How often has this happened to you? You’re working on a novel, and simultaneously you’re reading a good book or story. And as you’re reading, you start thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should do something like that in my story.”
It happens to me constantly. I’m considering changing the entire genre/sub-genre of my novel just because I read a couple of good short stories. It’s crazy, right?
My excuse his time is that I’ve never read this particular genre/sub-genre, but still, it seems a bit drastic. Of course, I usually advocate drastic, so I’ll do it.
I never plagiarize, but I do tend to zero in on emotions, moods and character relationships. I was just reading a story about this group of friends who were a team with one, aristocratic leader. It was done very differently from what I was used to reading, and I became inspired.
Here’s a completely different thought I had recently. The word “unspeakable” is horrible, isn’t it? Because it’s non-specific, it calls on the worst possible thing you can think of, which is, of course, horrendous. It very much reminds of Lovecraft, who often referred to things so dark and horrible that to just know of them would drive a man insane.