The Compliment that Insults

Today, I found out what it feels like to have someone claim credit for one of my stories as their own. It was on one of the many forums that I frequent, and post on, and they posted one of my better stories as proof that they were an excellent writer.

There was that tiny flash of excitement that someone thought my writing was good enough for proof of their literary talent, but that went up like water on a searing hot pan. Then, it just hurt. I'm obsessed about giving credit where credit is due. I don't ask, I just do it. So, to find one of my best stories--which I have free on my (other) website--being claimed by someone else, it feels like they jabbed a bunch of claws into my heart and tore it out to parade it around. They didn't change any name, the content, or anything but the title. It upset me.

I responded poorly, though, that part I know. I started by a series of links on different sites of where I posted the story or had a discussion about it. Just to show that I could back my claim. I gave links to the images that the story talked about but they didn't include. Then, I promptly wrote a short essay about stealing someone's work and then a critique on their incompetence of hiding it. I didn't mention everything, but I commented on a couple of the highlights.

Still doesn't help the feeling of being violated.