those so detailed it couldn't have been accidental.

    Reply
  64. >>in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!<< Ha! Yeah, I agree that's taking it too far - theme as plot outline. I wonder if it could be considered plagiarism to copy a plot line. I've read one of those so detailed it couldn't have been accidental.

    Reply
  65. >>in early historicals, it seemed to be required that one character catch the other bathing–gag!<< Ha! Yeah, I agree that's taking it too far - theme as plot outline. I wonder if it could be considered plagiarism to copy a plot line. I've read one of those so detailed it couldn't have been accidental.

    Reply
  66. Excellent topic, Pat–and thank you RevMelinda for suggesting it! Sparks that inspire my stories come from so many places: movies, books, something I saw on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, something that happened to a friend or family member or me. Since we’re all living on the same planet, I assume other people are bound to get the same sparks. I’ve only once come across what looked like someone lifting pieces of one of my stories, including some phrases–but since the person did arrange another sort of story around it, it didn’t seem to qualify as plagiarism. One might feel irritated–as some commenters have expressed–but really, it’s probably someone absorbing ideas unconsciously. I get ideas from Dickens and Shakespeare and other authors (as they got ideas from still other authors), sometimes consciously, sometimes not. What’s important is whether one makes the idea one’s own, transforms it in some way. I don’t expect or necessarily want originality of ideas in romance. That’s not the point. It’s a form of mythology, and myths go back to the beginning of humankind. But originality in execution is another thing. And I do believe there are only two plots. When I start a story, I pick one. After that? The brain works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  67. Excellent topic, Pat–and thank you RevMelinda for suggesting it! Sparks that inspire my stories come from so many places: movies, books, something I saw on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, something that happened to a friend or family member or me. Since we’re all living on the same planet, I assume other people are bound to get the same sparks. I’ve only once come across what looked like someone lifting pieces of one of my stories, including some phrases–but since the person did arrange another sort of story around it, it didn’t seem to qualify as plagiarism. One might feel irritated–as some commenters have expressed–but really, it’s probably someone absorbing ideas unconsciously. I get ideas from Dickens and Shakespeare and other authors (as they got ideas from still other authors), sometimes consciously, sometimes not. What’s important is whether one makes the idea one’s own, transforms it in some way. I don’t expect or necessarily want originality of ideas in romance. That’s not the point. It’s a form of mythology, and myths go back to the beginning of humankind. But originality in execution is another thing. And I do believe there are only two plots. When I start a story, I pick one. After that? The brain works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  68. Excellent topic, Pat–and thank you RevMelinda for suggesting it! Sparks that inspire my stories come from so many places: movies, books, something I saw on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, something that happened to a friend or family member or me. Since we’re all living on the same planet, I assume other people are bound to get the same sparks. I’ve only once come across what looked like someone lifting pieces of one of my stories, including some phrases–but since the person did arrange another sort of story around it, it didn’t seem to qualify as plagiarism. One might feel irritated–as some commenters have expressed–but really, it’s probably someone absorbing ideas unconsciously. I get ideas from Dickens and Shakespeare and other authors (as they got ideas from still other authors), sometimes consciously, sometimes not. What’s important is whether one makes the idea one’s own, transforms it in some way. I don’t expect or necessarily want originality of ideas in romance. That’s not the point. It’s a form of mythology, and myths go back to the beginning of humankind. But originality in execution is another thing. And I do believe there are only two plots. When I start a story, I pick one. After that? The brain works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  69. Excellent topic, Pat–and thank you RevMelinda for suggesting it! Sparks that inspire my stories come from so many places: movies, books, something I saw on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, something that happened to a friend or family member or me. Since we’re all living on the same planet, I assume other people are bound to get the same sparks. I’ve only once come across what looked like someone lifting pieces of one of my stories, including some phrases–but since the person did arrange another sort of story around it, it didn’t seem to qualify as plagiarism. One might feel irritated–as some commenters have expressed–but really, it’s probably someone absorbing ideas unconsciously. I get ideas from Dickens and Shakespeare and other authors (as they got ideas from still other authors), sometimes consciously, sometimes not. What’s important is whether one makes the idea one’s own, transforms it in some way. I don’t expect or necessarily want originality of ideas in romance. That’s not the point. It’s a form of mythology, and myths go back to the beginning of humankind. But originality in execution is another thing. And I do believe there are only two plots. When I start a story, I pick one. After that? The brain works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  70. Excellent topic, Pat–and thank you RevMelinda for suggesting it! Sparks that inspire my stories come from so many places: movies, books, something I saw on TV or read in the newspaper or a magazine, something that happened to a friend or family member or me. Since we’re all living on the same planet, I assume other people are bound to get the same sparks. I’ve only once come across what looked like someone lifting pieces of one of my stories, including some phrases–but since the person did arrange another sort of story around it, it didn’t seem to qualify as plagiarism. One might feel irritated–as some commenters have expressed–but really, it’s probably someone absorbing ideas unconsciously. I get ideas from Dickens and Shakespeare and other authors (as they got ideas from still other authors), sometimes consciously, sometimes not. What’s important is whether one makes the idea one’s own, transforms it in some way. I don’t expect or necessarily want originality of ideas in romance. That’s not the point. It’s a form of mythology, and myths go back to the beginning of humankind. But originality in execution is another thing. And I do believe there are only two plots. When I start a story, I pick one. After that? The brain works in mysterious ways.

