Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Little Whispers

The Questioner of the Sphinx,
Elihu Vedder, 1863,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

1.Of another case of plagiarism:

Not a rip-off from a well-known writer like Gemmel this time, but from fanfic writer.

Angie has links.

Some of the discussion revolves around whether paraphrasing still constitutes plagiarism.

I'm inclined to think it does.

Also, the My reputation, Iago effect on both parties.

2. The hidden hook:

I always thought the inclusion of a partial chapter of the next or a similar novel at the end of a book was entirely a neat advertising trick -- particularly if the book in question was part of a series.

Seems it may serve a dual purpose. Printing costs are based partly on the page count of the final product, so it's a clever way of filling the blank pages, if an MS by a mean 'n lean writer falls short.

3. The contest:

l'll mention it now to give me time to adjust the rulz to cover anything I may have forgotten.

Friday, I will post a picture.

Send me an opening using the picture as the setting/background for the inciting incident of a story. Any genre.

Around a 100 words, I think, but that's not rigid, can be more, can be less.

Send entries in the body of the e-mail to the g-mail address at the top of the blog.

I probably need you to include specific permission to post your entry and showcase your writing.

Contest will run until next Friday night.

Prize will be a fresh and never-fondled copy of Weirdly: A Collection of Strange Stories (Tales) -- and assurances of my pleasure at being able to give away a proper, published book that includes my work.


Church Lady said...

MMMMMMM!! Let the games begin!
Can't wait to see the picture!

Julie said...

Hornets nest, Bernita, re plagiarism - plus I noticed Charles comment on unconscious replication - though suppose if the writer was on the ball they might pick that up themselves on a detached re-read?

I sometimes get irritated when a writer has followed larger themes of a major work too closely, unless its a deliberate spoof.

Amy Lavender Harris said...

1. I'm with Bernita on plagiarism. In the academic world there is a responsibility to rigorously trace the genealogy of ideas one builds upon. I do not see why the obligation in fiction should be any less. If nothing else, an acknowledgments page can clarify sources and referents. Even after the fact, any honest writer should be open to the possibility that her /his own brilliant imagination may be shared by someone else. Disclosure goes a long way.

2. Contest: lovely idea. I suppose franchisees and employees of Mommycorp. are excluded from competition.

Bernita said...

Chris, now I'm beset by the fear that no one will enter!

I think most unconscious replication is limited to bits and pieces.
The funny thing about major work themes is that they often may replicate even earlier works.

Amy, I trust that Mommycorp minions already have their copies!

December/Stacia said...

Yep, this plagiarism thing is quite something--especially as it doesn't seem to be an isolated incident, far from it in fact. I don't really know any of the principals in this one, but...*shakes head*

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool. I'll take part.

Robyn said...

Angie has a good point in asking where we draw the line. I remember seeing a Star Trek: Next Generation that had a female character getting pregnant, and the gestation, birth, and growth of the child happened in record time. This alien entity wanted to know what the experience was like; thus the immaculate conception.

I recognized the plot from a story I read in an Avengers comic book published ten years before. Where to draw the line, indeed?

raine said...

Looking forward to reading the results of the contest. :-)
(And I LOVE that painting!)

Bernita said...

Yes, December, questions are raised now about her other books.

Thank you, Charles!

To me, Robyn, it needs more than a repetition of general plot points, though your example is clearly derivative.
Further, we don't know if there was an agreement/ accommodation made between the principals in that instance.

Bernita said...

I hope there's lots of entries, Raine.
I think it's beautiful, too. Based on a legend of the sphinx, apparently.

Travis Erwin said...

Sure, that's all I need another writing project and deadline. But you know I'll have to give it a try.

You are going to autograph that copy, right?

Bernita said...

With great pleasure, Travis!

SzélsőFa said...

I'm looking forward to it.

Ello said...

Oh I can't wait! You have the best pictures too, Bernita. May I presume that you will personally autograph winning book? If yes, then let the games begin!!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Awww, you're going to make me write?

I remember a few years ago when a "famous" romance author got caught plagiarizing another equally "famous" romance writer. Wow.

Bernita said...

That's lovely, Szelsofa!

Of course, Ello.
It's very hard to decide on the picture.

That was the Dailey?Roberts debacle, wasn't it Bailey?
Always amazed me that Dailey survived it.

Jeff said...

May I join the fun?

Bernita said...

Of course, Jeff!

Jaye Wells said...

The contest sounds fun. The fanfic plagiarism issue not so much.

Bernita said...

Hope so, Jaye.
Pretty sordid, as these things always are.

The Anti-Wife said...

Ooooooo! Count me in.

Bailey Stewart said...

Nope, Dailey/Steel. And I'm surprised too.

Bernita said...

Good, AW!

Think it was Nora, Bailey.
She mentioned it on Dear Author. during the Gemmel thing.

Chumplet said...

Oh boy, oh boy! You can deliver the book by dog sled.

Jaye Wells said...

Bernita! I just noticed I'm not on your blog roll. Did I do something wrong? :(

Bernita said...

Jaye, I never noticed.
Of course you haven't done anything wrong. (Good God!)
You're been on my Favourites list forever and I visit your blog every morning. I don't know how you came to be missed.
I am embarrassed and very sorry.
When my Tech child visits at Christmas, rest assured you will be added.
There's a whole whack of other people who will be added too.

Lots of snow there, Sandra?

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks! No reason to apologize at all. Just thought I'd point it out considering our history of mutual admiration.

Angie said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the link. :) Late because I'm catching up on a really horrible blog backlog; I had a deadline yesterday and got it finished, proofed and sent with just about half an hour before midnight. [pantpantflail]

Too late for the contest -- I'll just have to buy the book myself. I love anthologies and I'm slowly working my way through my current deadlines.


Bernita said...

I'm still shaking my head, Jaye. You're one of my favourite bloggers.
I must have just assumed I'd had you added long ago.

That describes deadlines perfectly, Angie!
No problem.
But pssst the contest is this week...

Angie said...

Really? I thought it was Friday as in yesterday. Coolness. :)

Angie, looking at the pic again