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Old 05-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #31
frahse
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
True though the more common threads one book has with another author's book the greater the chance of someone saying that author x stole my story and claimed it as his/her own. J.K. Rowling has faced that problem herself I believe. Another author had written similar stories at about the same time as her 1st Harry Potter books were coming out and terms like "Muggles" were used in both stories as well so the other author took Ms. Rowling to court accusing her of plagarism as I recall. Which isn't to say that it doesn't happen either. There was a romance novelist who 'borrowed' shall we say ideas that were the work of another author in the genre and there was a big stink about it. In the end there is no such thing as a totally original idea I don't think. Every author draws on experiences in their lives and being that all authors are human beings there are going to be some common themes and ideas. The trick is to mix them up in an original manner so the stories seem to be fresh and new even though the basic plots were laid down by the time of Aristotle if not before.
The tricky thing my friend is when you and others are asked to offer ideas and samples for a book or screen play in a specified vein.
Do you really wish to do similar work and submit it along with other people who are also answering the same call? It is my own personal belief that a lot of this is just "fishing."

A possibility like this comes to mind. "Doris, you are [Big Boss's] friend and your work is good, but this other freelance author Jim has submitted some really great ideas along the lines we are looking for that we would like you to incorporate into the script. Also we still have some other good ideas coming in from other people."

You can't avoid some "borrowing" but you can avoid spending your time crafting a specific item for the borrower.

Rewrites are another subject.
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