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Old 10-22-2017, 07:33 AM   #1
Starling2016
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Copying ideas

Hi Iíd like some advice please.
I have several stories jotted down on paper, however, I have a worry before a post them.
Over the years I have read a lot of erotica, on here and in books, now clearly there is only a finite number of acts/positions/couplings and combinations of these that are possible.
I do not wish to be guilty of plagiarising someone elseís work, even though it may just be subconsciously.
How do experienced writers avoid this?
All advice welcome
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:53 AM   #3
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Ideas can't be copyrighted. (They can be trademarked, but only after they've been established as a profitable product.) I avoid knowingly writing too close to what I've seen someone else write in erotica by not reading much of any erotica myself.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:56 AM   #4
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While there are a finite number of ways to have sex, it's not just the sex itself, but how the characters reached that point. There are what?--four billion adults on the planet now? Think of all the possibilities how those people met, interacted, romanced one another, then decided to have sex.

It's not the destination itself, but the journey to get there that makes your story interesting. The destination is the topping on the dessert course. So make your story uniquely yours, even though there may be similarities with other stories posted here.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:22 AM   #5
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You don't have to worry too much about copying ideas, because, as sr71plt says, no one has exclusive ownership over ideas, per se. You must be careful, instead, to avoid copying the unique creative expression of others' ideas (that's what copyright protects). To avoid doing that, make sure you do things that mark the story as your own: give every story a plot twist or turn that is your own, give your characters distinctive names and personalities, don't copy dialog, give the story its own unique setting, that sort of thing. If you do that you won't have a problem, especially on this site.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:24 AM   #6
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If you think the limiting factor on an erotic story is the very limited number of positions people have sex in, it's possible you're confusing stories and how-to guides. Stories are (ideally) about people, who sometimes do sexual things but generally have something else happening in their lives.

People have plenty of variation. Write about some, and hold off on the sex for a Lit page or three. Sure, fictional sex often looks a lot like other fictional sex. but that's ok if the story is good.

If you really are just writing sex scenes... yeah. What you're writing is very likely already already written and here.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:36 AM   #7
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There are no more original ideas. Every movie, TV show, book, magazine article, etc. has been done before. Many, many times.

Just let it spew from your own fingers rather than doing cut and paste.

If you use any identifiable lyrics or quotes from other works, be sure to attribute them.


"Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way" is of course highly identifiable to Pink Floyd, but the idea of determination through perseverance is not.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:43 AM   #8
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Thanks All some sound advice here. I think I may have been over worrying about the sex part and forgetting that itís the rest of the story that makes it uniquely mine.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:43 AM   #9
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Ideas are just that. Ideas. Take an idea, steal a plot, that's fine. Just write your own story in your own words. End of problem. As long as you're not plagiarizing that's fine. Do as Pilot suggests, don't read other writers erotic stories and avoid that risk.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:52 AM   #10
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After almost 250 stories here on Lit alone, I had a comment the other day that my story sounded familiar to a reader. Well, duh.

How many stories are there on Lit? Sooner or later, even a blind hog finds an acorn.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
Do as Pilot suggests, don't read other writers erotic stories and avoid that risk.
Not to be too disputatious, but this advice makes no sense to me.

If you want to write your own stories without reading others' stories, that's fine. A lot of authors here write a lot of stories without, apparently, wanting to read the works of other authors. There's nothing wrong with that.

But if, as the OP seems inclined to do (and as I like to do), you like reading others' stories, then it strikes me as batty to decide not to read them out of fear of wrongful copying. It's like telling a composer not to listen to anyone else's music to avoid infringement. This suggestion runs contrary to the common sense notion that an important way to learn how to do something is to look at how others do it. Beyond that, it's telling people to follow their fear, not their joy.

Just be an astute and careful writer, and you won't have a problem.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:00 AM   #12
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It is completely untrue that 'there are no more original ideas.'

COMPLETELY untrue.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:04 AM   #13
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It is completely untrue that 'there are no more original ideas.'

