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June 16, 2012 / diannegray

On Writing

I got an email from a reader the other day. They said a friend of theirs had a great idea for a novel and has started writing it, but won’t share it with ANYONE. The problem is, the friend has never written a novel before, needs a proof-reader, but is worried their idea will be stolen.

My advice? Stealing the next big bestseller is the thing of movies. You know ­– when the struggling author’s novel is stolen and some scoundrel makes a squillion on it and the true author is left dragging their feet through the snow, penniless. We all wish we could write something that good! The beauty of the electronic age lies with the fact that we can send our novels out electronically for editing or proofing or publishing. The fact that just about everything is done electronically these days means the evidence of ownership is there for all to see. If someone does steal the manuscript and makes a squillion, they’ve saved your friend the work of trudging around for years trying to find a publisher. That’s my free advice, and worth every penny!

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2 Comments

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  1. L / Jul 29 2012 1:24 pm

    I know there are pirates out there, but I feel like it would be too much of a hassle to steal anything! Besides, if he’s afraid to let others read it, he must be afraid to let editors and publishers read it too, yes?
    Writer’s Digest has great advice for this type of writer: Don’t worry about it. Especially when there are great things that ought to be worried about, like plots and characters and serial commas. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 29 2012 3:10 pm

      Exactly right! But some people are just a bit paranoid about their work. I follow Writers Digest and they’re pretty good 🙂

      Like

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