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Tok'Ra Hostess
October 10th, 2004, 04:35 PM
This question was prompted by the comments of one of my all-time fav fanfic authors. This person freely admitted to "ripping off" (that person's words) other works.

I readily admit that I once copied exactly the rhyme and meter of a Dr. Seuss poem(and even kept in one verse word for word), so I, too, have "ripped off" another writer.

Obviously we "rip off" Stargate SG-1 when we write SG-1 fanfic, but that's different.

Or is it?

So I was wondering just how many among us do this?

Why do you do it?

How do you, the reader of fanfic, feel about this?

ShadowMaat
October 10th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Unless I'm paying specific "homage" to something, I try not to consciously copy things. But the key word there is consciously. ;) I do take ideas from here and there and mash them all together, but I try not to steal things whole hog unless I'm gonna twist them. :D

MartoufMarty
October 10th, 2004, 04:44 PM
How many do what? Steal lines from other peoples stories or fics, or write fan fiction?

I've never stolen lines from other peoples fan fiction (though so people wanted to try to accuse me of it *grumbles*).

My fan fiction is usually very crappy and cliche. I may have gotten ideas from other peoples fan fiction so they seem kind of similar but I don't steal.

I think that people need to come up with their own stuff and don't steal.

That's about stealing fan fiction.

About writing fan fiction... I don't really see anything wrong with it. I don't count it as stealing from the big-wigs.

We're not claiming that the show is ours. We know it's theirs, we just like to have our fun with it.

They might possibly get a bigger audience because people may read fan fiction.

But what do I know... I'll shut up now.

UberAeryn
October 10th, 2004, 05:38 PM
This question was prompted by the comments of one of my all-time fav fanfic authors. This person freely admitted to "ripping off" (that person's words) other works.

I readily admit that I once copied exactly the rhyme and meter of a Dr. Seuss poem(and even kept in one verse word for word), so I, too, have "ripped off" another writer.

Obviously we "rip off" Stargate SG-1 when we write SG-1 fanfic, but that's different.

Or is it?

So I was wondering just how many among us do this?

Why do you do it?

How do you, the reader of fanfic, feel about this?

I freely admit to ripping off 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' quotes. But I'm STILL trying to figure out how to work in:

"Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up, and he's bloody stupid."

:p

Skydiver
October 10th, 2004, 06:23 PM
I've never stolen lines. Ideas? sure. Like the concept of sam keeping jolinar, or asking what if in zero hour.
In one of my fic, i loosely took the idea from Space Above and Beyond, the eps Sugar Dirt and used that for a fic.
the idea for jack to walk through the halls in the buff came from MASH (Hawkeye did the same thing)
I got 3 stories off of the eps wormhole extreme and meshing it with gatecon

Have i ever rewritten someone else's fic as mine? No.

There is a difference between ideas and concepts and a whole fic. I've had fic come from a 'what if'

such as what if jack didn't stop jacob in meridian, or what if sam never visited casssie in ITLOD, or what if the nid got sam before the ashrak did, what if sam married jonas hanson

I know there are times when the fandom goes through a phase. there will be a rash of sam pregnancy fic, or sam rape fic, or jack death fic.....where in a month or so, several stories based on the same premise come out.

I try to not even use someone else's title if i can avoid it (in other words, if i know that there's already a fic titled 'only human' i'll avoid using it.....but it's not a perfect world because there are tons of fic that i don't read, therefore i have no idea about thier titles)

some authors are very conscientous about referencing others fic. I've had people ask me permission to use 'wormcon' in their fic. I asked darren permission to reference his worm guide in my first wormies fic. I've had authors ask permission to use characters i created to be SG-11 in their fic.

ShadowMaat
October 10th, 2004, 07:03 PM
I've had people ask if they can borrow Luke. :D

MartoufMarty
October 10th, 2004, 07:08 PM
I've had people ask if they can borrow Luke. :D
Hehehe.

You're famous!

lionel_pendergast_rocks
October 10th, 2004, 07:14 PM
i write fics every once in a while, and i dont feel im ripping anyone off. i mean, i guess you could steal someone's idea, and not even read their fic, kind of like you didn't know you were commiting a crime in real life. but most of my fics deal with an sg1 spinoff, so i dont feel anyone's getting ripped off by my actions. sure, i kind of borrow and twist other ideas, sometimes from completely different sources than stargate ones, but many good authors borrow ideas, big and small. :cool:

check out the begginings my fanfic! im currently writing the story itself(hey, you might see familiar things, but i dont care, i like what i write) http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=4930

Tok'Ra Hostess
October 10th, 2004, 07:30 PM
Writing fanfic is not the subject of this thread, but rather, whether or not we rip off other's works in the fanfic that we write?

