Discussion Using other Fanfic Authors OC's and Plots

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briannakin, Jun 20, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Mav Edit:
    This was a discussion going on in the Pet Peeve thread that I thought would make a good discussion thread on it's own. (The posts from there have been moved to here.) There was a thread discussing the same thing several years ago (you can find it here) but seeing as how that was 2008, and things have changed in the world of writing and fanfic since then, a new thread is probably the better idea than bumping that one. :)

    ~*~*~*~*~*~


    I kinda have a question involving the plagiarism pet peeve. Would it be wrong to steal a half written story, edit/change what was posted and finish it (without the author's consent)? There is a story over on the JC classic fanfic forum that was never finished and the author hasn't even logged in since 2003. I'd love to finish it but I would NEVER do above thing, even though I'd probably never get caught because it wasn't well-known and I'd change it a lot. Would there be any ethical (and board allowed) way to finish the fic? I'm asking because I know most of us are peeved by unfinished fics and I'm sure some of you guys would like to finish fics that have just bugged you.
    Last edited by mavjade, Jun 22, 2013
  2. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7

    Yes, and I've seen it done and the original authors who found out about their half - finished fics being taken like that without permission.. weren't happy to say the least.

    Meaning, even if it's a story that you think the original author is never going to finish, stealing it and changing/posting/putting your own finish on it, is still plagiarism and it's going to get found out regardless.

    Have you found out if the author of the story you'd like to see finish has a point of contact off - the boards? If they do, maybe you can contact them off - boards somehow and find out, if they do ever intend to finish it. At the very least if the author says they don't intend resume the story, then maybe they can at least offer you an explanation as to why it's never going to be finished so that your not hanging in the air about it.
    Last edited by Juliet316, Jun 20, 2013
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  3. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Was reading a series of Animorph Fan fics on ff.net where MANY scenes, conversations and inner monologue were taken right from the book. The only differences were there was an extra member of the team, one character never left his exile on Earth, another gave the heroes their powers because the other never left Earth and two boys that were established in the series to be Straight are interested in each other. There are a few other things but these are really the biiggest.

    I have NOTHING against against those that are attracted to someone of the same gender so the fact that two canonly Straight boys are interested in each other was just a deviation from canon.

    What had been up the author either accidentally took off or was removed by the mods of ff.net. The author complained about it and ripped into someone that said that they were plagiarizing from the book.
  4. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    I have abandoned things as well - a peeve against myself that plot bunnies perish in the larval stage ...
  5. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I started writing a time travel fic and... well, let's just say it "got weird". And stopped being a time travel fic exactly, because that part seemed so serty I ended up scrapping most of it. The outline is still sitting on my hard drive because I don't know what to do with it; it's so long and convoluted I'm almost too intimidated to try to write it.


    Honestly, I don't feel sorry for plagiarists any more than I feel sorry for a kid who cheats on a test and then has to do it all over again (or spends the rest of his life horribly ignorant). In both situations the person is just reaping the consequences of their own poor choices.
    Even if he never gets caught, the best he can hope is that the writer he's leeching off of doesn't stop writing (you know how you found that awesome story, but the author vanished mysteriously and left the story hanging on chapter 45...?) because you can be pretty sure he wouldn't be able to successfully pick up where that author left off. There's nothing he can offer clamoring fans; he doesn't even know for sure how the plot was supposed to resolve, since it wasn't his idea. If he actually gets the gumption to try to finish the story himself, he still runs the risk that his less impressive skills will give him away.
    Plus, by ripping a story he likes instead of analyzing what made it a good story and trying to emulate that, he misses out on the learning and practice that could have made him a better writer in his own right--instead he leaves himself stunted and reliant on others. "I can't write well, therefore I must steal" is every bit a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    VanishingReality likes this.
  6. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Which is really a travesty. It's an insult to the people who can write and have written.
  7. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    That wouldn't be good because even if the author never finds out readers of his/hers may notice and report it to the Mods. I would think you could take the plot bunny and write your own story and maybe at the beginning stating, "This story was inspired by [insert author's name] and his story called [insert fanfic's name]. I was really wishing he would finish the story, but that appears to not to be in the cards. Therefore I am writing my own story loosely based on his plot" and then write your own story.

    I really don't think plot stealing is plagiarism if you are not borrowing scenes. There are amnesia plots galore about Luke and Mara. I wrote one, but my story is nothing like the other three stories I have read that involve amnesia. We are using the amnesia to put the character in a certain situation and the situations are completely different in all the fanfics involving this plot (albeit they all end in bootknocking). Does that mean I need to track down every person who wrote a L/M amnesia fic and tell them I am going to write one but I am not stealing their work?

