This post has only a nugget of truth in it, and I will be asking you, the reader, to do the heavy lifting of separating fact from fiction from pure flights of fancy.
The truth is this: Grey @RayPilley hired one of those write-my-essay groups to write a 1500-word romantic encounter. Grey provided art of two male characters, names of the two men and the basic scenario: “two characters confessing their feelings of love for each other at a fancy dinner party”.
I’ll provide a link at the end that should get you through THAT wonderful story of connection between two strangers on the internet – one trying to make a buck, the other looking for easy entertainment and a few laughs.
But let’s call the ghostwriter Hub (they/them). Hub provided a story full of stilted sentences, bad spelling and no stakes. Oh, and some pronoun confusion; Hub seems to have lifted half the essay from a hetero scenario and forgot they were writing about anime boys. Dear Reader, if you are feeling bad about your writing these days, I encourage you to follow that Twitter trail Grey laid out. The first two-thirds are so bad in so many areas that
It was a busy day in Romancelandia today and not in a good way. If you spent any time on social media recently you’ve probably seen the stories by now. A Brazilian romance author who had a book entered in this year’s RWA RITA contest, appears to have engaged in some very blatant plagiarism. I got wind of the story by way of Courtney Milan’s blog at lunchtime and by the end of the day, the list of authors whose work was thought to have been plagiarized read like a Who’s Who of Romance – Courtney Milan Tessa Dare, Bella Andre, Loretta Chase, Victoria Alexander, Nora Roberts – just to name a few.
It was disheartening to read posts from the various authors who were impacted, describing how it felt to see bits and pieces of the stories they’d put their whole heart and soul into writing, being passed off as the work of someone else.
The author, when confronted with the accusations, gave the equivalent of a “the dog ate my homework” excuse, saying “the ghostwriter did it.” That didn’t fly with anyone, including the understandably outraged ghostwriting community. Continue reading →
“Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” T.S. Eliot in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism
Way back in the dark ages, when a Sony Walkman tape player was the height of technology, I was in journalism school and they talked about plagiarism, and scared the bejeezus out of us in Communication Law class. Plagiarism is one thing (and a very bad thing, both as an artist and as a consumer) but sometimes using other people’s words is the right thing to do on many levels.
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.” And then it was turned into a play. And then a movie. Actually a couple of movies.
This week, NPR’s Planet Moneyhad a podcast that touched tangentially on fair use, and for some reason, my subconscious perked up and listened. I don’t think I’m planning any grand literary heist, but if I do this summer, Continue reading →