Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I wonder how many authors actually take the time to get permission to quote or use things in their books. While writing Choice I ran across a couple of blips as I wanted to have the reader get a feel for the time period while not infringing on any copy writes. You may have noticed references to Janice Kansas, or Bite- those are my little creative twists on two very important things of their time. They were important to me in developing my character's personalities and little foibles. I've read some books where the references to things are blatantly obvious, and some have their entire books based on an idea of some famous movie/series/thing. To me as a reader, depending on how much the writer bases their books on that particular thing, it can be really cool or really irritating. A series I read about 8 months ago mostly irritated the crap out of me with all of it's references to something else. It was like the author didn't have a unique thought in her head, she just based her entire series on a combination of something else, and then told the reader about it. It got me wondering if she thought to get permission to use all those references/quotes, or if she just wrote it and said "To hell with it- writers prerogative."
It also got me into thinking about my own writing. What have I based my writing on? Do I sound similar to others, or are my thoughts truly unique? I know my stories are my own, that I didn't use anyone else's storyline to create mine. However, I have noticed a similarity to mine and another Atlantean writer. I love this author, and I hope that while our subject is very similar, people notice the obvious differences. It has also made me rethink wording and structure of certain scenes in this series. I hope to be unique, interesting, exciting and moving with my writing.
This whole thought process started because I desperately want to use a portion of a song in Changed. I could do this scene without it, but it dramatically pulls the emotion I want out of the reader. Every time I read it I'm overwhelmed. So, I emailed the artist and sent in a request to quote her. I was actually kind of excited to do this, it made me feel like a real professional. And now I feel like a dork. :) I'm currently waiting on her response, but it got me to thinking, how many authors actually take the time to get permission to quote something or state the title of something in their books? Is it even necessary with the vast amounts of media out there? How would the artist ever know their information was used, unless by some random act they read the book?
I think I think too much. ;)