Write it like you stole it!

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Post horror? It's even scarier.

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
In light of what recently happened to Quillwitch, with her plotline being hijacked, I thought it would be salutary to highlight stealing and inspiration.

As it says in Ecclesiastes 1:9—

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Where we get our ideas from is a mixture of memory, observation, imagination and sometimes appropriation. Even famous writers have filched storylines.

I've just read Austin Kleon's Steal Like An Artist, which I recommend, as it's full of common-sense wisdom and has lots of thought-provoking quotes, such as this one from film director Francis Ford Coppola:

“We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can't steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that's how you will find your voice. And that's how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you."

Austin Kleon's web-site is worth a look: AUSTIN KLEON is a writer who draws.

I haven't deliberately stolen plots for my four novels, but who knows where I got my ideas from? After all, I've read thousands of books in my 63 years, so I'm sure there'll be similarities between my work and previous authors.

Subconscious plagiarism happens, even to a member of The Beatles:

40 Years Ago: George Harrison Found Guilty of 'My Sweet Lord' Plagiarism


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Fanfare! I'm in Flash Bang Mysteries

Post horror? It's even scarier.