I know that there are plenty of fic that have the same themes, use the same SG-1 episodes to establish their original story situations and so there is automatically going to be some similarities. (I was struck with just how similar one of my story lines resembled Skydiver's. I hadn't read her story beforehand but I remember feeling quite uncomfortable even though I knew I hadn't ripped the idea off of her. :o ) I wasn't really thinking about ripping off other fanfic writer's works, but, yes, that too.

What I was actually thinking, though, was how we felt taking large, recognizable(or not) portions from other works and just doctoring them up a bit to fit the Stargate fic; say, whole scenes from Star Trek or from one of the classic novels like Gulliver's Travels or the Iliad.

Have you ever read a fic and started to get that sense of deja-lu(Lu=read in french)only to remember that this is exactly how Peter David had written this scene in his last Babylon 5 book only now it's with Stargate characters?

Are you okay with that?

ShadowMaat
October 10th, 2004, 07:38 PM
It depends on how much of it is lifted and to what purpose. Generally, I'd say I didn't like it. If a writer can't come up with his/her own ideas or a way to make a previously established idea new and original then they shouldn't be writing. IMO.

That being said, I wrote a Jonas fic that was rather heavily influenced by an HP Lovecraft story called The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It was in answer to a challenge to "write in the style of..." a famous author. On reflection, it probably drew a little TOO heavily from the source, but I still did my best to try and add some twists of my own.

EDIT: I don't know about fics, per se, but I know that when I was reading the Hawk & Fisher books by Simon Green I noticed that his descriptions of the main characters was almost exactly the same in each story. Certain other bits of dialogue and whatnot were also copied almost verbatim. I loved the stories, but those "recycled" bits got tedious after a while and it drew me away from an otherwise great story. Of course, I don't know if you can really steal from yourself... ;)

Skydiver
October 11th, 2004, 04:53 AM
Well, like i said, i've nicked general ideas from other things. Such as the idea of being trapped on a planet with no supplies (SA&B's Sugar Dirt) for a zine fic, That'll be the Day, but it was just the idea of being marooned with no way off the planet and no supplies. In the end, i don't think it resembled it too much.
or the Hawkeye/Jack walking naked bit

I think there's nothing wrong with the idea being nicked, but it's up to the author to do it in his/her original way.

Scribe used to have a 'shower series' which always focused on daniel getting in the shower. I used that general idea for 'cleaning up' where all four of them think while they bathe. for me, the emphasis was more on thinking than the potentially lovely visual images ;)

ibwolf
October 11th, 2004, 05:43 AM
This is a very interesting topic.

Until very recently I've only been writing orginal fiction (none of it web-published). In that I've been very mindful of not copying anything, although I've used similar motifs, or concepts, to what others have done. But then that is only normal. Once boiled down, there are really only so many basic stories. It's all in the execution, and that is where originality must prevail.

I've recently started writing a Farscape/ST:TNG/SG-1 fanfic. As a matter of course I 'borrow' heavily from each of the fandoms. But while doing so, I try to twist things about. The story, Wormhole Junction (see sig for a link), basically rewrites a famous ST:TNG episode with Crichton and SG-1 thrown in the mix. So obviously I have to borrow a lot from the fandoms. But I think that is only normal. And of course, despite the same premise, the events unfold very differently.

As for borrowing from other sources. Not at all. In fact one of the reviewers commented on how unusual the story was. This is partly because I don't really read many fanfics (just the odd one here and there) and partly because I've got some really funky ideas floating around upstairs :cool:

ShadowMaat
October 11th, 2004, 06:28 AM
Actually, I don't read a lot of fanfic, either. I'm too much of a perfectionist. ;) I can't stand stuff that's full of bad grammar, gratuitous scenes and/or has the characters acting wildly uncharacteristic. I can't turn off my internal editor when I read so it makes it less fun all around.

Matt G
October 11th, 2004, 07:47 AM
Nicked a line from a cartoon when I was writing a story in primary school once - never nicked lines to the best of my knowledge for fanfic.