    We are fanfic writers. We are borrowing heavily off of the profics, therefore we are probably going to write similar stories since we are using the same characters. Writers that think they are the only person on Earth that can think up a particular plot are delusional.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jun 20, 2013
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  8. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Agreed. You and I have had similar ideas. I think so have I and Jade...it's the case of great minds think alike I think.
  9. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    As I said above (and clearly you people seemed to delete from when you quoted me), I would NEVER steal the fic, and I have no intentions of doing so, or even taking the plot and finishing it. You guys really twisted my words and I only meant to start an hypothetical discussion.

    I was just curious if something like Jedi_Lover suggested (giving credit to the original author by saying: this fic was inspired by such and such and give a link to the story) would be considered ethical. The story I was talking about involved Luke becoming paralyzed shortly after ROTJ. It was nothing original so I could very well take that core idea, and completely change the scenes (which I would have done for the most part anyways), and I would not feel like I had plagerized it.
  10. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    We never thought you would.
  11. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I know that. I was continuing your hypothetical discussion but I want the readers to know what part of it I am referring to. Right now the reader is going to have to read the entire quote above to see what I am referring to now and when you have long quotes that becomes confusing. And then somebody quotes me and so forth until you have that weird multiple quote box that ends up with only one letter per line.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jun 20, 2013
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  12. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    OT, I admit to being fooled for years by a plagiarist over on LJ. This person c/p'd various texts from unknown *to me* sci-fi authors and interpolated them with name changes into the GFFA. What was practical was one uncoverer's question: "How can this prolific person physically type so fast daily? I can only type x words/minute."

    I felt sad, and bamboozled, and some other things over accepting the person's skilled manipulation of the interwebz.
  13. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Is this that person over at FFN that had almost 200 written stories with about 133 confirmed as stolen? I was wondering that myself. How could anybody think they were writing all of these stories themselves.

    It is easy to steal and change names. Cut and paste and then put in the FIND box the name you want to change and then keep hitting NEXT until all of those names are changed. And then you go to the next name. The only reason I know this is halfway through a 20K story I found out a main character with a bizarre name was actually the real name of a movie star's kid...and I didn't like the movie star. :p So I went through and had to change that name all through the fic.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jun 20, 2013
  14. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

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    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I aways wondered if that is how 50 shades became an original piece. It was a twilight fanfic, so did she just do FIND AND REPLACE for all the names?
  15. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I haven't read the book or the fanfic it was based on. I would think she would have to rework it extensively so the male lead in 50 shades doesn't get all sparkly when he's out in the sun.
  16. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    The big thing is that book had heavy sexual themes didn't it? I never read it I just know fromwhat I've heard
  17. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I heard that Fifty Shades of Grey is an altered Twilight fan fic and that it is chock full of sexual situations.

    If anyone gives it to me I will quickly but carefully build a fire pit and burn it.
    Juliet316 likes this.
  18. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    I've heard some of it read by famous people..its...funny and makes me cringe at the same time. I'm thinking THIS gets sold by the millions. I guess any half-concocted schlock will do these days.
  19. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    Regardless of theme or content, when does the effort involved in reworking it turn it into original fic, and does that effort deserve respect? *ponders*
  20. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Well, she wrote the fanfic it was based on, so I don't see any problem with it. Or am I wrong about that? I thought the author was writing Twilight Fan fiction and then decided to see if she could make the characters human and then publish it.

    If I took my fanfic and made the Jedi into wizards and it now took place in a mystical universe of my creation instead of in a galaxy, far, far away...I would consider it original at that point. I would have to create my own monsters and aliens and such also.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, Jun 20, 2013
  21. Grade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2013
    star 1
    Hugh Howey recently said this recently in blog post:
    I agree with Hugh. If a story isn't an exact copy of mine, I would be honoured if someone likes one of my fanfiction what he reads and inspires them to write. Like Hugh says: Anything that gets people writing and people reading is a win for all!
    pronker, Jedi_Lover and Tarsier like this.
  22. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4

    Pretty much. The original fanfic was an AU, so Edward wasn't a vampire.
  23. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

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    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    I heard the fanfic was an extreme AU, and I always wondered how AU was it? If Eddie wasn't a vampire, then how much reworking hd to be done? I don't mean to say E James isn't a hard working author, she did write something millions of people read, I mock it because everyone says it's a horribly written book series (much like twilight)
    Last edited by Briannakin, Jun 20, 2013
  24. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I heard that also...but with that said, I wish I could write a horribly written series of books that makes millions of dollars. ;)
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  25. pronker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2007
    star 3
    It is flattering to be an inspiration, surely. Going a bit further, what if someone took an OC from a story and used it? It would seem more problematical than if, say, a writer used Anakin in a way that is similar to another story, because Anakin belongs to all us fans, and OCs belong to a particular fanfic author.
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