How To Avoid Plagiarism

by , Saturday January 2, 2016
How To Avoid Plagiarism

Don't be a copy-cat!


Here at Movellas we're all for taking inspiration from other sources -after all, that's what fanfiction is all about! However, there's a fine line between showing your appreciation for another author in your writing and plagiarism. To avoid this, always make sure you credit the author, either in your blurb or the text of your movella, to acknowledge that the characters are their intellectual property, and not your own creation. This means that, for example, if you wanted to get a book deal on your fanfiction story, you'd have to change the names of the characters so that you didn't infringe on the author's rights. 


Simply put, it's against the law to make money from another writer's work. Remember that the key term in fanfiction is fan, so show the literature you love the respect it deserves! If you were in the author's position, you wouldn't want other people profiting off all your hard graft. Ideally, you'd also like any fanfiction written in a way that honours the spirit of the original work, which is another factor to keep in mind when writing.


Many authors endorse the practice of fanfic writing. Way back in the 19th century, Arthur Conan Doyle famously told the playwrite who first adapted Sherlock Holmes for the stage that he could 'marry..or murder or do what you like' with the character. So if it's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' that sends your imagination spinning, congrats -you've got the author's blessing! More recent writers like Neil Gaiman and Meg Cabot not only support fanfiction, but admit to writing it themselves. Gaiman writes, 'as long as nobody’s making money from it that should be an author or creator’s,...I think it does a lot of good.”


We're extremely pleased that all our living Project Remix authors have given their permission for entrants to create their own original work using their characters and settings.  The copyright has expired on older books featured in the project, which means you're also free to do the same with these. So go get inspired, and let your imagination run riot!


Have any questions about copyright and plagiarism? Shoot us them in the comments!

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