Influences of Other Works

Sometimes, when consuming media of any kind, we come across something that we really like on a conceptual level and in execution. Something we ourselves would like to explore in a situation of our own. This sort of creative borrowing is especially prevalent in the impressionable teenage years and thus I am rather familiar with the concept. The ways this affects one’s writing is double-sided

Firstly, it can enrich your work if it sufficiently workable and liable to changes. Adapting something that interests you will likely interest others who also like this thing or activity you are portraying. Without being a ‘rip-off’ or stolen, it can bring in an otherwise untapped part of the audience. Sometimes a work is better with the ‘duct-tape’ that a borrowed concept provides.

The negative side of this sort of borrowing is the fact that a writer, or creator of any kind, may be sidetracked by the effects of the borrowed idea rather than adapting it for their own purposes. I ran into this problem in my earliest works, trying to copy ‘cool’ things wholesale into my novels. While it can be enriching to include a variety of things, it can turn into an equally likely mish-mash of cliches. Not everyone can execute concepts of every kind into workable results.

Use borrowing carefully, never steal and remember to be yourself when writing your fiction.


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