Plagiarism or What?
I have a serious problem involving a boyfriend who is a fellow writer
and muse. I think he had lifted my writing style and subject matter. it
was very painful, but I confronted him about it.
I am still very shaken up about it. I would like your advice on what
you think I should do next. We are both writers who are struggling to get
our work published. We have both had lots of local attention in story
collections, but neither of us has published a novel. he has been my greatest
support, mentor and great love in my life.
Recently he shared a series of stories he's working on that are amazingly
close to a series I have been working on for the past two years. he has
been my biggest support on this work. since he has started his series,
he has had positive feedback from others and has been encouraged.
I got really upset with him and finally talked to him about it. I tried
to approach it in the least attacking way I could muster. I initially
he got defensive. after some discussion, he backed down and admitted that
he could see that there was some similarity in the style and subject matter.
I told him my series was very important to me and I wanted him to consider
this the next time he writes.
This is so painful. do you have any sage advice? I love this man. what
do you suggest I do next?
A very sad story; trouble is, it mixes business, pleasure and artistic
pride, a nasty combination.
He's a lover and mentor; you trusted him. He used your ideas, and worse
(as I'm sure you've recognised) he's got better responses than you did!
In an ideal world, you'd both have been able to decide to work together
and publish jointly. A perfect team!
But I suspect his bad grace and deceipt has killed that chance, and maybe
killed more than that. But do accept that it may be that it started at
a subconscious level.
But only you can decide what happens next. Is professional pride more
important than mending fences? Is the deceipt the final blow? Only you
can put these things in order.
You may need to accept that ending one relationship ends all the parallel
relationships you have; and you need to decide if you can face that.
Remember that if he's been able to use your ideas well, he may be unable
to drop that approach. I cannot tell. What do you think?
I suspect that underneath all this is a resentment that he does not respect
you; as you past mentor (maybe present, too), you resent that you can
never be his equal. That needs to be considered, maybe discussed.
There's no easy solution; it's either a negotiated peace, or it's move