Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Plagiarism is WRONG

There's nothing new under the sun, so they say, but the key to being a writer is to find inspiration, find your own original voice and spin on any tale. Think of the musical West Side Story, and compare it with William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (the play, or even the Baz Luhrman cinematic version, if you want!). In essence the same tale, but what differentiates it is the individual words, voice and many other different essentials that make it familiar yet different and original. West Side Story is not just Romeo & Juliet run through a thesaurus program, but an original reimagining of love. That's not plagiarism;it's inspiration from Shakespeare. What makes West Side Story unique is not its supposed rip-off of Shakespeare, but its own voice, atmosphere, and presentation. Apart from a few ribald words from Mercutio, you won't find beautiful singing in Romeo & Juliet, for example!

Inspiration and borrowing is sometimes a key tool for any writer, but one thing is always wrong and that's attempting to pass off someone else's work as your own, or plagiarism as it's known.

Plagiarism is WRONG. Morally and legally.

So it saddens, no, it horrifies me to find that a plagiarist going by the name of Richard Ridyard (a pen-name mayhap?), and also by the name of R. M. Valentine (would the real Richard Ridyard please stand up?), is quite simply stealing tales from others and passing them off as his own, including Stephen King. A few edits of someone else's tale by replacing some words with others from a thesaurus does not make for an original tale. However, Mr Ridyard did not think of this, and attempted to pass off a relexified tale of Stephen King's to the new up-and-coming horror magazine Shock Totem (That reminds me, I must add a link to them in the sidebar of this here site). Fortunately the keen-eyed people at Shock Totem spotted this.

Want to know more? Here's a few links to find out much, much more about this literary travesty perpetrated by Mr Ridyard:

http://www.eyesoretimes.com/2009/09/grand-theft-boogeyman.html
http://arageofangel.blogspot.com/2009/09/ive-been-plagiarizedand-im-not-alone.html
http://abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/we-interrupt-this-blog-post/
http://blog.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk/?p=607

It's important to get this information about a plagiarist out there. As it says at the top of the blogpost, plagiarism is wrong.