Fiction writer plagiarist tip: Don't steal from Stephen King

Here's a tip for Richard Ridyard, a wannabe writer who has taken the plagiarism road to fame and fortune; there's this thing called the "Internet" that makes it way easy to discover pilfered prose. And if you're going to submit stories you've appropriated from other writers, you'd be well advised to pick one less well known than Stephen King.

According to the blogs A Rage of Angels and We Interrupt This Blog Post, Ridyard has managed to place a number of genre stories on minor Internet magazines by using the cut-and-paste writing method. The magazines are usually labors of love by people who don't have the time to carefully vet each piece, and Ridyard occasionally takes the time to alter some pieces to avoid easy detection via a Google search.

Ridyard made the mistake, however, of submitting a story titled "Baboulas" to Shock Totem, where astute Assistant Editor John Boden immediately recognized it as a bald-faced steal of Stephen King's well-known story "The Boogeyman." He noted that not only was the text virtually the same, except for not-at-all-clever one-for-one substitutions, but that the Greek word for Boogeyman is Baboulas.

Those who write horror have very little chance of making any money in the market, so pride of publication is the primary reward for their hard work. Trolls like Ridyard deserve to end up in the hells that horror writers so love to describe.

Tom Barlow has written a number of short stories all by himself, many of which have appeared in magazines both online and in print. The full list may be found at More About the Future.

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