Of Romance, Ferrets and Plagiarism

Apparently the Romance readers and writers blogs were abuzz some time ago with news that one of the hottest writers in their genre had been caught with her pants down (so-to-speak) having stolen word-for-word material from a non-fiction article about ferrets. Ferrets? You may well ask. The author of the ferret article has written most amusingly about the scandal.

What amazes me, reading the passages in which the plagiarism appears, is not only how completely shameless the copying is, but how appallingly clunky and completely unnecessary the dialogue is in the context of the passage. It’s not just “info-dump” of the worst kind, it’s “dude! wtf??” You have your characters enjoying a post-coital cuddle in the teepee, spot a ferret, and feel an irresistable impulse to launch into a lecture more appropriate for the Discovery Channel? And it’s the classic error that often catches students – have a section in your work that is so completely incongruous that someone is bound to wonder if it comes from somewhere else! What was the author thinking? Did she have a word-count to make up, perhaps? And thought – hey, ferrets are sexy little beasts; let’s introduce some nature-study to go with all the heaving bosoms and burning loins.

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2 Responses

  1. Grrr….can’t deal with romance novels at all – it’s so formulaic! And don’t get me started on the teen-romance genre…

  2. […] Read more here: Of Romance, Ferrets and Plagiarism « College English […]

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