Mr Prophet
October 11th, 2004, 08:13 AM
My writing, fanfic or otherwise, is way intertextual. I tend to knock off quotes from just about everything under the sun, but as quotes rather than as my own lines. In particular, Jack often gets lines from Kurt Russell movies - alongside the occasional Star Trek reference - and Cassie quotes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Very occasionally, I borrow a character from elsewhere, like the Blue Cat.

My ideas come from all over, but I never take anything whole cloth. If I thought the idea was good enough as it was then I wouldn't bother to do anything with it; I only take ideas which I think have unexplored potential. But the point with fanfic is that since it does use other people's IP - by its very definition - you can't publish it. Technically you can't even put it on the internet, but your friendly neighbourhood PTB often don't mind too much.

Tok'Ra Hostess
October 11th, 2004, 08:24 AM
Does anyone here see any corelation between borrowing(I prefer that expression to ripping off) ideas from other artists and Mary Sue-ing?

I'll explain what I mean later, but first I just wonder if I'm the only one who senses a connection.

Mr Prophet
October 11th, 2004, 08:39 AM
I don't really think so. I mean, I suppose people might both borrow and Mary-Sue, but I'm not sure they are particularly connected to any greater degree than both being easy to do in fan fiction.

Major Tyler
October 11th, 2004, 08:51 AM
Ooh, here's my fanfic idea...it takes place a little bit ago, in a galaxy not far from here.

A Goa'uld name Lord V'der takes over all of the human worlds and creates an "Empire." An SG team gates to a desert-ed planet and helps rescue a young telepath (who just happens to be the only hope for the dominated worlds). The SG team is stranded because the Stargate is destroyed by Jawas, so they hitch a ride with a swashbuckling pirate named Lars, on his ship the Centennial Pidgeon. After various space battles and shoot-'em-up fun, they meet up with other humans and start a "rebellion."

What do you think? Does it have potential? Does anyone have anything to add? By the way, rest assured that I would never rip anything off...I'm all original. ;)

Greesha
October 11th, 2004, 05:31 PM
lol @ Major Tyler!

i don't think most people mean to rip things off. On more than one occasion, i've written something, thought, "wow, this is brilliant!", and then found out that someone else wrote it first. i had just read a sentence somewhere and forgotten that i read it.

With copying ideas, it's very possible for two people to think of something independently. That's very depressing too, when you think you wrote something totally original and then you found out someone else beat you to it. but oh well. the joys of writing.

Skydiver
October 11th, 2004, 06:02 PM
sometimes trends just spontaneously happen....a couple of times a year there will be a spate of sam preggers fic, or sam rape fic, or sam amnesia fic

usually 2-4 fic in the run, by varying authors

Lt. Aiden Ford
October 12th, 2004, 11:48 AM
Ooh, here's my fanfic idea...it takes place a little bit ago, in a galaxy not far from here...
HA!

CKO
October 12th, 2004, 06:28 PM
it depends... although i tend to have a lot (and i do mean a lot ) of original chars in my fics, and for the most part AU and x-over... basically meridan fix it and the SG1 team was never just four member team... (not gonna try ta explain that) Jack has a sister. jonas still comes in and is a member of SG1, no s/j ship what so ever. i may like that pairing but their military pos. prevent that. not to mention jack is already in a serious relationship with my made up original char.

not to mention Kawalsky isnt' 'snaked' either. but he doens't take command of SG2.. (am not going into that or explaining it)

most of what i write is a x-over with Farscape and for that its an AU S3, no twin thing, J/A become lovers ect. stark leaves and there is no final four for S3, S4 never happens. the crew just happens to find a gate on the planet as both SG1, SG2 are gating to the planet.

thats another thing... its joint team mission between SG1, SG2.

