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Old 08-09-2018, 10:51 AM   #1
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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I wouldn't care. As far as I'm concerned, as long as people don't rip off my story at a fairly high level of detail -- copying all or nearly all the plot points, character names and specific traits, dialogue, passages of narrative -- others are free to borrow ideas, and if they like the prose style they're free to copy that too. Fiction ideas are fair game, in my book.

It's easy to say, I suppose, because I'm not a sufficiently accomplished author to imagine anyone actually doing this.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
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Part of my "improve myself as a writer" plan is taking Authors whose style I really like and trying to incorporate that in my writing and seeing how it goes. If someone does the same with mine, honestly, I'd be totally flattered.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:38 AM   #4
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
Part of my "improve myself as a writer" plan is taking Authors whose style I really like and trying to incorporate that in my writing and seeing how it goes. If someone does the same with mine, honestly, I'd be totally flattered.
The problem with this is that it's hard to have a style that is so recognizable that it could be copied without it also being forced and artificial. In my case, I don't think I'd recognize if someone copied my "style" because I'm not sure I even know what it is.

You can tell if someone is copying Hemingway, or Faulkner, or Cormac McCarthy. But my ideal style is much simpler and more "normal" than the styles of those authors, and therefore much less recognizable. I'm not sure exactly what an author copying me would duplicate to sound like me, even if I was the idealized, fully realized authorial version of me.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:49 PM   #6
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The problem with this is that it's hard to have a style that is so recognizable that it could be copied without it also being forced and artificial. In my case, I don't think I'd recognize if someone copied my "style" because I'm not sure I even know what it is.

You can tell if someone is copying Hemingway, or Faulkner, or Cormac McCarthy. But my ideal style is much simpler and more "normal" than the styles of those authors, and therefore much less recognizable. I'm not sure exactly what an author copying me would duplicate to sound like me, even if I was the idealized, fully realized authorial version of me.
I think you be surprised. We all develop our own style - I modify the way I write as I go. Really worked on my dialog a lot and that was taken from a couple of authors whose dialog I really liked. Doing the same thing with plotting now, looking at plots that grab me and stealing them for re use. The way I approach it is to copy and rewrite into my own words to try and get the similar style and feel and then work to make it me. I find it does help me improve and if it doesn't I toss it.
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And coming soon for the Literotica "In a Sunburned Country Story Event!" - "Dead Heart: On the Trail of Thylarctos Plummetus"
(It started out as a light-hearted Drop Bear hunt, but reality intervened and that light-hearted hunting trip became something far darker....)

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:25 PM   #7
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I based a lot of my style on Dick Francis. No fair for anyone else to try to use his style
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:52 PM   #8
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I based a lot of my style on Dick Francis. No fair for anyone else to try to use his style
That seems like a good choice, from the small sample of his stuff I've read. Some of the better suspense/crime novelists are good guides, I think, because they tend to write in a fairly clear simple style that follows the so-called "rules." You learn good habits by reading them closely and trying to do what they do. I think Elmore Leonard is like that, and turn to his writing to see how he does things. He achieves a lot in the way of characterization, suspense, action, etc. without any showy writing.

I don't try to write like him or anyone else but I use his writing as a kind of useful starting point.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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I've copied Jonathan Swift and Rudyard Kipling.

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Old 08-09-2018, 04:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
That seems like a good choice, from the small sample of his stuff I've read. Some of the better suspense/crime novelists are good guides, I think, because they tend to write in a fairly clear simple style that follows the so-called "rules." You learn good habits by reading them closely and trying to do what they do. I think Elmore Leonard is like that, and turn to his writing to see how he does things. He achieves a lot in the way of characterization, suspense, action, etc. without any showy writing.

I don't try to write like him or anyone else but I use his writing as a kind of useful starting point.
One thing I hope I've learned from him is how to write so that my character have a logical motivation for their actions.
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:19 PM   #11
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I've copied Jonathan Swift and Rudyard Kipling.
Right now I'm channeling Beowulf, W H Canaway (The Ring-Givers), Guy Gavriel Kay, Rosemary Sutcliffe and Poul Anderson (Hrolf Kraki's Saga) and an old novel called The Longships. I'm mixing Anglo-Saxon with Chinese and sex. Kind of fun, especially working slightly archaic English in with faked Tang Dynasty courtly chinglish, Anglo-Saxon warriors and steppe savages. Plus magic and sorcery and elves and demons. Not forgetting to acknowledge Robert E Howard. My brain hurts but I love it.
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Up now for the 2018 Literotica Halloween competition - "Daddy's Hands"
And coming soon for the Literotica "In a Sunburned Country Story Event!" - "Dead Heart: On the Trail of Thylarctos Plummetus"
(It started out as a light-hearted Drop Bear hunt, but reality intervened and that light-hearted hunting trip became something far darker....)

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)

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Old 08-09-2018, 06:19 PM   #12
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I'm not sure how'd I'd feel. It would be arrogant to assume people would steal my style, but IF they did, how would I feel? How would you feel? (I'm not talking plots, I've written things similar to stories I never knew existed) but style wise, would you be flattered or not?
Provided my boat kept ahead of theirs on the river I'd be okay with it, but if Chloe comes along with her 50,000 words a week and starts to clone me, I'm stuffed.