COMPLETELY untrue.
Well, damn! Another one figured it out.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonDoom View Post
Not to be too disputatious, but this advice makes no sense to me. ....... Just be an astute and careful writer, and you won't have a problem.
Well, not disputing that at all. I love reading stories here and taking someone else's idea and writing my own version was how I got started. I'm not the world's greatest original thinker and plotting is something I continue to struggle with. "Steal this Plot" is one of my favorite books. Every time I start to feel guilty, I read it again for reassurance

On the other hand, it seemed to be a concern for the OP - advice tailored to fit the concern. Me, I just go with an idea and write it in my own words. And if it's something I'm trying to learn to do, I'll go copy someone else's words and them rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until I think I have an idea as to how to do it.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
Do as Pilot suggests, don't read other writers erotic stories and avoid that risk.
Horrid advice from both of you. Virtually everone in every profession knows and studies what others in their field do.

The way to know if you are skating too close to the work of others is to know what others have done.

By ignoring what they have done, the best that can be accomplished is to independently arrive at the same conclusion. There's no guarantee it will allow you to produce something unique.

rj
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:48 PM   #16
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I didn't say I didn't read any fiction. I don't read erotica posted to the Internet. So, sue me. I think I do OK in my erotica writing, and if others want to think otherwise that's their prerogative. Mine sells in the marketplace. I just don't compare it with anyone else's, and I don't have to read stories here to come up with my own plotlines. I have to beat plotlines I come up with on my own off with a stick.

Unlike what others have done here, I responded with what I do, not what I was telling anyone else they should do--so it doesn't rise to the "advice" you claim I am offering. And this thread isn't about writing; it's about coming up with plot ideas.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:01 PM   #17
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Aft students have long mastered their crafts by copying the masters. Writers have long studied and emulated influential writers. Literary satirists, before mocking a style, must master it. We learn at the feet of those who have gone before.

And more than a few of us at LIT started posting here because we'd read stuff here and thought, "*I* can write better than that!" or at least, "*I* have something to say, too!"

So say it. Mix what you're read with your own life and fantasies, pour them out on the keyboard, do some editing, and post the results. If you stole specific ideas, credit the source(s). Name your inspirations. Some readers may check your credits and decide that you've done better! Or worse, so don't be surprised by death-threats, either.

Many stories are similar. Almost all are different. Avoid plagiarizing passages and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
I didn't say I didn't read any fiction. I don't read erotica posted to the Internet. So, sue me. I think I do OK in my erotica writing, and if others want to think otherwise that's their prerogative.
I was only commenting on the advice. I don't believe I disparaged your writing. I didn't intend to. You write in a genre I don't read.

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Old 10-22-2017, 02:45 PM   #19
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I was only commenting on the advice. I don't believe I disparaged your writing. I didn't intend to. You write in a genre I don't read.

rj
Again, I wasn't giving advice on what others should do. I noted what I did--and about plots, not about writing. The thread is about plots.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starling2016 View Post
Hi Iíd like some advice please.
I have several stories jotted down on paper, however, I have a worry before a post them.
Over the years I have read a lot of erotica, on here and in books, now clearly there is only a finite number of acts/positions/couplings and combinations of these that are possible.
I do not wish to be guilty of plagiarising someone elseís work, even though it may just be subconsciously.
How do experienced writers avoid this?
All advice welcome
You could try writing about what they DIDN'T do.

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Old 10-23-2017, 05:07 PM   #21
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Sooner or later, even a blind hog finds an acorn.
Well I'm not a blind hog cause I like curtains better but I don't hog those either cause theres no point in having a bunch of curtains when there's only 4 windows in my apartment but I do hog the covers and stuff.

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Old 10-28-2017, 12:12 PM   #22
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"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages." - Mark Twain
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:10 PM   #23
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Wonder if Mark Twain would think the computer wasn't a new idea.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:22 PM   #24
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Wonder if Mark Twain would think the computer wasn't a new idea.

The first computers were basically large electrified versions of the Abacus, so ...
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:42 PM   #25
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The first computers were basically large electrified versions of the Abacus, so ...
And Twain was 35 when Charles Babbage died.....
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Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
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