1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    You guys + credits

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Dagolas, May 13, 2012.

    Just a question, since most people get touches added to their book on here, and publish the afromentioned book.

    In my opinion, putting "Thank you to writingforums.org for writing 1/4 of the book for me" would put me off the book entirely. But not saying that would be dishonest.
    Your opinions?
     
  2. GaleSkies
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    GaleSkies Active Member

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    My honest opinion?
    I think there is a clear difference between writing, the work done by an editor your publisher provides, the critique help provided by peer reviews, and the vast resources the members of site have to help those seeking to learn the craft. Orsen Scott Card still dedicates his books to Barbara Bova and Ben Bova for editing and helping him get his foot in the door of Sci-Fi. For starters I would never taint my work by dedicating it in such a crass manner. If I felt that the work was not enough of my own effort I would include something of an acknowledgements section towards the back. I find "writing" very different from editing, tossing around ideas, rearranging sentences, developing plot arcs, worrying how to make the climax greater.

    Well that's that for honesty.

    If anyone wants to play a semantics game, start a new thread about the differences between "writing" and all those things I listed that are obviously parts of the writing process. I'll be more than happy to join in.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    did members here actually 'write 1/4 of the book'?

    i don't see that as even remotely possible, if it's an 80-100k ms...
     
  4. GaleSkies
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    GaleSkies Active Member

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    I took the question as a hypothetical one. (Why do you guys use this site? Didn't they smash your head against the plagiarism book in school too?)
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think perhaps they smashed your head with the plagiarism book too often and hard. Ideas are not copyrightable. They are only useful if shared. They grow with cross-pollination.

    Plagiarism is not the theft of ideas. It is the theft of the expression of ideas.

    Suppose I tell you a model I've developed of time travel, and how its consequences affect timelines. If you use that idea for a novel, there's no plagiarism, although if your entire novel is constructed around that mode, an acknowledgement would be appreciated.

    If however, you take the text of my explanation, edit it a bit, and drop it into your book, that would constitute plagiarism, unless you had written permission from me to do so. If that written permission required a formal acknowledgement, and, and you failed to add that acknowledgement, the contract would be void, as would be the permission under that contract, and plagiarism would again attach.

    The same would apply to a diagram, or to a abstract painting I created in connection with the idea. Those, too, are expressions of an idea, and are covered by copyright.

    Just make sure you understand the difference between an idea and its expression, and you'll be fine.
     

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