Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thursday's Children: Plagiarism

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Inspired by plagiarism. Of myself.


SO! I had a shocking realization last week. The kind that feels like poison's boiling in your stomach. The kind that slaps you not once, not twice, but thrice.

I've plagiarized my own work! I'm a thief. A scoundrel. Shame on me… right?


Basically, I've been re-writing (sharpening and tightening) the short stories in In-Futura that haven't been published yet (eight in total). As I revisited the characters, concepts, and even dialogue in these stories, I realized the horrible truth...

A lot of what's in 151 (my first novel) was lifted from that short story collection. Subconsciously. Unintentionally!

Case in fact:

The yellow body suit and visor that a character called Mitzi wears actually first appeared in "The Perfect Sale" as the outfit of choice for the Yellow Guild.

The C-3PO-esque character of Vergil is actually a rip-off of Cedric, the faithful robo-servant in "The Last Machine" (so that would be a rip-off of a rip-off… but who's counting?)

The main bad guys, the Chieftain and the Head Mistress, are basically copies of the parents in "The Children of Mulberry Lane" — including the way they run their household and their boisterous dialogue.


So, I ask you, is this bad? Am I embarrassingly unoriginal?

Personally, I don't think so. I've always had a hard time blocking out previous ideas and characters. Plus, all my stuff is sci-fi/fantasy, so there's always the possibility that an idea from one story will sneak into another.

I'm happy about it. Proud of it even. It means I really did have heart for those ideas in the first place. AND it means that those ideas believed in themselves so much that they decided to re-launch themselves in a different form. Good on them!

Have you ever re-used ideas from your previous work, consciously or sub-consciously?

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