Thursday, March 09, 2006

Websites for Writers

Today, I'm going to post a couple of websites for writers.

Recently, there's been a lot of talk about plagiarism. In probably the most famous case, Random House, publisher of "The DaVinci Code," has been sued for breach of copyright by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, a pair of writers. The two claim that Dan Brown, the author, used the ideas and themes they presented in their 1982 book, "Holy Blood and Holy Grail," to write his 2003 blockbuster.

Baigent and Leigh insist they originated the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child by her. The trial began February 28 in London.

Brown's publisher, Random House, claims that copyright laws do not protect "general ideas." Brown has never denied reading "Holy Blood and Holy Grail" and, in fact, mentioned the title in his "DaVinci Code."

The trial is being closely watched because of its potential for future copyright cases.

All of this become grist for discussion among writers. On one of my support loops, a fellow writer announced that some of her work had recently been plagiarized on the Internet. She found it through the first of the two websites I'm going to recommend for writers:

You can post a particular page on Copyscape and the site will scan to see if there are any copies of your material anywhere on the Internet. I posted this blog and was pleased to see the only copies were quotes with attribution.

The second website I'm going to mention today is more of an inspirational one for writers. The site is: A number of successful crime writers agreed to be interviewed about their personal life stories on the road to publication. The writers include Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Lawrence Block and Harley Jane Kozak.

Writers who seem to be collecting rejection letter after rejection letter can take heart from people like Joe Konrath who says, "I spent twelve years writing nine novels and dozens of short stories -- over a million words -- before I made my first sale with 'Whiskey Sour.' There's a word for a writer that never gives up...published. If you keep banging your head against the wall, eventually the wall will break."

Happy writing!!




Caro said...

Thanks for the links to the websites -- I've been involved in hunting down some plagiarism on the web and this might make some of the work easier.

As for the suggestion that the theory about Jesus marrying Mary Magdeline and having a child by her "originated" with the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail -- spring is coming and I need fertilizer for the garden. This is a very old heresy, dating back at least ten centuries.

Maya said...

Hi, Caro: Yeah, several newsites have already pointed out that Baigent and Leigh were not the originators of that theory. I would think that this would make it harder for them in their lawsuit.