Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For Your Consideration

Dear Aspiring Plagiarist,

In light of recent news that Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan's book, How Opal Mehta Stole Lines, Plot Points and a Movie Deal, was but a rehash of author Megan McCafferty's books Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, I present for your consideration SHAKING HER ASSETS.

Published almost precisely one year ago, SHAKING, a book largely ignored by dumbass motherfucking critics (ed. note: not bitter!), is the story of another young striver who gets knocked around by life, her job and her boyf, but through hard work and a cheeky personality, she manages to builds herself a new business and become a better human being. Or something like that. Anyway, it's a touching tale with dialogue that "crackles, spackles and raises hackles," to quote myself. In short, it's the perfect book for you to copy!

And you're in luck, my dearest little cheater who is so assured of his or her own precocity that coming up with one's own lines feels somewhat unbecoming-bordering-on-declasse, because SHAKING is now practically being given away for the fire sale price of $5.20 on! That's right, you can order thousands of copies of our horrendously underpublicized little book and it won't even put a dent in your gargantuan and gargantuanly undeserved advance.

So go for it with our blessing! Copy away. Credit us later. Credit us never. What have you. It just seems an awful waste that such excellent fodder for someone else's success should be ignored by you, too.


Anonymous Leah said...


I can't believe you offered it to HER before you offered it to me. I'll gladly plagerize your book, get some press and THEN write the not-quite-true memoirs of being a freelance plagiarizer.

April 25, 2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

No, no, Leah, I'm offering to anyone and everyone AND their team of publicists, spin agents and bevy of well-conncected rich folk with influence.

Please feel free to get your iBook out and start cutting and pasting wholesale!

April 25, 2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Michelle Lauren said...

you're hilarious. In my writing group (Chick Lit Writers of the World), there has been a continuous volley of opinions on this girl. I'm not a fan of meandering titles so I wouldn't have read her book anyway.
Still, I am glad the girl accepted the blame for what she did and is changing it. I can't really even fault the publishers or editors because, as the author, it's her responsibility to insure her work reflects her personality, unique view on things and is true to her characters. That being said, lifting of certain sentence structures is inevitable, especially if (while in the process of writing your own book), you choose (foolishly) to continue reading the work of favorite authors.
Blame the id. Sometimes certain phrases or expressions stick and come out. However, that is what revision is for. I'm actually writing an article on "How to Beat Revision Blues" (soon to be posted partially at my blog (
Check it out if you have the time.
I love the humor in your posts (and I caught the humorous change to the Ophal Meta title.)
- Regards,
Lauren D.

April 25, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger massive-cock-anal said...

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April 25, 2006 12:57 PM  
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April 25, 2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Leah in Chicago said...

However-there is also the possibility of plagiarizing those 18 inch anal cock offers.

Maybe I could write Shaking her 18 inches?

April 25, 2006 10:43 PM  
Blogger first-big-cock said...

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April 26, 2006 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Houstonian said...


As novelists yourself, how convincing is Viswanathan's defense that she read and subconsciously internalized the prior works?

Also, the plagiarized works were also coming of age stories (and thus necessarily similar) but isn't Viswanathan's storyline about getting into Harvard a genuinely different angle?

April 26, 2006 4:41 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Unfortunately the more information that comes out about this particular story, the more evident it is that Viswanathan cribbed fairly directly from the other author's works. While writers certainly influence one another--and this is by no means a bad or uncommon thing--apparently a great deal of this young author's word choice was exactly that of McCafferty's. To me, that suggests that it's certainly much more a case of copying than "internalizing."

I don't blame Viswanathan for "stealing" the larger narrative. (Even if McCafferty's character was trying to get into Columbia vs. Viswanathan's Harvard.) Frankly college admissions is such ripe subject matter that I'm sure a lot of people have probably written versions of it over the years. But for Viswanathan to suggest that she had inadvertently channeled McCafferty when she had actually transcribed 40 different passages from her books, well that strikes me as the most original fiction this girl has written to date.

April 26, 2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

well said, robin.

and i'm sure massive-cock-anal agrees with you.

April 27, 2006 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Houstonian said...

"Frankly college admissions is such ripe subject matter that I'm sure a lot of people have probably written versions of it over the years."

How true. Remember "Risky Business," starring Tom Cruise and Princeton, which was also about a nerdy high schooler who gets a life and then admission into the school of his dreams.

April 27, 2006 3:48 PM  

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