Monday, January 14, 2008

The plagiarism debate

Except it's not a debate any more.
A best selling author of 100 books, Cassie Edwards, has been accused of lifting material from other books without acknowledging them.
http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/cassie_edwards_extravaganza/
It's now become so bad that people are asking if there is a book where she didn't copy.
I've heard some authors saying that "we" should stick together to support the romance community. To my mind, there is no "we" in this case. Copying someone else's material and claiming it as your own is wrong. Whoever, whatever. The whole thing makes me very sad, but just because one person is doing this, doesn't mean it's okay to do it or that everyone who ever writes a book is the same as the next person who writes a book. If there's anything I've learned about writers, it's that there are no generalisations, the only common factor being the writing. Every writer has her own technique, every writer has his methods.
But this isn't a writing technique. It's a patchwork way of constructing a saleable product. Until somebody finds out. And they have found out.