Sometimes, writing fiction requires a little inspiration, a little nudge. Sometimes it even needs a swift kick in the butt...
Personally, I keep a file of story ideas handy. Every time I think of an interesting idea, however humble, or however far-fetched, I jot it down in my ideas file.
Often times my ideas come from something I've read or heard. Sometimes I read someone else's story and think, "Y'know, I would have handled that differently. If I were going to write about [enter idea here] I'd have done it this way..." ... and the idea gets plopped down into my ideas file.
Is that Pleager... Pfleageris... Plaguer... Is that cheating? BTW, while Googling the word 'plagiarism', I stumbled on a website that supposedly checks for you. https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
I just found it, so no reviews yet, but I'll let you know.
And, to answer my own question; No, one cannot copyright an idea. Nor do I intend to reproduce a story already written by someone else. But if I read about a new [topic/idea/re-examination of an old idea/etc.] and think it's the coolest thing since sliced bread, then it goes into my ideas file (and eventually something similar may very well show up in a story of mine.)
Lemme give you an example: I listen to a cool podcast called Lore, produced by Aaron Mahnke. He produces a new 1/2 hour long podcast every week about all sorts of folklore and potential origins from around the world. I'm an avid listener and, if you haven't tied it, I highly recommend you check it out. You can see his website at: http://theworldoflore.com.
One podcast I listened to recently (for the third time) talked about stones falling from the sky (they blamed it on a local widow - said she was a witch.) Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I'm writing a story about witches. I never thought about them making stones fall from the sky, but...
Now, if I do have my necromancers conjure rock-like projectiles out of thin air, I'll need to acknowledge Aaron and LORE for the idea, but nobody will call it plagiarism. It's inspiration.
See you next week,