Thursday, January 17, 2008

Witch Hunt?

I thought long and hard about this article and finally decided that I’d take the risk of posting it. Risk? Because I’m going to state how I feel about one of the Internet’s most vicious groups.

I’m sure you all have heard about the big brouhaha with the romance writer accused of plagiarism. Let me be clear...I do not now nor ever have I condoned plagiarism in any form. But neither do I appreciate a ‘witch hunt’.

Again, let me be clear. The writer accused of allegedly plagiarizing is not one of my favorite authors, nor even close to them. I am assured she is a genuinely nice person (by those who know her) but I have never found much interest in her books. The few that I’ve read left me cold and I was thankful that I’d not spent money on them. (They were freebies from RWA National.) I will admit that seeing a particular reference to a type of technology that I was sure wasn’t available in the time frame of the story did send me googling for facts about it. And I was right. The technology would have been extremely unlikely at that place and time.

That did not prompt me, however, to do a search for particular phrases to determine their origins. No, what it did was convince me that I would never purchase her books.

Not so with these other bloggers. They’ve spent hours, perhaps days, ‘ferreting’ out the phrases that ‘were written in a different voice’ from the author’s own. One has to wonder why they went to such lengths.

They claim their intent is altruistic; that they merely want to bring an ‘injustice’ to light. Perhaps they did. Or perhaps…not.

They’ve created a controversy and that draws hits. They’ve created a furor and that draws hits. I won’t even address the ‘glee’ I hear in their voices as they post the juicy details, as they build ever higher the bonfire to 'burn the witch' on.

And this isn’t the first time they’ve done this though perhaps it is the first time they’ve been quite so vicious. They’ve a track record for such antics.

You know who I’m talking about. I won’t give their web url or name them. Why not? Because that’s what they want, in my opinion. Hits, hits and more hits. It may be that this is their way to attain ‘popularity’ or ‘immortality’. I don’t know.

All I know is that because of these...women, the romance genre is again being lambasted as ‘bodice-rippers’ and ‘trashy’ books. Only now, in addition to being ‘trashy’, we’ll bear the stigma of being plagiarists too lazy to take our research and put it into our own words.

I won’t buy this writer’s books, not because of her alleged plagiarism, but because I simply don’t like her writing. And neither will I contribute to more ‘hits’ to a site so desperate for ‘popularity’.

I left high school long ago.

What are your thoughts?

-- Lynda

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