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83 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

Harry Potter wasn't a particularly original story. For people who read a lot of fantasy, many of its themes, settings and characters were deeply familiar. But Rowling did a very good job bringing her ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
41 votes
Accepted

Can I write a book of my D&D game?

Plagiarism would be taking exact text from the various game manuals and representing it as your own. So don't do that. But you probably weren't going to anyway, because you want to tell a story, ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
33 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

Your friend is wrong. That's not nearly enough like Harry Potter to be a problem. My guess is that your friend has read Harry Potter but not any other urban fantasy; many, many urban fantasy stories ...
msouth's user avatar
  • 451
29 votes

Do I need to cite ChatGPT in published writing?

It looks like you can't use it at all, to be honest. From the OpenAI Terms of Use You may not: ... (v) represent that output from the Services was human-generated when it is not;... Given that ...
JRE's user avatar
  • 3,157
27 votes

Borrowing Characters

I am not a lawyer, but you really should not do this. Orson Scott Card (OSC) and any partners he has (publisher, movie studios) own "Ender", and you cannot profit from it in any way whatsoever. OSC ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
22 votes
Accepted

How can you prevent your work from getting stolen?

The law is your friend: Legally, the work does belong to you. Once you start freely distributing it in places where you are clearly giving up control, good luck enforcing that. Copyright doesn't ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
19 votes

Do I need to cite ChatGPT in published writing?

The article you linked to is rather misleading, in fact the guidelines direct from Nature say this: First, no LLM tool will be accepted as a credited author on a research paper. That is because any ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
17 votes

How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

Don't steal the plot, Don't steal their made-up words or made-up references, don't steal their (imaginative) tech, don't steal their characters or their unique combination of characteristics that make ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 102k
16 votes

My friend says that the story of my novel sounds too similar to Harry Potter

I'm sure that Todd J. Greenwald's friends might have told him that his idea for what later became the Disney Channel TV series Wizards of Waverly Place was too similar to Harry Potter, but apparently ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
16 votes

How can you prevent your work from getting stolen?

Your book is going to be stolen. Just get used to that. Sometimes they are stolen from the printer with the camera-ready pages (or PDFs nowadays). Some of my books were on pirate sites before they ...
brian d foy's user avatar
15 votes

I noticed that several already-existing poems used the same highly specific puns and phrases that I used. Is this unintentional plagiarism on my part?

You're being overly sensitive. Any combination of two words, no matter how original, could be already used elsewhere. That's not plagiarism, that's statistics. The only slightly worrying case is ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
15 votes

Borrowing Characters

This probably should have been raised over on law.se, but I hang out there, and can answer. (See this question and answer from law for more on fair use.) The literary homage in which one alludes to ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 4,347
14 votes

Same plot but different story, is it plagiarizing?

It's all been done before: I am not joking when I say I think I've answered this question before, but I can't seem to find the reference. The fact is, every possible story has been done before - at ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 13.7k
13 votes

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

El ver mucho y el leer mucho avivan los ingenios de los hombres. (Seeing much and reading much sharpens one's ingenuity.) ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Your fear of plagiarism is a common anxiety ...
rolfedh's user avatar
  • 1,915
12 votes

How does one avoid inevitable influences being obvious when writing something like superheroes?

You cannot stop people from drawing comparisons between your work and earlier, similar works. Readers are going to do it no matter how original you strive to be. You cannot cover up an influence that ...
Dmann's user avatar
  • 721
11 votes

When does inspiration across artforms become plagiarism

Do Songs and Paintings have the same rules and protections as Books and Film for copying (into written form). Songs and paintings are protected under copyright laws, but it might be helpful to ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
11 votes

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

You are allowed to reuse ideas, but you are not allowed to reuse exact characters, names, or blocks of text. Let's take The Lord of the Rings as an example. You're not allowed to use the character ...
Galendo's user avatar
  • 311
11 votes
Accepted

What really is considered as plagiarism?

In short: Everything you just listed is completely fine. There's nothing wrong with taking a specific plot point in a book and then having your own unique spin on it. Nobody can plagiarize you for ...
Sister Student's user avatar
10 votes

Can I write a book of my D&D game?

I don't know about the legality of it but this has already been done. A bunch of french players and their dungeon master turned their stories into comic books. In french it's called "Chroniques de la ...
Cedric Martin's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Is my story too similar to others?

Firstly, I think it would be funny if the characters couldn't remember if it was five or six realms. But seriously, if you are worried about some fantasy trope being used before then you're going to ...
Leviathann's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How can I Include a verbatim passage in my fiction without plagiarizing it?

Don't plagiarize, paraphrase. Take the paragraph, figure out the main idea, and express it in your own words. If it's important that it be exactly as it was in the original, quote it and cite it. In ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
9 votes

Do I need to cite ChatGPT in published writing?

Academically... No. You cite the work of people, you can't plagiarise an algorithm. You wouldn't cite a piece of software that did a linear regression for you. ChatGPT is essentially the same, just ...
ScottishTapWater's user avatar
8 votes

What's the best way to cite non-fiction in fiction?

They should rewrite it. If the character is supposed to be smart enough to be lecturing on the subject, the words should sound like the character anyway and not like Wikipedia or wherever. Also, if ...
Terri Simon's user avatar
  • 1,830
8 votes
Accepted

If I unnofficially create a theory and use it in my story, will it have any validity that I'm the author of such theory?

Generally the manner of publication makes no difference. If you have published it, you are its author and have the right to get credit for it. This is actually one of the rights that are covered by an ...
Ville Niemi's user avatar
  • 1,875
8 votes

How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

I haven't read "Blood on the Stars", but I don't think the details of that story matter here, so I'll plunge ahead. Maybe I should distinguish the legal issue of copyright from the artistic issue of "...
Jay's user avatar
  • 25.7k
8 votes

I may have unintentionally copied a TV series

Having similar ideas to someone else is not plagiarism. For example, if I describe to you a book about an 11 year old boy with a name beginning with "H" and a mark on his face going to a boarding ...
user3482749's user avatar
7 votes

What exactly is the "five (consecutive) word" plagiarism rule?

You need to remember that plagiarism is not just about words; it can also be about ideas. So a key point here is that even if you change virtually all of the words, you still need to make sure you ...
Mark Jackson's user avatar
7 votes

How to use a quote with frequent changes

If a word is changed or added, it's placed in brackets. ([]). However, this is typically only done to clarify, usually when context has been removed. For example, if Alice was talking about Bob and we ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 874

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