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InfiniteDreamer
03-25-2012, 02:01 PM
I'm deathly afraid to share my work with anyone. Surprisingly it isn't because I don't want to hear what they have to say, it's because when I was younger my sister stole my first novel and hocked it off as her own. She used it in school to get praises from all of her teachers. So because of that I'm always thinking that someone might take my novel and say it's theirs.

Is this silly? And am I the only one who has this fear?

JQTrotter
03-25-2012, 02:11 PM
No. There's a thread about that fear and how to protect your work (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118148).

InfiniteDreamer
03-25-2012, 02:13 PM
Thanks :)

bjcox
03-25-2012, 11:23 PM
I have the same fear. I am deathly afraid as well

storiesinmyhead
03-26-2012, 12:10 AM
No, I am the same way! On one hand, I am terrified someone will copy my work or take the general premise and run with at those it was their idea but on the other hand, I want someone to look my work over to make sure I am not totally off base and things I am worried about work fine. I'm trying to find a balance now, but am more scared then anything.

ShannonR.
03-26-2012, 01:25 AM
No, I am the same way! On one hand, I am terrified someone will copy my work or take the general premise and run with at those it was their idea but on the other hand, I want someone to look my work over to make sure I am not totally off base and things I am worried about work fine. I'm trying to find a balance now, but am more scared then anything.

I'm in the same boat. I'm new here too, but the impression I've gotten so far from everyone here is that they're professional and courteous enough not to do something like this. I've been told I'm naive at times, though, so take that with a grain of salt!

And I'm working on my first major novel too, so I'd be happy to go with it if you wanted to critique each other's work. I'm more of a blogger-for-pay than anything else, but layman's perspectives are good too!

KellyAssauer
03-26-2012, 01:39 AM
I had a fear of having my work critiqued and I still get very anxious about it. Fortunately, the critters here at AW are and were very supportive in there suggestions and I've learned not to fear it as much. Actually, they helped my find the voice I needed to continue.

To lesson your concerns, I would take a really good look at the SYW (share your work) areas here that you might consider posting a piece of your writing, and read other posts to see how you would feel about the commentary. Reading those critiques and occasionally adding your own comments really helps ease the stress and make the whole process more familiar. =)

TumbleHome
03-26-2012, 03:55 AM
It's no longer an active fear, but my ability to write was crippled for years when something similar happened to me.

Long story, but I took creative writing my senior year of high school after taking journalism. I was so excited, and right off the bat did well even though the teacher kinda phoned it in. Then I started getting sick, and missing class. I'd always make up the work, had doctors notes and did well on my assingments, but my teacher started treating me weird- as if I thought I didn't need her classes and it was something personal.

She started "losing" my papers while keeping others to use as good examples for her other classes, and I'd have to have constant meetings with her when I'd get a report card saying I got a 69% on a paper when I had the original with a 96% on it. Following that, she started giving me incompletes on papers I turned in but she claimed to have never receieved.

I was diagnosed with lupus in the middle of the semester, and that mixed with the weirdness scared me off of writing. About a year later her daughter contacted me. It turned out she gave those "lost" papers to her to use in her college writing classes, and the daughter felt guilty about it. I didn't write creatively for years, which completely sucked.

I trust far more than I am paranoid, but when it comes to writing I need to remember to always have my wits about me even though it's an emotional process for me.

JQTrotter
03-26-2012, 04:23 AM
I was diagnosed with lupus in the middle of the semester, and that mixed with the weirdness scared me off of writing. About a year later her daughter contacted me. It turned out she gave those "lost" papers to her to use in her college writing classes, and the daughter felt guilty about it. I didn't write creatively for years, which completely sucked.

I trust far more than I am paranoid, but when it comes to writing I need to remember to always have my wits about me even though it's an emotional process for me.

