Saturday, August 22, 2020

The thin line between emulation and plagiarism

I have to admit having thinking about this topic for the whole last week and wondered how often this thin line has been crossed, even if involuntarily.

Everything happened when I decided to rebrand my trilogy series completely, starting with new covers, and update the content. Like many indie authors do, I asked for feedback about the new covers in several authors groups.

Someone asked me the genre, and whether there was a particular author's series my trilogy could be connected with, something that had a similar story or theme. This is a question I've always dreaded because I have absolutely no idea. I do write thrillers, but the point of view is quite rarely one of a particular agent who saves the day in the end. To be honest, in some of my novels, nobody can save the day entirely, and the characters, like in real life, have to find a way to stand up on their feet and try to cope with the unexpected situation. There's always a bittersweet component in my ending. That is the kind of outcome that gives the reader the final bit to chew on.

At that point, he replied: "when authors come to me asking for suggestions, I always tell them to find the best selling authors and emulate the hell out of them."

That answer unleashed my considerations, and a question started to twirl on my mind, if I emulate the hell out of a particular author, what will happen to my unique and personal voice? Where is my creativity going? Is there any meaning in being creative?

The answer, at least from my point of view, is 'no.'

I am not going to take another author's idea and use it as a mold, where to confine my creativity just because it's something that people are used to. I believe that readers can get passionate about many different takes on a single genre if the author can draw them into the story, and that has nothing to do with a particular format. Creativity should never have boundaries, and experimenting something new, will give readers the chance to have something original and genuine coming from the soul of an author, instead of that coming from copying a particular format because it sells for sure.

To be honest, there have been a couple of "sales gurus," suggesting me to do precisely what the others do without listening to my creative voice. They all went to the ignoring trashbin. I am not going to listen to any suggestion on how to sell more if this means giving up my own personality and creativity.

Following this optic, I'm asking you, can we consider this sort of wild emulation as a hidden form of plagiarism?

With this weekly thought, I leave you to draw your own conclusion, and if you want to read something genuinely coming straight from the heart of an author, you might want to check out my novels here:

US marketplace:

UK marketplace:

Canada marketplace:

Australia marketplace:

India marketplace:

You can also check out my website for something more here:

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Attempting to emulate other authors is a form of plagiarism. Even though you might not be sued for it, it shows a lack of self-confidence and creativity. I always steer clear of a book that looks and sounds too much like something popular. I feel I would be comparing one against the other, instead of settling in and enjoying a fresh new voice. Cheers to you for sticking with your unique voice.


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