The Diary of John Slater / Entry #2
I am freaking out. I am totally freaking out. Have you ever heard of the Writers’ Principle, diary? Me neither, and I bet you that there isn’t one. But what is that sole rule, that sole principle that all writers follow? Still don’t have the answer? Never plagiarise. That is the most important rule of all and to writers, this is more like a principle rather than a rule. You plagiarise and you lose credibility as a writer. But now, I am facing a dilemma.
I found a manuscript. Yeah, you heard me. I. Found. A. Manuscript. A thick one at that. 600 pages long. Nicely written with only first draft errors on it. The story on the manuscript was that of a dragon fighting a demon from the Underworld. Wow, creepy stuff, right? You’d imagine a dragon fighting a human but a demon, wow! Let me tell you how I found this manuscript.
A week after my first entry to this diary, I was walking around in a neighborhood next to mine. To make a long story short, I ran into a trashcan. I know, right? How can someone run into a trashcan? So, I was pissed at how careless I was and stood up, ready to clean myself when I saw it. There was a paper, a stack of papers on the floor next to the trashcan. Now, a reminder, I am not a picker, I am not a hoarder or anything similar. I was just curious.
So I picked up the stack of papers and there was a bunch of words on the front. Like any other reader, I read. To my surprise, it was good. There was no title and no author in front. It was in the trashcan. This was like a writing goldmine. I did what any other writer would do. I ‘preserved’ it. Not steal, not confiscate. I ‘preserved’.
Right now, the moon is up in the sky, the owl is hooting and the rain is pouring like crazy outside. All the perfect setting for a character monologue. If you read my first entry, I was freaking out about writing a novel. Reasons later but now, I have a novel and I am still freaking out. What happens if I publish this manuscript under my own name? Would I get sued? I mean, I found it in the trash which means that however wrote this didn’t want it, right? But then again, if I did publish it and he found out, I’m dead right? He’ll sue me for all I have.
So I did a little digging. Went into the internet and checked out this manuscript. I typed keywords of this novel and even discussed about this on some forum and Yahoo Answers (all while saying this is copyrighted) and it turns out this novel doesn’t exist or rather, hasn’t been published. So that means there is no copyright or author moral rights on this manuscript.
That brings me to the ultimate question. What should I do with this manuscript? Do I just leave it so that its brilliance would just die or should I publish it and ‘preserve’ its greatness? That is something I will ponder about tomorrow and possibly for the days to come.