Thou shalt not steal stories from others!
That's one of the creeds every good author lives by. It encompasses story suggestions from friends, fans, and critics. It covers anything you share with the author to proof read or test read.
Don't get me wrong, though. Original thought isn't so much hard to come by, as it is thought of already. I've always imagined a planet (I call mine Planet Laura) filled with everything and everyone ever dreamed about or imagined. Maybe there's a huge solar system filled with these Creator Muses. It'd certainly make sense, since so many people who've never met or conversed come up with the similar ideas all the time.
Some authors might rationalize themselves into believing they came up with something, but to be honest, everything around us feeds our muse. Beautiful artistry, people living out their lives, and people acting way outside of their pigeon holes. I've read books that triggered ideas for completely unrelated stories. It's how our minds work!
My muse changes shape and form all the time. It switches between different modes, depending on my Libra balance at the time. I've gone from drawing everything in my head to voraciously reading for weeks straight. I call these two extremes Creating mode and Consuming mode, respectively. I have it on good authority that many creators do a huge amount of consuming!
The main triggers for flipping between the two modes seems to directly relate to how full the Muse is. The strangest things can feed it, but it always munches whatever passes its way. Nomnom ideas, slurp people stories, crunch on dreams. Music is a great switch flipper for me, but it can make consume mode switch on, too!
In short, there's an oft-written Author's Creed that is mostly made up of three parts:
- Ego will not allow theft.
- Muse compatibility will not allow theft.
- Copyright law will not allow theft.
We love to hear ideas, and are generally glad to lend a hand with your own creative journey. You have a muse, too, so stretch out your creative wings any way you can!