Wow... that's awful. What a horrible teacher! You'd think a teacher of all people wouldn't encourage cheating like that. Some people are just horrible. I'm sorry that happened to you :(

I wouldn't say I worry about people stealing ideas/writing from me because I wouldn't give my work to someone I didn't trust or at least respect their own writing ability. For all those with this worry and new to AW, I'd suggest listening to the "How to protect yourself" post. Get to know the member you want to be beta for you before giving them your work. That way you at least could feel a little safer.

robjvargas
03-26-2012, 08:46 AM
Plagiarism is a very real and legitimate concern.

Concern.

You have to take steps to protect yourself, but if it's stopping you from pursuing this (and you want to pursue it), then you have to resolve those issues.

At some point, you're going to have to "put it all out there" and trust in the professionalism and ethics of another human being. You've got to make that leap.

The good news is that you're already using a whole community of writing and publishing professionals that want to help you make that leap as logically and assuredly as possible.

Use it. Life doesn't have guarantees (unless you count death and taxes). But you can definitely brings the odds further in your favor.

bdarner
03-26-2012, 12:01 PM
I'm deathly afraid to share my work with anyone.
As long as that anyone does not include reputable agents/publishers, then you are fine. I'm a NEET/shut-in, so I understand that paranoia quite well (but for me, it is the concept of being laughed at or scorned rather than something that actually happened).

The good news is you don't have to share your work. It really depends on the level of fear. If your fear is that high (like mine), then those steps in the other thread (that are actually very helpful) probably will not ease your paranoia.

You can always benefit just from critiquing other's work. In the process of combing over another's work you will often catch the same kind of errors that you make.

Bufty
03-26-2012, 05:56 PM
Something unpleasant may have happened to you in the past, and I'm sorry for that, but really there's a lot of unfounded paranoid shivering going on here.

Think about it for a moment.

What thief is going to steal your manuscript?

Why is he going to steal it?

What on earth do you think he is going to do with it?

How in the name of creation do you think he's going to prove it's his?

A thief steals for one reason only - to make easy money.

That pre-supposes he knows your magnificent manuscript - in the same condition as it was when he stole it - is going to make easy money, which means he is in cloud cuckoo land because there is no such thing in the world of writing novels.

He is going to have get it read by an Agent or Publisher and acccepted/bought/edited/revised/discussed/published/marketed/distributed...and that assumes the manuscript is worth buying in the first place.

Oh, one last thing - where is this manuscript that was stolen?

Goodness me - surprise, surprise - it's still all on your hard drive. And yes, you have copyright to it - you always did even though you did nothing except write the story, because copyright was yours automatically the moment you committed your first words to a medium such as paper or your hard drive.

So whoever nicks your masterpiece is in for a hard, hard uphill slog all the way to Nowheresville - and it's far easier to bang an old lady on the head and grab her purse, or hold up a grocery store.

Simplest course of action is not to advertise for a beta reader on an open site like this and then lob your manuscript out to total strangers who may not even have been members for any length of time themselves.

Browse the other Forums here, contribute and get to know people and let them know you as you perhaps have a crack at critiquing in the SYW Forum, and build up the requisite 50 posts that allow you to submit something yourself for critique if you wish.

The SYW Forum is password protected to keep Google and other bots out.

HistorySleuth
03-26-2012, 07:03 PM
I don't know, I look at the glass of sharing as half full rather than half empty. If you share it, you have more proof it is yours if someone did steal it (which as Buffy says is unlikely considering the amount of work involved in pulling it off.)

Have more than one beta reader. Different betas look at different things. If one of your beta choices did try something, you have the other beta to say, "Umm..wait a minute." Plus a person would be stupid to steal it knowing you have someone else looking at it.

I look at the Share Your Work the same way. If you post sections there and other people critique it, and later someone did steal it, it would be pretty obvious by the date of your post and all the comments, that you are the author.

It's just not worth it for someone to steal your MS. There are too many ways a writer can prove it's theirs.

aoliver
04-15-2012, 07:34 AM
Thanks for the thread, JQ!