First Discussion - The Fandom Psychiatrist
Hello Joseph. I am busy procrastinating and happened to wander in. It's a nice little place you've got here.
I think I have a much different slant than others, simply because I've been lied to very, very seriously in real life (and fallen for it) and I have an overwrought imagination.
I think the serious plagiarists are control-freaks and also manipulators. These are the ones who plagiarize successfully.
Personally, when I read something it is an escape--a door to another world! Often I am loathe to even speak of the characters to other people. They are secret friends, and I keep them close. This might be what plagiarists are doing in an extremely exaggerated sense. They are making characters theirs for good, "claiming" them.
I think it's also a fear of who they are as people. They live in imaginary worlds (like I do, except deeply exaggerated) because they cannot bear the real one. It is easy to give false truth in fandom. I think everyone does it to some extent. They exaggerate parts of themselves and keep hidden other parts. Plagiarism might just be a mask, the same the honest of our communtiy wear, except a whole lot thicker.
As Orson Scott Card once said (and he arguably plagiarized from Le Guin), "It is impossible to pretend to be something and not become it." I truly believe that plagiarists believe that this is their own work. Maybe they feel they have to for their own insanity. (And what is theft but a material lie?)
In my experiences with pathological liars, what makes them so very convincing is their own belief in what they say. It's a bit shocking, really. They channel emotions from what is "real" into what is "false" so that they can avoid whatever it is that they are running from.
I don't know. Maybe I am wrong. But I think plagiarism goes alot deeper than just wanting attention.