Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are You Green?

So, I was browsing Facebook, as I do on so many occasions, and came across a picture linked to Stephenie Meyer's author account. (If you don't know who SM is, where the hell have you been the last few years?)

Anyway, I scrolled down and found a rant written by another author that linked to Stephenie's page. The rant went something like this:

ANGRY GUY: Wow...aliens that invade humans by taking over bodies....then add a romance...we all knew Stephanie Meyer couldn't write worth shit and her story telling is even worse, but REALLY? "The HOST" now is her way of copying Suzanne Collins' plagurist ways eh???? Jesus this "authors" are so shitty it's a joke. Hey, how about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" Stephanie??? Ever heard of it? OH that's right kinda like how Collins didn't hear of "Battle Royale." Dan Brown is a bad writer who also got rich, but at least her tried something on his own. Collins and Meyer? Two frauds making money off a stupid ass American public who don't know any better.

And then, in the comments, it got worse:

ANGRY GUY: I read that...he got his genesis from it, but his storyline was his own...I mean it would be like writing a fictionalized version of the birth of Jesus...I wrote about the growth of the New World Order and used zombies as the metaphor...same thing....and yes Rowling is quite overrated too, but at least she could write....

ANGRY GUY: Nothing I write will ever be accused of being plagurist or even cliche I hope

OTHER COMMENTER: Do we blame the writers or the readers?

ANGRY GUY: Both, writers lack class or dignity (like people in many professions) and readers lack education because they are lazy.

I won't go on. I'm sure you can go to Stephenie's page and read for yourself. So anyway, this raised my hackles. Why?

No. It's not because I drool over Stephenie Meyer's work. It's not because I think she or Suzanne Collins—or even JK Rowling—are God's gifts to readers. And it's not even his hating on Americans.

I saw red because he's an idiot, and he's insulting authors and readers. And he's doing it out of a place of insecurity.

And he's wrong.

Sort of.

First, let's define plagiarism: The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

Now, at first glance, you might think . . . okay, but The Host is similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And you'd be correct.

Aliens taking over human bodies. CHECK.

Pretty sure the similarities end there.

You might say, but The Hunger Games really is like Battle Royale (which I haven't read). And maybe they are.
But here's the thing . . . the ranter "ANGRY GUY" goes on to say in his comments, and I quote, "I wrote about the growth of the New World Order and used zombies as the metaphor."

GASP. *POINTS FINGER* Plagiarizer!!! Quick. Someone get mad at him because he's super successful and he plagiarized someone's work (I'm not positive about the successful part. Did you see his spelling?).

Who the hell invented the "idea" (note definition of plagiarism) of zombies anyway? Who invented the idea of vampires? Arena-style fighting? Witches? Aliens?

With the exception of Arena-style fighting and witches (being that these things are noted in history and such), can you really define that?

If this man really wants to cry foul, then he also needs to look inward. But that's not truly his problem, is it? His issue is not with Stephenie Meyer's novel, or Suzanne Collins', or even JK Rowlings'. This man's issue is with himself.

He's jealous.

I see this a lot as authors rise up the ranks. That self-defense mechanism kicks in, and the "ANGRY GUY" says, "But I write better than that rubbish, and my ideas are my own. How come I'm not making millions? Why do readers like that crap?"

Then the "ANGRY GUY" goes all over the Internet to try to strip that successful author of everything they worked hard for. And they worked hard. Trust me.

Readers aren't stupid. Readers are readers and know what they like. Authors who write about similar creatures--or even the same--that other authors have written about aren't plagiarizers. They create their own story, in their own world, and the readers eat it up because they like that author's fresh take on an old tale.

Stop being jealous, people. Support your fellow author. Hell, if you're not an author, you shouldn't be jealous either. Someone on the basketball team better than you? Receive more acclaim than you? Don't be an asshole and tear them down. SUPPORT THEM.

Jealousy gets us nowhere.

PSA over.

Thanks for listening.

~Krystal (And this post does not negate that there are truly plagiarizers out there. If your book follows the same-type story line as someone else's, same character traits, occasionally the same words, then yes, that is actual plagiarism. If you're merely inspired by someone's idea and spin your own world from it . . . that's called creativity, folks, and I hope it never stops.)

3 comments:

  1. It's a shame when writers lash out at other authors out of jealousy! I don't believe there's an idea out there which hasn't already been used - the important thing is how you make it your own. Great post! :)

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  2. I've seen this on other sites and all I can do is shake my head. I agree, it's all jealousy. It just makes them look like a bitter idiot. Going on a rant does what? If they actually fueled that energy into their writing (and spelling lessons), maybe they could be published by now.

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  3. I think we've all been bitten by the green-eyed monster at some point. It's also a way to stroke a bruised ego--"well if only readers were smarter, they'd GET my work. But nooo...". It's hard to face reality--that most writers don't make it big, even if they are good. Or, even harder to face--you just might not be a very good writer.

    Perhaps instead of ranting about famous authors, perhaps that man and others like him should learn from them. It's easy to be a big man (or woman) on internet comments, but a whole 'nother thing to nut up and actually put your baby out there for others to criticize, haha

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