    Reply
  71. Loretta, just wanted to let you know that I have FINALLY read a whole book of Dickens! It took an audiobook to do it, but I just finished up Oliver Twist this morning in the car. And–you know–not only did I enjoy it, but in some places it reminded me of Georgette. Weird, huh?

    Reply
  72. Loretta, just wanted to let you know that I have FINALLY read a whole book of Dickens! It took an audiobook to do it, but I just finished up Oliver Twist this morning in the car. And–you know–not only did I enjoy it, but in some places it reminded me of Georgette. Weird, huh?

    Reply
  73. Loretta, just wanted to let you know that I have FINALLY read a whole book of Dickens! It took an audiobook to do it, but I just finished up Oliver Twist this morning in the car. And–you know–not only did I enjoy it, but in some places it reminded me of Georgette. Weird, huh?

    Reply
  74. Loretta, just wanted to let you know that I have FINALLY read a whole book of Dickens! It took an audiobook to do it, but I just finished up Oliver Twist this morning in the car. And–you know–not only did I enjoy it, but in some places it reminded me of Georgette. Weird, huh?

    Reply
  75. Loretta, just wanted to let you know that I have FINALLY read a whole book of Dickens! It took an audiobook to do it, but I just finished up Oliver Twist this morning in the car. And–you know–not only did I enjoy it, but in some places it reminded me of Georgette. Weird, huh?

    Reply
  76. RevMelinda’s one smart lady and full of awesome questions. Thanks for asking this one, RevMel!
    I do buy the Jungian theory. Lots of similar breakthrough inventions happen right around the same time. (although I’m sure “borrowing” goes on there too)
    Since I dream most of my stories, I know those plots are out there in the ethers, being picked up by other minds, so I’d better get my b*tt in that chair and write!

    Reply
  77. RevMelinda’s one smart lady and full of awesome questions. Thanks for asking this one, RevMel!
    I do buy the Jungian theory. Lots of similar breakthrough inventions happen right around the same time. (although I’m sure “borrowing” goes on there too)
    Since I dream most of my stories, I know those plots are out there in the ethers, being picked up by other minds, so I’d better get my b*tt in that chair and write!

    Reply
  78. RevMelinda’s one smart lady and full of awesome questions. Thanks for asking this one, RevMel!
    I do buy the Jungian theory. Lots of similar breakthrough inventions happen right around the same time. (although I’m sure “borrowing” goes on there too)
    Since I dream most of my stories, I know those plots are out there in the ethers, being picked up by other minds, so I’d better get my b*tt in that chair and write!

    Reply
  79. RevMelinda’s one smart lady and full of awesome questions. Thanks for asking this one, RevMel!
    I do buy the Jungian theory. Lots of similar breakthrough inventions happen right around the same time. (although I’m sure “borrowing” goes on there too)
    Since I dream most of my stories, I know those plots are out there in the ethers, being picked up by other minds, so I’d better get my b*tt in that chair and write!

