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Greetings, Bearers!

Well, the good news is that I’ve got my work for Surrealities, Volume I ready, and I was able as well to finish up a short little fiction piece that I’ll be posting on Smashwords soon for a “name your own price” option.  The not-so-good-news is that the cover artwork that I’ll be using for these is taking a little  more time than normal.  For those of you who have voiced your patience, thank you.  I will get these out if it kills me… and it just might. 🙂

I wanted to throw out a couple of thoughts concerning writing with regard to the matters of plagiarism and ghostwriting.  In light of the fact that both have been talked about a little bit with regard to a Christian Minister who has been addressed for apparently doing the former, and possibly the latter (see HERE and HERE (first broadcast segment) for more information), I thought it apt to talk a little bit about it.

And in a nutshell, I despise both.

Plagiarism is flat-out stealing, and there’s no other way to present it.  That a professing Christian minister is accused of it (and as the evidence comes forward it looks as if there’s real substance to the allegation) is both personally embarrassing to me and publicly embarrassing to the Christian faith, and that is bad enough.  But stepping beyond Christianity for the moment, it is a serious breach of ethics for a writer of any sort to plagiarize in any way, shape, or form.   While it is inevitable that there is some overlap when it comes to writing stories, as the idea of conflict-to-resolution is a formula employed by pretty much every storyteller, it is terrible to think that a writer of either the fiction or non-fiction realm would intentionally steal from another writer and attempt to pass off the ideas of others as his/her own.  I will always denounce plagiarism, and will always strive to be authentic and original in my work.

Added to this is the concept of the ghostwriter.  While it is legal to have ghostwriters, I do not believe that it is ethical.  To paste your name on work that somebody else has done is disingenuous, particularly when the person taking credit for the work had little or no hand in writing it.

William Shatner once came clean about this in a Star Trek magazine interview, in which he plainly stated that, while he had input on the stories bearing his name and did do some rewrites/edits of the material he produced in conjunction with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, he clearly gives credit to them on the covers.  I have no problem with that, as the other writers are referenced on the cover, and Shatner is honest about the collaboration involved.

However, whereas Shatner is explicit about his co-authoring role, others have not been, and this is frankly disappointing.  To be honest, I put it in the same boat as plagiarism; whether or not it is legal, it is still misleading to put your name on a work of literature that you did not compose.  Or at the very least, it is disingenuous to  label solely as your work that which you did not write all by yourself.  If you want something written that bears your name, do it the right way: Write it!

Okay, enough about my rant.  I feel better. 😀

I’ll be posting again soon, with more details about things to come.  Stay tuned!

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

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