liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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If You're Going to Plagiarize, Here's How to Do It.

First off, an apology for not being online and responding to the comments in my journal. RL has been busy as hell. Plus, this weekend got taken up by a shift at Borders, cleaning the apartment, watching Babylon 5 Season 2, and kicking the crap out of the next part of Water Hold Me Down. I'm not happy with it and I keep wrestling with it.

The big problem is that it's something of another information dump, and it involves Rupert vs. Giles with Xander caught in the middle for most of it. So, the part is mega long. Plus, I have to keep it interesting.

Now, the source of my current fury.

Ye gods! I'm so angry I'm shaking.

whiskyinmind allowed me to judge a plagiarism case for her over on I Need a Parrot.

Now, it's true, I was asking for it and I did volunteer. However, upon seeing both fics, my hate buttons were pressed:

  • Fucking Xander-centric 'Halloween' stories. *stabbity stabbity stab stab* Haaaaaaate! Have I mentioned that seeing 'Xander' and 'Halloween' and 'costume' in the summary is enough to make me run the fuck away? Do you know what I want to see? Do you? I want to see a Halloween story where Xander DOESN'T wear a costume and he and Ghost!Willow are stuck running all over town trying to keep a lid on things. But noooooooo. The power of Power!Xander! compells you. GAAAAHHHHH!
  • Obscure crossover involved. Fucking anime. Fucking bad crossover. Fucking Halloween stories.
  • Bad grammar, painful grammar, the kind of grammar where you have to walk away from the keybobard because you're thisclose to sending a nasty note to one or both authors. Hey, here's a hint: Buy Strunk and White's Elements of Style. It's cheap (less than $8 new). I'm a professional writer in RL and I've got multiple copies at home and at the office. If I'm not above having multiple copies that all look like they survived World War III after 15 years as a professional writer who makes a damn good living at it, than you sure as hell aren't.
  • Spelling that makes you weep. I'm not the world's greatest speller. I make typos, sometimes multiple typos in one chapter. But CONSISTENTLY BAD SPELLING makes my eyes bleed. Fine. You don't want a beta. You don't like pulling the dictionary down off the shelf. BUT DO THE WORLD A FAVOR AND SPELLCHECK!

Now comes the cream in the coffee, so to speak.

Within the first 15 pages of both fics, I found at least five instances of a direct cut and paste from Story A to Story B. This cut and paste involved preserving the bad spelling and grammar from the original in many cases.

Because this can't be said enough: What. the. Fuck?!?

whiskyinmind has removed the offending story and warned the plagiarist in question. Since she has not revealed the name of either the wronged author or the plagiarist, I can't do so here, simply because the author's and plagiarist's names were blinded.

Now that I've calmed down from volcanic to merely furious, I thought I'd offer a Plagiarist's Guide to Plagiarism for whatever ignorant fucker decides that it's easier to stand on the shoulders of people who actually put a little thought into their work instead of earning the right to post fanfic the hard way.

Here's a thought: DON'T DO IT!Collapse )
Make the Cut and Paste a Little Less Obvious, Sport.Collapse )
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