To plagiarize is to loose all respect from the writing community in a whole. Sure, the people who read your work might love it, but it isn’t really even yours though, is it? My biggest fear in college was to be accused of plagiarism so I made an extra point to rewrite anything I had to use to such an extent that it was truly mine, and I of course cited sources when needed. The average turn-it in score for me was a two percent. Six is the student average, so obviously I was pretty good at this. When I heard that Mortal Instruments was actually a fan fiction novel that had been ripped off of the Harry Potter universe I was astounded and appalled. To steal someone’s quote is bad enough, but to steal their whole universe? That’s just downright wrong! So I of course had to investigate!
Apparently Cassandra used the Harry Potter universe as the stage for her books and even called it the Draco trilogy when it was on fan fiction. She changed names and the location of the books, but didn’t change much else, it is still obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Harry Potter world that she used Draco and Ginny as the main characters and even kept the concepts of the three horacruxes (renamed of course).
I mulled this information over and realized it wasn’t the fact that she plagiarized that upset me. It has long been a tradition for people to write ‘fan fiction’, creating stories based on the works of others and trying endlessly to improve upon each others work. My favorite story, Romeo and Juliet was indeed a work of fan fiction, based on a centuries long story that has been a significant part of culture perhaps since culture began. I myself love the idea of fan fiction and thinks it encourages the mind to be creative while providing it a safe diving board. What bothered me was that she made money off of this book without consulting JK. Rowling. Even if she had profited from it and not shared a dime with JK. Rowling I wouldn’t mind, if she had only asked permission. I highly doubt J.K. Rowling would have said no considering she loves encouraging writers to write whatever it is that inspires them and she even will read Harry Potter fan fiction herself sometimes.
Mortal Instruments mortal failure is a simple one that could have been avoided if she had just said please!