Sunday, August 8, 2010

Paranoia... Out of style?

How many times have I been told that I'm paranoid?

Ooooh... I lost count. Still I can't help smiling at the fact that the people complaining about this are those that tried to beat me at strategic games. "No one is out to get you," they say. "You need to learn to trust more..."

I guess that is true, but then, I'm usually the last one to be back stabbed, because I have checked out all the angles - especially my back. Some may say I have trust issues...  insist that I'm smart.

What does this have to do with writing and this blog?


Having heard the horror stories about the literary works of brilliant writers being stolen by friends and family, I am more than a little wary of sharing too much of my story line. So, if you have been wondering about my lack of storyline explanation, that's why.

It's not that I don't trust anyone. It's just that I attach more value to my book than any of my material things. I love this book. I can even risk being pompous and say that it is my favourite. When you have a favourite painting, you ensure it, right? For me it's the same with my book...

I checked out some copyright laws and and noticed two things:
  • Anything that I've written is protected by copyright. That includes any articles, prose, poetry, blog posts etc. So... technically it's safe to write portions of my story, say a chapter or excerpts.
  • However, ideas, characterisation and plans for the book are- as far as I understand- not. So, if I explained the planning in my book, or explained the ending, someone with enough smarts and skill can take the information and use it to create a book. According to me, they will be creating an alternate version of my book...
I'm not saying that anyone is as stupid as me, picking an epic of some complexity and trying to work it into a good book. I'm just making sure that I covered all the angles...

Which brings me to a useful little tool I stumbled across tonight... Any writer out there worried about what happens to their work after it has been written, I strongly suggest you check out Google Alerts. It's a free service that monitors the replication of words or phrases on the Internet after you wrote them and informs you by e-mail if it happens.

So... not only can I share some of my written compositions, knowing that I have copyright, but I'll know if someone infringed on that right - on the Internet, anyway. Still, it's better than nothing, so I might one day be convinced to write parts of my book...

The idea actually excites me, since I would love to receive some unbiased opinions about my work. Perhaps the time to share is near. In fact...

"Business trips... moving house... adopting siblings... Some things parents must at least mention to their children. Yet, James's parents have dropped the ball on all three..."

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