If you see a good idea somewhere – nick it! Just change the names, voices, scenery etc. enough to protect the reputations of the innocent characters from whom the idea first came.
According to ‘1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think’ (Robert Arp – 2013) – the second oldest idea that changed the way we think was cannibalism! (who can tell me the oldest idea?) Looked at in a slightly different light – don’t we still practice cannibalism?
It seems that there are only so many combinations of notes, leading to the worry in some quarters that we are in danger of running out of new musical compositions (skit on BBC Radio 1 – 2016). So what are we doing? Cannibalising the old songs. By the same token, it has been said that there are only seven basic plots: Overcoming the Monster / Rags to Riches / The Quest / Voyage and Return / Comedy / Tragedy / Rebirth (Christopher Booker – 2004). So what are we doing? Yep – you guessed it: cannibalising the old stories.
So there you are – go wild – fill your belly with the barely warm body parts of the stories you love – nick ’em at will.