    Reply
  80. RevMelinda’s one smart lady and full of awesome questions. Thanks for asking this one, RevMel!
    I do buy the Jungian theory. Lots of similar breakthrough inventions happen right around the same time. (although I’m sure “borrowing” goes on there too)
    Since I dream most of my stories, I know those plots are out there in the ethers, being picked up by other minds, so I’d better get my b*tt in that chair and write!

    Reply
  81. My fair Edith, you must be having a retrograde day!
    I’ll try hard not to ask RevMel, since even though I read all wench books, I doubt if I could remember enough detail to compare to another for similarities. Cool on the Balogh anthology. Will have to look for it just to see what happens.
    Sherrie, your experience sounds more like cluelessness than anything else. How can one NOT know they have the same danged heroine? Understandably, we can have “book earworms.” Bookworms? “G” That’s kinda what Loretta is talking about, where things simply sink into our unconscious and plop out at auspicious moments. And I’ll assume that’s what happened to your friend. But at some point one has to regain consciousness!
    I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!

    Reply
  82. My fair Edith, you must be having a retrograde day!
    I’ll try hard not to ask RevMel, since even though I read all wench books, I doubt if I could remember enough detail to compare to another for similarities. Cool on the Balogh anthology. Will have to look for it just to see what happens.
    Sherrie, your experience sounds more like cluelessness than anything else. How can one NOT know they have the same danged heroine? Understandably, we can have “book earworms.” Bookworms? “G” That’s kinda what Loretta is talking about, where things simply sink into our unconscious and plop out at auspicious moments. And I’ll assume that’s what happened to your friend. But at some point one has to regain consciousness!
    I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!

    Reply
  83. My fair Edith, you must be having a retrograde day!
    I’ll try hard not to ask RevMel, since even though I read all wench books, I doubt if I could remember enough detail to compare to another for similarities. Cool on the Balogh anthology. Will have to look for it just to see what happens.
    Sherrie, your experience sounds more like cluelessness than anything else. How can one NOT know they have the same danged heroine? Understandably, we can have “book earworms.” Bookworms? “G” That’s kinda what Loretta is talking about, where things simply sink into our unconscious and plop out at auspicious moments. And I’ll assume that’s what happened to your friend. But at some point one has to regain consciousness!
    I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!

    Reply
  84. My fair Edith, you must be having a retrograde day!
    I’ll try hard not to ask RevMel, since even though I read all wench books, I doubt if I could remember enough detail to compare to another for similarities. Cool on the Balogh anthology. Will have to look for it just to see what happens.
    Sherrie, your experience sounds more like cluelessness than anything else. How can one NOT know they have the same danged heroine? Understandably, we can have “book earworms.” Bookworms? “G” That’s kinda what Loretta is talking about, where things simply sink into our unconscious and plop out at auspicious moments. And I’ll assume that’s what happened to your friend. But at some point one has to regain consciousness!
    I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!

    Reply
  85. My fair Edith, you must be having a retrograde day!
    I’ll try hard not to ask RevMel, since even though I read all wench books, I doubt if I could remember enough detail to compare to another for similarities. Cool on the Balogh anthology. Will have to look for it just to see what happens.
    Sherrie, your experience sounds more like cluelessness than anything else. How can one NOT know they have the same danged heroine? Understandably, we can have “book earworms.” Bookworms? “G” That’s kinda what Loretta is talking about, where things simply sink into our unconscious and plop out at auspicious moments. And I’ll assume that’s what happened to your friend. But at some point one has to regain consciousness!
    I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!

    Reply
  86. recently there was a huge kerfuffle over at ‘dear author’ over a jaw-droppingly blatant example of shameless yet poorly executed plagiarism. it involved an excerpt taken word for word (except for the protagonist’s name, but there was even an instance of leaving the original name in at one spot)from a well-known but deceased author’s work and presented as the new author’s own. as the drama unfolded allegations surfaced that the new author had hired a ghostwriter, who was supposedly the one who copied the original author’s work. discussions about culpability are going merrily (not!)to and fro. quite an eye-opener.

