Sunday, February 24, 2013


You spends countless hours, days, weeks, months even years fleshing out your story. You share it with folks. You get feedback and rave reviews. And then someone takes that which you have shed ink, sweat and tears over and passes it off as their own.

Plagiarism isn't new. It's been around as long as the written word. It's a fight that we writers, artists etc. deal with.

What inspired this topic today?

About 2-3 years ago now, I started playing the first game in the Dragon Age franchise. I loved the story so much I recommended it to one of my sisters. I made the offhand comment that my character's story would make a great book. She then asked if I would write one for her. Of course I agreed, since I didn't have any active writing projects at the time. A year later I gave her the finished project. Since then, I've written several short stories based on the Dragon Age universe and connected with the fan fiction community. After playing the second game of the franchise, I was inspired to write a short story from one of the character's point of view. The character, Fenris, is a romance option for the player character and let me tell you, it's one complected romance. The story, Broken, also inspired by a song of the same name, turned out to be one of my best ones and told Fenris' version of his relationship with Alexandria, what I named my character, from their first meeting to the final battle and beyond.

I finally had the courage to post it on deviantART in January. On Friday, a wonderful young woman on the site informed me that Broken was on Bioware Social being passed off as being written by a girl calling herself Emma Shepard. It had been posted 10 days after I published it. Of course, I was livid and immediately asked her to remove it before I reported the plagiarism to the administrator. Within 24 hours the post, along with every other story she'd stolen, was taken down

Of course I was mad. I had spent the good part of the previous month fleshing it out. Only to have Emma Shepard take less than 5 minutes to copy and paste it to another site and claim that she wrote it.

Photo by MLauba

I think what pissed me off the most was the fact that she didn't credit me as the author. Yes, I was mad that she didn't ask first. I may have even allowed it then as long as she credited me. But to pass it off as her own. That is intolerable.

I hope and pray that any of you writers out there that read this never have to deal with the stress of being plagiarized. Trust me, it's no fun

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