I tend ta through a lil tiny B5 into the mix. (telepathy, telekinisis (and other abilities. which are mine alone.... and the list grows longer as more and more chars learn that they have the gene that is responsible for telepathy)

~~~~~

For my current SGA fic there is only one original who is on the expiditon team, (OFC) and as for what happens, anything that happens is taken outta my own fics and chars... so i take from my own stories.

ShadowMaat
October 12th, 2004, 08:26 PM
I don't think it's a question of adding OC's, it's more a question of (for example), "Have you ever taken an ep of Star Trek and rewritten it using the Stargate characters?" or "Have you ever taken someone else's plot and themes and used them as your own?"

At least, that's what I think it's about. ;)

I don't use many OC's myself because I prefer to keep things as canon as possible. Although I've had a lot of fun weaving Luke throughout the series. :D And my Mary Sue character cracks me up. ;) Haven't bothered with her for a while, though.

Mr Prophet
October 13th, 2004, 08:52 AM
I don't use many OC's myself because I prefer to keep things as canon as possible. Although I've had a lot of fun weaving Luke throughout the series. :D And my Mary Sue character cracks me up. ;) Haven't bothered with her for a while, though.

Fanfic philosophy: Is a Mary Sue written in a wry and postmodern fashion still a Mary Sue?

ibwolf
October 13th, 2004, 09:01 AM
At the risk of looking stupid, what exactly is a 'Mary Sue' character? I've seen the name referenced a few times but never bothered to dig up the meaning behind it.

Liv
October 13th, 2004, 09:12 AM
At the risk of looking stupid, what exactly is a 'Mary Sue' character? I've seen the name referenced a few times but never bothered to dig up the meaning behind it.
ibwolf, here's a couple of links that I think describes the character pretty well: :)

http://www.fact-index.com/m/ma/mary_sue_fanfiction.html

http://www.ottawa.net/aldowdall/ld/marysue.html

ShadowMaat
October 13th, 2004, 09:14 AM
From the fan fiction primer (http://www.lyricalmagic.com/fanficFAQ.html#marysue):

A Mary Sue is an utterly perfect character. She stands in for the author and performs every heroic feat known to fandom, often outdoing the main characters of the story. She is beautiful, fit, wise, and incredibly intuitive. She is either the best friend, lover, or unrequited love of the most handsome and desirable male character. She often has psychic or supernatural powers, which she uses in the most predictable and boring ways. She is introduced without preamble, has not a single weakness or flaw, and can kick the butt of the most powerful person in the story. In short, she's annoying and cliched. Many first-time authors make this mistake (I know I did) and live to regret it. It's possible to introduce original characters with depth and intelligence, but they must be carefully drawn and FLAWED - that's the key.

There's a slightly more detailed description at fanfiction.net (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/413168/1/)

My Mary Sue hates SG-1. Or rather, she is loathe to go near them as horrible things always happen to her- from exploding pipes to food poisoning to random bird attacks (while on the base... underground). ;) Everyone thinks she's a bit of a freak and while she has Radar-like powers she insists she's just really good at guessing. She hates attention, she doesn't know everything, she's only a lowly research assistant and all she wants is for people to leave her alone. ;) She started in answer to the challenge to write myself into SG-1 and I was so tired of all the other "traditional" answers that I decided to be a little different. Besides, it was supposed to be modeled on ME, so that severely limits my options right there. ;) Turns out she's a blast to write, though. But she's still a Mary Sue and it makes me self-conscious to write fics about her. That and I can't come up with lots of good ideas.

Skydiver
October 13th, 2004, 09:16 AM
At the risk of looking stupid, what exactly is a 'Mary Sue' character? I've seen the name referenced a few times but never bothered to dig up the meaning behind it.

a mary sue is a created character who happens to be the best at everthing. she amazes sam wtih her knowledge, is adored by jack, loved by daniel, is teal'c's little cuddle buddy. she's better than the show's characters at everthing. she has an annoying tendency to have naturally curly hair and usually ends up getting hurt saving one of the major characters, thus earning her a tragic and smarmy bedside vigil

she's practically perfect in every way

ibwolf
October 13th, 2004, 09:18 AM
Great, thanks, I get it now.

I really should have just done my homework, but this seemed easier :)

Liv
October 13th, 2004, 09:20 AM
/.../ she has an annoying tendency to have naturally curly hair /.../
I did not know that. :D

Mr Prophet
October 13th, 2004, 09:33 AM
See, Shadow, I think your character is an avatar, rather than a Mary Sue; a signifcantly less hateful beast. YMMV of course and my H2G2 article - source of all the hate mail I've ever received - only briefly had enough mentions of 'fan fiction' to make me the world authority on the subject - according to Google - for about a week.