    Reply
  87. recently there was a huge kerfuffle over at ‘dear author’ over a jaw-droppingly blatant example of shameless yet poorly executed plagiarism. it involved an excerpt taken word for word (except for the protagonist’s name, but there was even an instance of leaving the original name in at one spot)from a well-known but deceased author’s work and presented as the new author’s own. as the drama unfolded allegations surfaced that the new author had hired a ghostwriter, who was supposedly the one who copied the original author’s work. discussions about culpability are going merrily (not!)to and fro. quite an eye-opener.

    Reply
  88. recently there was a huge kerfuffle over at ‘dear author’ over a jaw-droppingly blatant example of shameless yet poorly executed plagiarism. it involved an excerpt taken word for word (except for the protagonist’s name, but there was even an instance of leaving the original name in at one spot)from a well-known but deceased author’s work and presented as the new author’s own. as the drama unfolded allegations surfaced that the new author had hired a ghostwriter, who was supposedly the one who copied the original author’s work. discussions about culpability are going merrily (not!)to and fro. quite an eye-opener.

    Reply
  89. recently there was a huge kerfuffle over at ‘dear author’ over a jaw-droppingly blatant example of shameless yet poorly executed plagiarism. it involved an excerpt taken word for word (except for the protagonist’s name, but there was even an instance of leaving the original name in at one spot)from a well-known but deceased author’s work and presented as the new author’s own. as the drama unfolded allegations surfaced that the new author had hired a ghostwriter, who was supposedly the one who copied the original author’s work. discussions about culpability are going merrily (not!)to and fro. quite an eye-opener.

    Reply
  90. recently there was a huge kerfuffle over at ‘dear author’ over a jaw-droppingly blatant example of shameless yet poorly executed plagiarism. it involved an excerpt taken word for word (except for the protagonist’s name, but there was even an instance of leaving the original name in at one spot)from a well-known but deceased author’s work and presented as the new author’s own. as the drama unfolded allegations surfaced that the new author had hired a ghostwriter, who was supposedly the one who copied the original author’s work. discussions about culpability are going merrily (not!)to and fro. quite an eye-opener.

    Reply
  91. I think the collective unconscious really is at work sometimes. Esp with historicals that share a time period and/or setting. Elizabeth Hoyt and I had books come out very near to each other, and we’d both used the same name for our heroines (Georgiana, give or take an “n”). I got SLAMMED on a review site for “stealing” from Hoyt. *roll eyes* I guess that’s what I get for using a common name from the era . . .

    Reply
  92. I think the collective unconscious really is at work sometimes. Esp with historicals that share a time period and/or setting. Elizabeth Hoyt and I had books come out very near to each other, and we’d both used the same name for our heroines (Georgiana, give or take an “n”). I got SLAMMED on a review site for “stealing” from Hoyt. *roll eyes* I guess that’s what I get for using a common name from the era . . .

    Reply
  93. I think the collective unconscious really is at work sometimes. Esp with historicals that share a time period and/or setting. Elizabeth Hoyt and I had books come out very near to each other, and we’d both used the same name for our heroines (Georgiana, give or take an “n”). I got SLAMMED on a review site for “stealing” from Hoyt. *roll eyes* I guess that’s what I get for using a common name from the era . . .

    Reply
  94. I think the collective unconscious really is at work sometimes. Esp with historicals that share a time period and/or setting. Elizabeth Hoyt and I had books come out very near to each other, and we’d both used the same name for our heroines (Georgiana, give or take an “n”). I got SLAMMED on a review site for “stealing” from Hoyt. *roll eyes* I guess that’s what I get for using a common name from the era . . .

    Reply
  95. I think the collective unconscious really is at work sometimes. Esp with historicals that share a time period and/or setting. Elizabeth Hoyt and I had books come out very near to each other, and we’d both used the same name for our heroines (Georgiana, give or take an “n”). I got SLAMMED on a review site for “stealing” from Hoyt. *roll eyes* I guess that’s what I get for using a common name from the era . . .

    Reply
  96. Way back in the 7th or 8th grade I had to write a short story for an English assignment. I took a picture of a girl with an umbrella in the rain (From Redbook magazine) and wrote a story around it. The teacher accused me of plagiarism when I told her on what it was based. Unfortunately I no longer had the magazine to prove differently. Didn’t go that route on any further writing assignments.

