1. tomwritstuff
    Offline

    tomwritstuff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morayshire,Scotland

    Avoiding Plagiarism advice?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by tomwritstuff, Sep 15, 2012.

    Although I'm having a hard time finishing my almost complete vampire manuscript which is actually number 2 in my trilogy. Prequel and Sequel ideas are in the pipeline!

    My thought of modernising a tale of old but changing the based subject comes to my head!

    Basically, I am quite interested in recreating the Phantom of the Opera but not set in a Theatre. A setting of a modern day racecourse and no singing! How would I avoid plagiarism? I'd change names and setting but the basic plot would almost be the same. Or should I leave it alone and not go there?

    I'm a bit of a Petrolhead and have even tried to write a Knight Rider related story, filling in the void left after the series on tv with the Hoff finishing. Long before the remake series came to the screen and ruined my plotline somewhat!

    Any advice on avoiding plagiarism would help, it might even help make sure my vampire novels don't end up copying an already published author? Any help at all, it doesn't have to be plagiarism related?
    Help with my vampire predicament of starting in the middle with lots of information to take in and then adding the prequel and sequels too would be appreciated?
     
  2. B93
    Offline

    B93 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    32
    See the other recent threads on re-using plots and on copyrights. Basically, there are very few original plots, and if you are writing a new novel I wouldn't worry about it resembling an old plot.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    first of all, plots can't be copyrighted... and secondly, plots are always being rehashed in differnt settings, with changed characters, time period, etc.... in fact, the movies and broadway musical were all rehashes of gaston leroux's original short story written back in 1909... and since he died in 1927, the work has been in the public domain for quite some time...
     
  4. VRaptorX
    Offline

    VRaptorX Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only thing that you can plagerize is exact sentences. My suggestion is to gop to grammarly.com. Even if you use the free version, it will check for plagarism. If it says you have some, find out which line it is and chane it.
     
  5. evelon
    Offline

    evelon Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    England
    I've always thought that plagarism is copying someone else's work and I imagine that includes changing sentences to sound like your own by substituting words here and there.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Correct. Even paraphrasing, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, or scene by scene, will get you on the wrong end of a lawsuit. You're still copying someone else's work in violation of copyright.

    This still differs from writing from the same idea. No two writers will render the same idea the same way.
     
  7. JamesOliv
    Offline

    JamesOliv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    New York
    To expand on this notion a little further:

    A new take on star crossed lovers with a romance kept secret from dueling families - OK
    The story of a man with an alter-ego named "Taylor Durgen" who starts a club in which men fight in underground matches. You call the story "Brawl Society." - NOT OK

    Ideas are very commonly recycled. When I read about The DaVinci Code, my first thought was "I liked it better when it was called Indiana Jones." Maybe I'm just bitter because my professors were never called away during class to travel the world to solve ancient puzzles while being chased by people.
     
  8. SRCroft
    Offline

    SRCroft Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    There are many many cases of rewritten classics. e.g. Romeo and Juliet / West Side Story. This is perfectly fine to follow the exact rhythm and theme, but use your own original story to tell it. I will say however, writing is about adding your perfective not just a new skin on an old story. Make sure you give it that something special that makes your writing yours.
     
  9. SRCroft
    Offline

    SRCroft Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    The story of a man with an alter-ego named "Taylor Durgen" who starts a club in which men fight in underground matches. You call the story "Brawl Society." - NOT OK

    LMAO. Darn -- *throws Brawl Society in the trash*
     
  10. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    Sounds like a plot for a humorous short story. Disney manages to get copyright law changed so that nothing ever goes out of copyright. Then we see all the descendents of Shakespeare fighting among themselves to claim ownership of every story ever written since.
     

Share This Page