Having known about Mary Sues from the outset, I make it a point to try and avoid having any of SG-1 ever say to my original characters: 'Of course, you're right!' Conversely though, they do tend to be a damn sight more competent than Joe SGC. My SG-5 have lasted through half-a-dozen missions, SG-15 Geophysical survey have yet to be decimated by Goa'uld attack and the SG-18 archaeologists may occasionally win arguments with Colonel O'Neill (if only because, in Season 6, he doesn't want to bust up a team that Daniel put together).

SG-5 are probably the most robust - outside of SG-7, who have their own series - since as a Marine recon team they do completely diffierent things to SG-1. I have not the slightest compunction about having their sniper being a better shot than Jack, because it's her job, while for him it's just a thing he does. Actually, having specialist characters has helped to minimise the risk of Mary Sam: the tendency - in canon as well as fanfic - to have the team astrophysicist become the resident expert in everything.

Of course, having made this reaction against the sacrificial nature of additional SG teams, in the SG-7 series the primary purpose of other teams is to show how the monster works.

NG.1
October 13th, 2004, 10:43 AM
This question was prompted by the comments of one of my all-time fav fanfic authors. This person freely admitted to "ripping off" (that person's words) other works.

I readily admit that I once copied exactly the rhyme and meter of a Dr. Seuss poem(and even kept in one verse word for word), so I, too, have "ripped off" another writer.

Obviously we "rip off" Stargate SG-1 when we write SG-1 fanfic, but that's different.

Or is it?

So I was wondering just how many among us do this?

Why do you do it?

How do you, the reader of fanfic, feel about this?

Okay...I must admit I had stories where I could have gotten the idea from other fanfiction, other TV Series or even adverts in South Africa.

But there is this one story I'm working on, "Sleeping with my best friend," which is doing fairly decent over at fanfiction.net and I do believe I'm staying as far away as is possible from any other person's fanfiction.

In my story I have like the following pairings, Sam/Jack, Sam/Daniel, Daniel/Janet, Jack/Sarah (ex-wife) and the list goes on and on to such an extent that even I get confused sometimes, hehe. In fact my story has been compared a couple of times to a real soapie, :D

So I'm asking you...how original can I get here by playing around with the characters like that.

Or wait...maybe by having all of these pairings I've actually stolen all the ideas that any fanfiction writer and story fan can ever think off.

Oh *#(@ now I'm once again confused. Time to go back to the drawing board, :cool:

mysticalweather
October 19th, 2004, 10:34 PM
Random thoughts:

IMO to write well, you have to at least be somewhat imaginative. I think it's only natural for our imaginations to kind of spin off things that we read or watch. Ideas beget ideas.

And I've seen fanfics with a good story idea...but a bad execution. Which tends to make my muse want to write something along the same lines as their original idea (though, as of yet, I've never actually done that.)

The most recent fic that I've written was an idea passed down to me from another writer. She was too busy to write it herself, and gave the plot bunny to me to actually write. And ironically I'm giving the sequel to that story to someone else to write. Though I would consider that more colaboration than anything.

But, there have been times when I've read a really great line in someone else's fic that I would love to use for something I'm working on. I'm very conscious of *not* doing that, though. Since I doubt I'd like it if someone took something I wrote as their own.

~Misty

michelleb
October 20th, 2004, 02:03 AM
Well, all my stories to tend to revolve around the four main characters, though I like to bring in as many minor characters as possible. I usually only bring in new characters when I need someone to have knowledge of something my characters cannot possibly know..like an indepth knowledge of bizarre diseases (Janet was somewhere else at the time). In fact, I think I've only written one fanfic where there were many other characters involved..I tend not to put characters, as I'm too worried about them turning into Mary Sue's

As for my plots...well, most of what I write is exploration of character, but apart from that, i'd say my plots were relatively unique. I'm still proud of writing Foothold from the aliens point of view and creating a whole back story to them. I have a very much 'What if' sort of mind, so i'm constantly going 'what if sg1 were trapped ina wood on Midsummer's Eve (in england)' and so-on..and as my mind tends not to run in conventional lines...however, I have written some achingly conventional stuff, my only excuse for which is that i was severly traumatised by something on the show, and i had to fix right now

Anakin
October 30th, 2004, 05:09 AM
This topic is a very interesting one and right on time for me, so-to-speak...

I have never consciously copied any fic I read, but I felt frustrated more than once when I read something I would have liked to write! ;) Meaning that the author had had almost the same idea as me.
I once posted a Mini Jack story that had a lot in common with a previous story from another author, but it was mere coincidence (my story was in the works way before the other story was posted), and I did contact the author before posting it, even going as far as explaining the coincidence in the Author's notes.