    Reply
  97. Way back in the 7th or 8th grade I had to write a short story for an English assignment. I took a picture of a girl with an umbrella in the rain (From Redbook magazine) and wrote a story around it. The teacher accused me of plagiarism when I told her on what it was based. Unfortunately I no longer had the magazine to prove differently. Didn’t go that route on any further writing assignments.

    Reply
  98. Way back in the 7th or 8th grade I had to write a short story for an English assignment. I took a picture of a girl with an umbrella in the rain (From Redbook magazine) and wrote a story around it. The teacher accused me of plagiarism when I told her on what it was based. Unfortunately I no longer had the magazine to prove differently. Didn’t go that route on any further writing assignments.

    Reply
  99. Way back in the 7th or 8th grade I had to write a short story for an English assignment. I took a picture of a girl with an umbrella in the rain (From Redbook magazine) and wrote a story around it. The teacher accused me of plagiarism when I told her on what it was based. Unfortunately I no longer had the magazine to prove differently. Didn’t go that route on any further writing assignments.

    Reply
  100. Way back in the 7th or 8th grade I had to write a short story for an English assignment. I took a picture of a girl with an umbrella in the rain (From Redbook magazine) and wrote a story around it. The teacher accused me of plagiarism when I told her on what it was based. Unfortunately I no longer had the magazine to prove differently. Didn’t go that route on any further writing assignments.

    Reply
  101. **I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!**
    Oops, poor communication in action. I meant that our dream-minds pull raw ideas out of the collective ethers, not that my enormous subconscious ego was the mad supplier! LOL.
    On plagiarism: my son, a high school junior, recently wrote an allegorical poem for an assignment. I watched him do it as I cooked dinner. He was proud of it and showed it to me. It needed a little work but it was very good.
    The teacher returned it with, “Did you really write this?” across the top. So, do I contact the teacher or stay out of it?

    Reply
  102. **I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!**
    Oops, poor communication in action. I meant that our dream-minds pull raw ideas out of the collective ethers, not that my enormous subconscious ego was the mad supplier! LOL.
    On plagiarism: my son, a high school junior, recently wrote an allegorical poem for an assignment. I watched him do it as I cooked dinner. He was proud of it and showed it to me. It needed a little work but it was very good.
    The teacher returned it with, “Did you really write this?” across the top. So, do I contact the teacher or stay out of it?

    Reply
  103. **I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!**
    Oops, poor communication in action. I meant that our dream-minds pull raw ideas out of the collective ethers, not that my enormous subconscious ego was the mad supplier! LOL.
    On plagiarism: my son, a high school junior, recently wrote an allegorical poem for an assignment. I watched him do it as I cooked dinner. He was proud of it and showed it to me. It needed a little work but it was very good.
    The teacher returned it with, “Did you really write this?” across the top. So, do I contact the teacher or stay out of it?

    Reply
  104. **I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!**
    Oops, poor communication in action. I meant that our dream-minds pull raw ideas out of the collective ethers, not that my enormous subconscious ego was the mad supplier! LOL.
    On plagiarism: my son, a high school junior, recently wrote an allegorical poem for an assignment. I watched him do it as I cooked dinner. He was proud of it and showed it to me. It needed a little work but it was very good.
    The teacher returned it with, “Did you really write this?” across the top. So, do I contact the teacher or stay out of it?

    Reply
  105. **I don’t know, Jane, if your dreams are anything like mine, let’s hope they’re not out there in the ether or we’re all warped!**
    Oops, poor communication in action. I meant that our dream-minds pull raw ideas out of the collective ethers, not that my enormous subconscious ego was the mad supplier! LOL.
    On plagiarism: my son, a high school junior, recently wrote an allegorical poem for an assignment. I watched him do it as I cooked dinner. He was proud of it and showed it to me. It needed a little work but it was very good.
    The teacher returned it with, “Did you really write this?” across the top. So, do I contact the teacher or stay out of it?

