There is a type of fic certain people call “adaptions”. Adaptions are where a writer takes a story from one fandom. They strip the stories characters away and replace them with characters from another fandom.
This is not writing.
No, seriously… this is not writing. Taking another person’s story and typing it up either word for word or even paraphrasing it doesn’t take much effort. What effort that goes into transcribing another persons story is nothing compared to the work it takes to come up with your own story. Replacing the characters with other characters also takes little effort.
Yes, other people do it and you can find these stories online because nobody has bothered to report them and the site admins take a long time to take care of the works reported to them. People also cheat on tests and get away with it. People get away with putting graffiti on the sides of buildings. People getting away with things doesn’t make it right nor is it a defense for doing the wrong thing. In fact, it makes doing it even worse.
Why do people do it? It is typically for one or more of the following reasons.
- They don’t have confidence in their own writing.
- They want more reviews.
- They see other people doing it.
What if a person is inspired by something?
It is actually possible to write a story that is inspired by various tales without plagiarizing the actual storyline. You have to go and make it your own and you have to understand how to write this particular story. The idea isn’t to adapt the material. The idea is to create something new. An example is Cinderella. While each of the adaptions of the material shares minor traits each of the adaptions is its own unique version.
When a writer creates a Cinderella story it will have the following traits.
- The main characters mother dies.
- Her father remarries and she gets a stepmother.
- Her stepmother and stepsisters treat her like a slave.
- Her fairy godmother helps her get to the ball.
- The prince finds her shoe and thus finds her.
Let’s say though a writer were to create a story where Cinderella has the ability to talk to animals and she makes clothes for the mice. She has a beautiful singing voice and lives in the attic. She is told she can not go to the ball because she has no dress and her mother’s old dress is not good enough as it is out of style. The mice steal various items and make her an outfit. However, when she went down stairs she found her dress being ripped apart by her step sister. She stays there and cries while her step siblings take off. Her fairy god mother shows up and makes her a beautiful dress with glass slippers.
These traits are distinct to Disney’s Cinderella and are part of what makes it unique.
Why do you bring this up?
I talked to someone about this and I thought I had convinced them that they needed to make the story their own. They talked to someone else who linked them to stories that slap canon characters in the place of other canon characters and admitted that the subject is controversial. They then blocked me. To me this is sadly an admittance of guilt. Believe me, I’ve seen the site admins remove these stories in the past when I have reported them and the admins have been doing their job well when it has come to reports.