Is inspiration plagiarism

Dear Markus,


I am more aware that almost everything is taken over from motifs and fabrics somewhere [...], but I wonder what bores the reader and what he likes.

My first thought after this question was: "Then ask the readers and not the writers!" But since I've read countless good and bad books myself and can therefore even answer the question about life, the universe and all the rest off the cuff, including arithmetic errors, I add my mustard here:

Of course, every author is inspired by certain texts and books, including films, events in contemporary history, and certain known and unknown people.

A halfway serious and talented writer will probably not go now and take over one of these inspiring stories completely. He will not turn the cuddly bunnies with the plushy feet into heroes who want to throw "a carrot" into the "molehill of fate".

But maybe he leans the mood of at least one scene, if it fits, to the mood of this inspiring template, since the readers of a certain genre, who are certainly familiar with the template, would immediately feel at home in its story. And home is known to be the most beautiful.

The first question would be: Where does your own novel end and where does the plagiarism begin? I find it daring to take over an existing dark elf people with all the subtleties, including names, and you probably need permission from the original author and / or the publisher.

A "colleague" I appreciate, Franziska Franke, has already published several Sherlock Holmes novels, so-called pastiches. I liked a few very much, others need a little more "speed". But are they plagiarism? The main character appears, the deduction occurs, the mood is sometimes more, sometimes less well captured.

Anthony Horowitz even wrote a pastiche with "The Secret of the White Ribbon" on behalf of the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate. And so well that it could be counted as part of Doyle's canon. Is that plagiarism?


The definition of plagiarism stipulates that the plagiarist author would at least take over text passages of the original work unchanged and pass it off as his work. That would also be a copyright infringement.

To "borrow" a dark elf people from a well-known novel, but to let them experience completely different stories, perhaps to create new, own characters, would perhaps be classified more as "fan fiction" and would hardly be brought to a publisher. unless the publisher thinks the story is great and already has the rights or the will and the means to acquire it.

You want to know what readers like and what bores them.

The reader likes good, exciting stories. He's bored with dreary, bad stories. If he thinks now, "wow, is a bit like" Forgotten-Realms ", it doesn't have to be bad for the author. But if the reader realizes that he has read the novel (almost) exactly by RA Salvatore, then, at least for the sequel, the bill no longer works out. Then he buys "the original" again.

All my personal opinion ...