|Jul 18, 2006 6:24 pm
||Are You Original?
|| BRIGHT IDEAS!
Attract Customers and Make Yourself Famous!
07/11/06-Published by Cathy Stucker
Copyright 2006 by Cathy Stucker, The Idea Lady(tm)
Are You Original?
There have been several stories over the last few years about
authors who copied the work of others. In some cases, the
authors claimed it was inadvertent. In the course of doing
research, they got confused about what they had read and the
words they themselves wrote. That is certainly possible when
you consider all of the information that may be processed
while writing a book.
Whether you are writing a book, a speech, an article or
anything else, how do you know that your creation is really
your original work, and not just a "regurgitation" of the
work of others? Most of us don't intend to plagiarize anyone,
but it is sometimes hard to determine where the ideas of others
end, and ours begin.
One of my favorite sayings is that when you "borrow" from one
source it is plagiarism, but when you borrow from many, it's
research. This is a clever way of saying that most creations
are the result of taking in ideas, concepts and words produced
by others, processing them through our brains, making unique
connections, and putting our own influence on them.
I heard someone say that we take lots of information into our
heads, the thoughts and bits of data float around our brains,
and when two seemingly unrelated pieces connect, a new idea is
It has also been said that there are only 14 plots possible in
fiction. Every book, play or movie is simply a retelling or
combination of these 14 plots. What makes each work unique is
the choice of characters and settings, the dialogue, and the
twists and spins invented by the author.
We are all exposed to many of the same stimuli, and we may
independently develop similar ideas. How many times have you
seen a movie or a new product and thought, "That's my idea!"?
You know that there is no way they could have "stolen" your
idea, but somehow the same thing occurred to someone else.
That's why it is important to take action when you have an
idea. Sooner or later, someone else will have the same idea
What should you NOT do?
Don't take someone else's work, and simply reword it. That
is plagiarism. It is illegal and immoral.
Don't try to duplicate the success of others by creating
confusion between your product and theirs. Using deceptively
similar titles is one way this happens.
Don't think that just because you CAN copy something, it is
OK to do so. Computers and the Internet have made it easy to
copy the words, images and sounds created by others, but that
doesn't make it right. Respect the work of others.
So, how do you make your work "original"?
Make unexpected connections.
Put a new spin on an old idea.
Use your own voice, and language that gives your work a
Imprint your work with your life experience and values.
If necessary, stay away from reading works related to your
topic while you are writing. That way, you won't inadvertently
copy from them.
Act honorably, and respect the work of others as you would
want them to respect yours. But don't be afraid to put your
ideas into the marketplace as your ideas, in your voice with
your unique insights and perspectives.
Cathy Stucker, The Idea Lady(tm)
Attract Customers and Make Yourself Famous
Make growing your business easy and fun!
Special Interests Publishing
4646 Hwy 6, #123
Sugar Land, TX 77478
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