    Reply
  106. PS to Kalen:
    I’m still working my way through free books from National and am now reading the Hoyt book you mentioned. Her character’s name is Georgiana but all through the text she’s referred to as George, which to be honest I find distracting.
    True confessions, I haven’t read Lord Sin yet, but I’m dying to. I keep meaning to pick it up. I know it’s going to be one of those “don’t leave the armchair” reads. Did you call your Georgiana, “George” too? That would be a P&P to the tv show “Sisters” kinda time-warp serendipity!
    Silly review nit-pick, by the way.

    Reply
  107. PS to Kalen:
    I’m still working my way through free books from National and am now reading the Hoyt book you mentioned. Her character’s name is Georgiana but all through the text she’s referred to as George, which to be honest I find distracting.
    True confessions, I haven’t read Lord Sin yet, but I’m dying to. I keep meaning to pick it up. I know it’s going to be one of those “don’t leave the armchair” reads. Did you call your Georgiana, “George” too? That would be a P&P to the tv show “Sisters” kinda time-warp serendipity!
    Silly review nit-pick, by the way.

    Reply
  108. PS to Kalen:
    I’m still working my way through free books from National and am now reading the Hoyt book you mentioned. Her character’s name is Georgiana but all through the text she’s referred to as George, which to be honest I find distracting.
    True confessions, I haven’t read Lord Sin yet, but I’m dying to. I keep meaning to pick it up. I know it’s going to be one of those “don’t leave the armchair” reads. Did you call your Georgiana, “George” too? That would be a P&P to the tv show “Sisters” kinda time-warp serendipity!
    Silly review nit-pick, by the way.

    Reply
  109. PS to Kalen:
    I’m still working my way through free books from National and am now reading the Hoyt book you mentioned. Her character’s name is Georgiana but all through the text she’s referred to as George, which to be honest I find distracting.
    True confessions, I haven’t read Lord Sin yet, but I’m dying to. I keep meaning to pick it up. I know it’s going to be one of those “don’t leave the armchair” reads. Did you call your Georgiana, “George” too? That would be a P&P to the tv show “Sisters” kinda time-warp serendipity!
    Silly review nit-pick, by the way.

    Reply
  110. PS to Kalen:
    I’m still working my way through free books from National and am now reading the Hoyt book you mentioned. Her character’s name is Georgiana but all through the text she’s referred to as George, which to be honest I find distracting.
    True confessions, I haven’t read Lord Sin yet, but I’m dying to. I keep meaning to pick it up. I know it’s going to be one of those “don’t leave the armchair” reads. Did you call your Georgiana, “George” too? That would be a P&P to the tv show “Sisters” kinda time-warp serendipity!
    Silly review nit-pick, by the way.

    Reply
  111. Loretta, I was thinking wit and irony and also a certain way of allowing each character–even (or maybe especially) secondary or tertiary ones, to have his or her own moment in the spotlight, his or her own character, his or her own story within the story. I was really struck by it.
    Kalen, I’ve read both Lord Sin and the Hoyt title, enjoyed them both enormously, and I didn’t think they were anything alike! How lovely that you both picked the beautiful and period-appropriate Georgiana–maybe you’re onto the next baby-naming zeitgeist. . .
    Back in the old days when I gobbled Signet regencies like candy, I was always struck by little similarities between books issued in the same month; often the books had similarly named characters, or a similar set-up, or a similar town, or something. I even half wondered if this was somehow purposeful–ie, whether some editor somewhere said to writers, “In February we’re featuring stranded-at-an-inn-in-a-snowstorm, and the heroine has to have a younger brother named Bertie, so write me one of those.” I’m sure that was the collective unconscious too!

    Reply
  112. Loretta, I was thinking wit and irony and also a certain way of allowing each character–even (or maybe especially) secondary or tertiary ones, to have his or her own moment in the spotlight, his or her own character, his or her own story within the story. I was really struck by it.
    Kalen, I’ve read both Lord Sin and the Hoyt title, enjoyed them both enormously, and I didn’t think they were anything alike! How lovely that you both picked the beautiful and period-appropriate Georgiana–maybe you’re onto the next baby-naming zeitgeist. . .
    Back in the old days when I gobbled Signet regencies like candy, I was always struck by little similarities between books issued in the same month; often the books had similarly named characters, or a similar set-up, or a similar town, or something. I even half wondered if this was somehow purposeful–ie, whether some editor somewhere said to writers, “In February we’re featuring stranded-at-an-inn-in-a-snowstorm, and the heroine has to have a younger brother named Bertie, so write me one of those.” I’m sure that was the collective unconscious too!

