For an author that is a nasty, dirty distasteful word. To find someone plagurising is a disgusting thing. To be accused of it, unconscionable...
But what if it's accidental?
Recently I was involved in a case of plagurism. Luckily I was both the accused and the accuser!
I have been writing for a couple of years now and my pieces have been aimed at niche markets. For all the success of my Blue Jackets series it is in the "wrong" medium. Publishing a series of short stories aimed at young adults, that would be more at home as comics, was always going to be a commercial risk but I did it anyway.
Why not, suggested my publisher, write a romance? Guaranteed to sell in larger numbers due to the eBook reading demographic. Okay, I thought.
My first attempt at a romance 'Spare Wheel' was an unmitigated disaster. I binned it after I realised it was unfixably broken. I ditched the whole idea of romances for a while but then I decided to give it another go.
I started a story called 'For The Record' which was going to brilliant (I thought). It followed the last meeting of a couple that had split after years of being a couple. She had come around to collect her CDs and over the course of the evening their memories, evoked by the music would remind them why the had fallen in love.
There was to be one song, on one CD he would not part with. As a serious music fan he would not part with The Macarena. Fantastic I thought! A die-hard music fan with hundreds of CDs by the best and coolest bands, would not part with a piece of disposable pop? Why? They had had their first kiss to it.
I was very happy with myself and wrote away - knowing it was a brilliant idea I'd had.
Only I found out it wasn't my idea - in the Dr. Who episode 'The Girl Who Waited' Amy Pond is asked to think her most important thought to unite two time streams. She starts to dance The Macarena. Why? Because it was the song she had had her first kiss to.
Sometimes I 'borrow' (usually with a knowing wink to the reader) but that was theft. Even if I didn't realise I was stealing.
Moral of this post? I don't know if there is one or. if there is, whether someone else has already reached it....
Follow me on Twitter @GeordieWriter
Join the Blue Jackets on Facebook
Read The Fallen each week for free
Blue Jackets on Amazon
Thursday's Child: Blue Jackets Part 3 UK, USA
Growth Spurt: Blue Jackets Part 2 UK, USA
Induction: Blue Jackets Part 1 UK, USA