We watch everything, we pry into everything, and we take whatever shiny bit we might like. We haul it back to our nests and pile it like dragon’s treasure. And then we turn into replicators (pardon me Stargate SG1). But we take our treasure and sift through it and make things out of it. Amazing, wondrous things. We sculpt, we ratchet, we bend and weld . . . . We are writers.
If I looked up copycheating in the dictionary, I would almost expect to see that as the definition. And the best part is that it’s true. No one’s asked me where I get my ideas, but this is a great answer. Take a little bit from here, a little bit from there, twist this around, make this work as something else, and presto!