I hadn’t really been following the whole scandal with Cris Serruya (ghostwriter for Cris who plagiarized other romance writer’s work) until recently with a brand new piracy site popping up. Here’s what I fail to understand. Why would a writer ever use a ghostwriter? Ghostwriting is such a foreign concept to me. The whole idea of being a writer is that I write my own stuff, not have someone else pen my story. Can you imagine if I’d asked my professors in my Master’s program if I could use a ghostwriter for my thesis? I would have been laughed out of graduate school. I might have gone back for my doctorate if I’d been able to use a ghostwriter for my dissertation.
Sure, I get that ghostwriting is a legitimate career and a way for talented writers to make a living. I can certainly understand a famous person wanting to have a ghostwriter pen their story, but it only makes sense that writer would receive the writing credits for the book. I simply cannot understand why in this day and age, a writer would be happy with another person’s name attached to their work. It feels unjust, slimy and just plain wrong.
Now, let’s take a few minutes to talk about plagiarism. Similar to music, there are going to be similar chord progressions in different songs, just like there are somewhat common storylines or even favorite sayings in romance books.
- Putting a hand to the small of a woman’s back
- They sat in comfortable silence
- Arching an eyebrow or furrowing her brow
- Looking down at her feet, etc.
You get the picture. I’ve always wondered at what point does it travel into the plagiarism territory or just a new version of a similar plotline.
I know that I quite enjoy lesfic versions of fairytales or popular books or movies. I admit to writing a few myself. Certainly, my book coming out in May, A Window to Love, has elements of Where Dreams May Come and Made in Heaven. Asset Management was inspired by both The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood (a very modern lesfic version). I haven’t the foggiest idea where The Dream Catcher came from, probably all those sci-fi, evil government conspiracy movies or one of the series I tend to binge watch. Would this be considered plagiarism? I am currently working on a novel that is the lesfic version of Death Takes a Holiday…well sort of…because it isn’t death, it’s inspiration.
Three things I do know for sure:
- I’ll never use a ghostwriter. I’m not sure I could find anyone as quirky as me to pen what’s in my head…plus I have control issues.
- I’ll never be a ghostwriter for two reasons: 1) Who would want me and; 2) I’d want the credit for writing the book.
- I don’t fear my work will ever be plagiarized it’s just a tad bit too unconventional for the average person to want to copy!
Now I say all this, but who knew that I would be the kind of writer the piracy sites would target. Pirated books of mine pop up all the time. So…I guess if I am ever plagiarized in the future, perhaps I will try to put a silver lining around it and take it as the ultimate form of flattery…kidding!
Want to see how I altered various movie plots to make them all about lesbians…you know the drill, click on the links below. Ooh…and now you can hear my latest book because it is out in Audible (my first).
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