Now, let's see it from the other side of the mirror, shall we?
I've recently experienced utter plagiarism at my expense. Someone took an original story of mine, changed a few names among the original characters (with no originality whatsoever - might I add - since they were borrowed from other shows (the one that comes to mind is Nash Bridges...)), and posted it... On fanfiction.net (of all places!) as a story of his/hers...

The feeling is something I wouldn't wish for any author to experience.

In my personal ethic, I never (at least consciously!) borrow anything from any author, except maybe philosophical quotes from renowed authors, and I think that if (never say never!) it happens one day, it will be with the explicit permission of the author, and it will be mentionned somewhere in the story, or the Author's notes.

As someone also said, an author borrowing things from one or several stories is not that much of an *author*. The originality might reside in the way the borrowing is handled, but no more. It looks like scavenging to me, more than authoring...

Please forgive my bitterness in this post, but when such things happen, your take on things changes rather drastically ;)

Skydiver
October 30th, 2004, 09:33 AM
yes, plagarism is not nice, to say the least

to the best of my knowledge, i don't think it's ever happened to me...dont know if that's good or bad :)

but i have heard of a few examples over the years.

teh bad thing about fanfic, the only way of policing such things is for fans to keep an eye open and look for it. and the most that can ever happen is that the offender has her work taken down and maybe her account suspended from some of the archives

Mr Prophet
October 30th, 2004, 09:37 AM
I'd worry that the PTB were stealing my ideas, but since they do it before I publish the fic as often as after, I guess it's just synchronicity.

Anakin
October 30th, 2004, 11:30 AM
yes, plagarism is not nice, to say the least

to the best of my knowledge, i don't think it's ever happened to me...dont know if that's good or bad :)

but i have heard of a few examples over the years.

teh bad thing about fanfic, the only way of policing such things is for fans to keep an eye open and look for it. and the most that can ever happen is that the offender has her work taken down and maybe her account suspended from some of the archives

Well that's exactly what happened, so there's a justice, somewhere. But even though I never borrowed from any author before as far as I know, it sure didn't encourage me for ever trying. :)

Skydiver
October 30th, 2004, 11:38 AM
I'd worry that the PTB were stealing my ideas, but since they do it before I publish the fic as often as after, I guess it's just synchronicity.

yep, i like synchronicity

there are times when an idea has shown up in a fic even years before teh show. I know in one fic i had sg1 using the imagers from foothold to infiltrate places. Took the show another 2 years to come up with the idea. :)

when things like that happen, i like to think that it just shows that, for a little bit of time anyway, the fans are in tune with TPTB and vice versa

ShadowMaat
October 30th, 2004, 01:20 PM
I don't consciously copy others' stories, but I have read a a few where I've been sorely tempted to rewrite some simply because the author made such a botched mess of it. It's part of the reason I don't read a lot of fics (so if my own stuff has been stolen, I wouldn't know).

Skydiver
October 30th, 2004, 04:47 PM
I don't consciously copy others' stories, but I have read a a few where I've been sorely tempted to rewrite some simply because the author made such a botched mess of it. It's part of the reason I don't read a lot of fics (so if my own stuff has been stolen, I wouldn't know).


i wouldn't know either. I tend to read stuff written by my friends and a few other authors. I'd have to depend on someone else pointing out any plagarism of any of my stuff, and i'd only recognize it if someone took one fo my friends' fic and swiped it

Albion
November 2nd, 2004, 03:53 AM
I haven't had time to read all the replies to this one, but basically what you're talking about is plagiarism.

The whole point of plagiarism is to pass off someone else's work as your own and take the credit for something you didn't do or achieve. Therefore, using the rhythms of Dr. Seuss isn't plagiarism, so long as you put an author's note in your story acknowledging the source. Or if you use quotes from Buffy - put it in an author's note so no one who reads the story thinks you came up with it, credit those who did, and there'll be no problem. You're letting people know you took these ideas and placed them in an original context, put a different twist on them, but you're not claiming them as your own ideas.

Taking someone else's story/work, however, and putting your name on it, letting everyone think you were the one who came up with that clever plot or terrific dialogue and you're nothing more than a thief and a cheat. You're taking credit for someone else's work, plain and simple. If you hacked into a work colleague's computer, took a report they'd just spent a week writing, put your name on it and accepted your boss's praise as it's author, you'd be a pretty low human being, wouldn't you? And pretty unpopular in the office.

Stealing fanfic from another author is just the same thing.

Albion :)