    Reply
  113. Loretta, I was thinking wit and irony and also a certain way of allowing each character–even (or maybe especially) secondary or tertiary ones, to have his or her own moment in the spotlight, his or her own character, his or her own story within the story. I was really struck by it.
    Kalen, I’ve read both Lord Sin and the Hoyt title, enjoyed them both enormously, and I didn’t think they were anything alike! How lovely that you both picked the beautiful and period-appropriate Georgiana–maybe you’re onto the next baby-naming zeitgeist. . .
    Back in the old days when I gobbled Signet regencies like candy, I was always struck by little similarities between books issued in the same month; often the books had similarly named characters, or a similar set-up, or a similar town, or something. I even half wondered if this was somehow purposeful–ie, whether some editor somewhere said to writers, “In February we’re featuring stranded-at-an-inn-in-a-snowstorm, and the heroine has to have a younger brother named Bertie, so write me one of those.” I’m sure that was the collective unconscious too!

    Reply
  114. Loretta, I was thinking wit and irony and also a certain way of allowing each character–even (or maybe especially) secondary or tertiary ones, to have his or her own moment in the spotlight, his or her own character, his or her own story within the story. I was really struck by it.
    Kalen, I’ve read both Lord Sin and the Hoyt title, enjoyed them both enormously, and I didn’t think they were anything alike! How lovely that you both picked the beautiful and period-appropriate Georgiana–maybe you’re onto the next baby-naming zeitgeist. . .
    Back in the old days when I gobbled Signet regencies like candy, I was always struck by little similarities between books issued in the same month; often the books had similarly named characters, or a similar set-up, or a similar town, or something. I even half wondered if this was somehow purposeful–ie, whether some editor somewhere said to writers, “In February we’re featuring stranded-at-an-inn-in-a-snowstorm, and the heroine has to have a younger brother named Bertie, so write me one of those.” I’m sure that was the collective unconscious too!

    Reply
  115. Loretta, I was thinking wit and irony and also a certain way of allowing each character–even (or maybe especially) secondary or tertiary ones, to have his or her own moment in the spotlight, his or her own character, his or her own story within the story. I was really struck by it.
    Kalen, I’ve read both Lord Sin and the Hoyt title, enjoyed them both enormously, and I didn’t think they were anything alike! How lovely that you both picked the beautiful and period-appropriate Georgiana–maybe you’re onto the next baby-naming zeitgeist. . .
    Back in the old days when I gobbled Signet regencies like candy, I was always struck by little similarities between books issued in the same month; often the books had similarly named characters, or a similar set-up, or a similar town, or something. I even half wondered if this was somehow purposeful–ie, whether some editor somewhere said to writers, “In February we’re featuring stranded-at-an-inn-in-a-snowstorm, and the heroine has to have a younger brother named Bertie, so write me one of those.” I’m sure that was the collective unconscious too!

    Reply
  116. Wow, you’ve been playing while I was out! Kalen, any review site that slams an author for a similar name is not working with a full deck. If we use period names, we’re almost always going to end up with Georges and Marys and whatnot. Unless we go the other way and go for “cute” names like women named after their great-uncle with an “ina” added to Malthos or something. “G”
    Jane, IMO, I’d call the teacher and tell her you watched him write the assignment and that he just happens to have high verbal skills, like his mother. Tell her if she doesn’t believe you, she can test him. I get seriously annoyed with teachers who think every kid is alike, and I can remember the insult of being questioned like that. I murdered teachers in essays after those kind of comments, so she’s encouraging rebellion. “G”
    RevMel, back in the old days, authors were allowed to do POVs from every character. Early Signet Regencies often had POVs from dogs and horses and stablemen in imitation of our favorite format. Needing to develop intense romance kind of killed it in contemp times, for most of us.
    Not sure why the Signets would have been similar since most of us weren’t hooked to the internet in those days and barely knew each other. Maybe we all went to the same conference and discussed snow storms!

