Note: There will be a social media talk/live (On Facebook and Instagram) about this on Friday, April 23, 2021.
Writing is a part of the arts.
With this being so, writers are artists. In being a part of this guild, it is the expectation that you do your work honest, and with merit.
What does this mean?
The cardinal rule of writing is this: YOU DO NOT STEAL FROM OTHER WRITERS.
You can be inspired by other writers. You can be influenced by writers, and even try to imitate them! But, you cannot take the work of another writer, and claim it as your own. Writers do no steal for other writers! I cannot emphasize this enough.
This is why research is needed.
This is why you must be knowledgeable about your genre.
This is why you must believe enough in your own talent to write the story that you want to write.
Writing is dual ended: the world inspires us! Writing, like acting, is a sort of thievery. We take from other people, their experience, and even conjure people from our imaginations to suit the needs of a story! But, you must understand that intellectual property is still a thing. It is still relevant!
If your story is a fan fiction, and you do not own the characters, you have to say that.
If your story is an adaptation (like the author who had to ask the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write a sequel to Gone With The Wind!), you have to say that.
If the story is not a complete original thought? YOU HAVE TO SAY THAT.
Writing, and your integrity as a writer, is dependent on whether or not you can give credit where credit is due. Do not be labeled as the writer that steals.
It’s not a good look.