Hey, my name is Jeffrey and I am writing for an advice concerning plagiarism. I am not sure is this in your field of expertise but I do hope you can help me anyway. So, I am an amateur-wannabe fiction writer and has just finished my first "masterpiece" that I thought was good to sell to publishing house, or at least attempt. But as I reread it and rethink my ideas, i began to feel like I am plagiarizing other people's works. I think somehow my subconscious took over and took little bits of here and there. Let me be clear that I didn't copy an entire book or even a section. I am pretty sure my characters are rather original aside that I might have loosely based it on some characters I have seen or read before. The whole plot is rather original but the the way the plots were driven i sometimes feel like i mimic them from somewhere else and worse is that these "plots" defines my main plot so I can't just omit them.
I hope I am not confusing you but I am hoping you can help me as an experience author and editor you can tell me whether is this normal for amateurs writer like me or tips on how to differentiate between a plagiarism and not or at least let me know to what extend I am considered being a copycat. My primary concern is that assuming on my good luck that I get my book successfully published, I would rather not have a pile of lawsuit raining on me as well.
Hoping to hear from you soon and thank you in advance.
Answer Plagiarism is not defined as a plot similar to another writer's, nor is it defined as having characters similar to another's.
Plagiarism is copying a sentence, a paragraph, a quote, or another exact or paraphrased writing of another author without giving direct credit to that author.
I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.
I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.
Organizations Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.
Publications Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.
Education/Credentials Some college, creative writing, fiction writing
Past/Present Clients I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.