Edit: just read Chloe's post. Archaic English? Bloody hell, girl, I'm stuffed. I've been writing archaic English all year - you just stay in China, and we'll be fine .
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:34 PM   #13
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Provided my boat kept ahead of theirs on the river I'd be okay with it, but if Chloe comes along with her 50,000 words a week and starts to clone me, I'm stuffed.
Lol. I'm staying away from Arthurian stuff. You're safe. But Helmwulf is having a ball. And his spear-thanes are a bit stunned by the bodies... a sword-maiden, a shield-sister, a wife to our lord, a lady to whom, unbidden we kneel. Swore we an oath, to follow the ring-giver, 'cross ice-peaks and sand-wastes as he sought his fate. Now he has found, the dream-maiden he sought. Found his fate in a far land, serve you we shall, thanes to his lady, our spears and swords, yours to the death.... or something like that.
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Up now for the 2018 Literotica Halloween competition - "Daddy's Hands"
And coming soon for the Literotica "In a Sunburned Country Story Event!" - "Dead Heart: On the Trail of Thylarctos Plummetus"
(It started out as a light-hearted Drop Bear hunt, but reality intervened and that light-hearted hunting trip became something far darker....)

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:51 PM   #14
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If someone borrows or imitates my writing, they have bigger problems to attend to.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:33 PM   #15
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One thing I hope I've learned from him is how to write so that my character have a logical motivation for their actions.
A character’s motivations can be illogical if they are “empathizable,” I believe.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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A character’s motivations can be illogical if they are “empathizable,” I believe.
That's something different, I think. A well-written serial killer's actions will be logical on his own terms if his character is drawn well, but his character won't get any empathy from readers.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:54 PM   #17
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:17 AM   #18
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Lol. I'm staying away from Arthurian stuff. You're safe. But Helmwulf is having a ball. And his spear-thanes are a bit stunned by the bodies... a sword-maiden, a shield-sister, a wife to our lord, a lady to whom, unbidden we kneel. Swore we an oath, to follow the ring-giver, 'cross ice-peaks and sand-wastes as he sought his fate. Now he has found, the dream-maiden he sought. Found his fate in a far land, serve you we shall, thanes to his lady, our spears and swords, yours to the death.... or something like that.
I always felt it 'unsporting' of the 'ring-giver' (Prince, Lord or whatever) to have a trail of 'willing' spear-chuckers, sword-wavers or whatever, to trail after him in his Search - with no prospect of a similar maiden, power, land or other reward.
One day, some skilled word-smith will tell the tale of such +hard-working SOBs.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:11 AM   #19
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I always felt it 'unsporting' of the 'ring-giver' (Prince, Lord or whatever) to have a trail of 'willing' spear-chuckers, sword-wavers or whatever, to trail after him in his Search - with no prospect of a similar maiden, power, land or other reward.
One day, some skilled word-smith will tell the tale of such +hard-working SOBs.
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Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
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And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
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That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?
In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished
Where did the masons go? Imperial Rome
Is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up? Over whom
Did the Caesars triumph? Byzantium lives in song.
Were all her dwellings palaces? And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.
He alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Was there not even a cook in his army?
Phillip of Spain wept as his fleet
was sunk and destroyed. Were there no other tears?
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:36 AM   #20
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A character’s motivations can be illogical if they are “empathizable,” I believe.
I was thinking more about money. Dick Francis does a good job of subtly talking about money and how it drives our behavior, and I try to do the same. Sex, money and status are very intertwined. Stories where the characters think about sex and not about money and status come off one-dimensional to me. Sherlock Holmes stories are great reads, but I feel he's ultimately a comic-book character because he has no logical motivation to do what he does.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:42 AM   #21
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I should probably stay out of this, but here is my thoughts anyway...

On a larger scale I'd say the number of 'styles' are rather limited, so you can't avoid 'copying'. When it comes to details it's the opposite: the combinations are endless, so you can't actually copy one 'style'.

On the other hand, we are all - in my opinion - influenced by what we read, one way or the other, but as long as the input is differentiated, the influence will be a mix of many sources.

I don't think plot etcetera can be excluded from the style either. I mean, the way the plot is constructed, how it develops, key elements, name patterns and more: everything comes down to the authors background, thoughts, moods, influences and so on.

So, taken together I don't think it is possible to copy a style, only adapt parts from several in a new and unique way. If the 'out of style' parts are obvious to the reader is another discussion...

As someone said before here, I wouldn't be able to recognize 'my' style being used by anyone else, and as I see it that is because it isn't uniquely mine to begin with if considering the basics, and on a detailed level it won't be 'mine' at all.

That's my view on this.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:49 AM   #22
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A style could not be copyrighted. I suppose someone could try to trademark a style. Barring that, writing styles are up for grabs.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:13 PM   #23
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:14 PM   #24
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I was thinking more about money. Dick Francis does a good job of subtly talking about money and how it drives our behavior, and I try to do the same. Sex, money and status are very intertwined. Stories where the characters think about sex and not about money and status come off one-dimensional to me. Sherlock Holmes stories are great reads, but I feel he's ultimately a comic-book character because he has no logical motivation to do what he does.
This is an interesting observation about Holmes, but a key to his motivation is that it has nothing to do with money. Status is a bit different; it's made clear that Holmes doesn't care about status in the usual sense, but he is vain, and he enjoys his reputation as the smartest detective. But his monk-like devotion to the craft of deduction is what makes him interesting and what drives him.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:16 PM   #25
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The question was: whether you'd be offended or flattered.
Until it happens, no one knows how they would really react. And it's really jumping way ahead for anyone writing to Literotica to spend time worrying about this. Just write what you enjoy writing and stop spinning needless wheels worrying about what others are doing.
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