Plagarism

I'm not sure if I've done a bad thing or not.

I think I've plagiarized myself. It was a moment of weakness really, and I can't say I feel badly about it either. Sometimes I write things that stick to my brain and my heart like glue. This phrase is mine. That sort of feeling. But before I begin, I think I ought to give a little background on what I'm writing at the moment and where it is ending up.

When I am not studying or doing things that I really ought to be doing, I am either writing or thinking about writing, or perhaps drinking tea. Projects that I am very serious about stay in a notebook or on my desktop computer. At the moment, I have a few Very Serious Projects:

a. Mabel's City and sequels
b. Zachary Brown
c. Serango and sequels

Most of what I'm writing about here relates to Mabel's City, the project I am most deeply involved in. Sounds like a relationship, right? That's exactly what it is. It's like love, but entirely one-sounded love that sucks up all your time and energy and it could leave at any moment. Worst. Date. Ever. That's what writing is. Anyway, I am with Mabel's City at the moment, a real world fantasy that takes place in Los Angeles. It has everything in it: action, adventure, love, cats, and magic. Zachary Brown and Serango are already written, but I'm not going to talk about them at the moment. Another story, another time. These stories I hope to publish one day, so I am not sticking them up on the Internet.

But I have written some things that are on the Internet, and these are my Sporadic Projects. I'm not as serious about these. They're fun to write, when I'm in mood, and they mostly exist as a way to flex my writing muscle when I don't want to work on the above projects. All of my Sporadic Projects are on Figment and I update when I feel like it. As Figs (users on Figment) go, I'm a pretty lousy one. I don't update regularly, and I don't have the energy to do promotion or story swaps, and consequently, I only have about fifty followers. If someone reads something and comments, that always makes me happy though. My Figment stories are:

a. The Visterian Lovers (other world fantasy)
b. The Mori Hero (sequel to The Visterian Lovers)
c. The Nebula Realm (an epic, sci-fi free verse poem)
d. The Dust Keys

So, we're here to talk about The Dust Keys. At this point, The Dust Keys is around ten pages, nothing too long, but when considered in terms of "comments," it is one of my successful stories. And I know exactly why. Both the description (what readers see before they start) and the first paragraph are as follows:


Not too shabby, huh? It's a good paragraph. I agonized over that paragraph for several weeks. How do you make a character description dynamic? How do you convey a beauty that strikes through, turns you dumb? But here's the catch. I didn't agonize over this paragraph for Figment or The Dust Keys. This is where it originally came from:


So, how did this paragraph end up on Figment in the middle of a tropical cyberpunk story? Well, I originally posted the visual assault paragraph, and this paragraph alone on Figment and tagged it Nanowrimo. For Nanowrimo, I had planned to write 25,000 words in order for Mabel. I halved the total so that I could take my time and write things I would be more pleased with. On Figment, if you tag a story "nanowrimo2012," you would get a badge, and that was my intention. I didn't expect anyone to actually comment on my visual assault paragraph, much less encourage a story. And because I felt guilty (but didn't want to put Mabel online), I started writing a new story cobbled together from some other story ideas and characters that have been floating around in my brain. 

Which leads us back to this "plagiarizing" oneself business. I wish I could say that was the only example. In the Nebula Realm, I have a lot of fun with pacing and language. This science fiction fairy tale is practically a novel outline, and if I had more energy, I would write it as a book instead of a poem. Revenge, true love, languages, aliens, demons, sultans... This story is an unchecked, romantic adventure. It would be a fun book. Here's the opening:


So, in this case the original phrases came from another work and were adapted to fit Mabel's City. 

Which brings us back to the fun opening question...

Can you plagiarize yourself? Too late.