    Reply
  117. Wow, you’ve been playing while I was out! Kalen, any review site that slams an author for a similar name is not working with a full deck. If we use period names, we’re almost always going to end up with Georges and Marys and whatnot. Unless we go the other way and go for “cute” names like women named after their great-uncle with an “ina” added to Malthos or something. “G”
    Jane, IMO, I’d call the teacher and tell her you watched him write the assignment and that he just happens to have high verbal skills, like his mother. Tell her if she doesn’t believe you, she can test him. I get seriously annoyed with teachers who think every kid is alike, and I can remember the insult of being questioned like that. I murdered teachers in essays after those kind of comments, so she’s encouraging rebellion. “G”
    RevMel, back in the old days, authors were allowed to do POVs from every character. Early Signet Regencies often had POVs from dogs and horses and stablemen in imitation of our favorite format. Needing to develop intense romance kind of killed it in contemp times, for most of us.
    Not sure why the Signets would have been similar since most of us weren’t hooked to the internet in those days and barely knew each other. Maybe we all went to the same conference and discussed snow storms!

    Reply
  118. Wow, you’ve been playing while I was out! Kalen, any review site that slams an author for a similar name is not working with a full deck. If we use period names, we’re almost always going to end up with Georges and Marys and whatnot. Unless we go the other way and go for “cute” names like women named after their great-uncle with an “ina” added to Malthos or something. “G”
    Jane, IMO, I’d call the teacher and tell her you watched him write the assignment and that he just happens to have high verbal skills, like his mother. Tell her if she doesn’t believe you, she can test him. I get seriously annoyed with teachers who think every kid is alike, and I can remember the insult of being questioned like that. I murdered teachers in essays after those kind of comments, so she’s encouraging rebellion. “G”
    RevMel, back in the old days, authors were allowed to do POVs from every character. Early Signet Regencies often had POVs from dogs and horses and stablemen in imitation of our favorite format. Needing to develop intense romance kind of killed it in contemp times, for most of us.
    Not sure why the Signets would have been similar since most of us weren’t hooked to the internet in those days and barely knew each other. Maybe we all went to the same conference and discussed snow storms!

    Reply
  119. Wow, you’ve been playing while I was out! Kalen, any review site that slams an author for a similar name is not working with a full deck. If we use period names, we’re almost always going to end up with Georges and Marys and whatnot. Unless we go the other way and go for “cute” names like women named after their great-uncle with an “ina” added to Malthos or something. “G”
    Jane, IMO, I’d call the teacher and tell her you watched him write the assignment and that he just happens to have high verbal skills, like his mother. Tell her if she doesn’t believe you, she can test him. I get seriously annoyed with teachers who think every kid is alike, and I can remember the insult of being questioned like that. I murdered teachers in essays after those kind of comments, so she’s encouraging rebellion. “G”
    RevMel, back in the old days, authors were allowed to do POVs from every character. Early Signet Regencies often had POVs from dogs and horses and stablemen in imitation of our favorite format. Needing to develop intense romance kind of killed it in contemp times, for most of us.
    Not sure why the Signets would have been similar since most of us weren’t hooked to the internet in those days and barely knew each other. Maybe we all went to the same conference and discussed snow storms!

    Reply
  120. Wow, you’ve been playing while I was out! Kalen, any review site that slams an author for a similar name is not working with a full deck. If we use period names, we’re almost always going to end up with Georges and Marys and whatnot. Unless we go the other way and go for “cute” names like women named after their great-uncle with an “ina” added to Malthos or something. “G”
    Jane, IMO, I’d call the teacher and tell her you watched him write the assignment and that he just happens to have high verbal skills, like his mother. Tell her if she doesn’t believe you, she can test him. I get seriously annoyed with teachers who think every kid is alike, and I can remember the insult of being questioned like that. I murdered teachers in essays after those kind of comments, so she’s encouraging rebellion. “G”
    RevMel, back in the old days, authors were allowed to do POVs from every character. Early Signet Regencies often had POVs from dogs and horses and stablemen in imitation of our favorite format. Needing to develop intense romance kind of killed it in contemp times, for most of us.
    Not sure why the Signets would have been similar since most of us weren’t hooked to the internet in those days and barely knew each other. Maybe we all went to the same conference and discussed snow storms!

    Reply

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