Lots of things scare me. Flying. Oompa-loompas (seriously). Being trapped. The film The Changeling (watch it for Halloween). I don’t particularly like spiders or water. I am made irrationally nervous by slugs and the idea of space travel.
But you know what really scares me? Plagiarism.
Not being plagiarised myself. That doesn’t scare me because I’ll cut a bitch. But the idea of plagiarising someone else, accidentally. It terrifies me. Sometimes I write what I think is a particularly pithy sentence. Almost instantly, I think, “Is that really mine?” And then I have to Google it. (Like this sentence, for example–a sneak peek from The Demon Inside!: Starting a fight with a Gretneg was never a good idea, even if that Gretneg was staring at [character name] as though  was the only glass pipe in the crack den and it had been hours since  last fix. [Yeah, I removed pronouns and identifying articles, so what? You’ll have to wait to find out who it’s about.] Maybe not the greatest sentence ever, but I like it. And immediately googled about five variations of it. Which, if someone’s monitoring my internet usage, um, it’s research I swear.)
See, I read a lot. As I’m sure do all of you. I have books I’ve read over and over until I’ve memorized them. I’ve had books I’ve read over and over until I’ve internalized them. How do I know something isn’t creeping in? How do I know the line I just wrote isn’t some long-forgotten-by-my-conscious-mind line by someone else?
I’m pretty confident at this point. I think after you’re written for a while you get past that sort of thing. As my own voice becomes more clear and I grow more confident, I also become far more certain that what I write is mine, and only mine.
But the fear is still there, always. I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than having someone recognize my words as actually coming from someone else. I can’t imagine my reaction as being anything other than tears of shame and horror and the desire to remove every trace of the work from anywhere it’s ever been, hide, and apologize profusely.
I like to think this is because I’m a rational person who cares about writing as a process, as a craft.
But maybe that’s just me.
A few announcements:
Blood Will Tell has received 4 1/2 kisses (our of five) from Romance Divas!
“This book has everything a reader could want–scorching hot sex, captivating plotline and explosive action. Ms Quinn writes a wonderful story with a sensuous, confident hero and strong, independent and resourceful heroine who is his match.”
Read the full review here.
Juno Books is doing a fun werewolf contest here. Identify some excerpts from wolfie books, win free stuff. (Yes, I’m sure you got that when I said “contest”.) Anyway, give it a go! Contest closes October 30.