This is a really good question. For me, I think the main thing is to remember that there is no such thing as a totally new idea. Ideas are a little bit like matter. You can change them, but you can’t totally create or destroy them. Actually, the best authors you’ve read didn’t come up with everything from scratch. Tolkien didn’t invent Elves, men, rings, dwarves or wizards. Lewis didn’t invent witches, or centaurs, or knights, or fauns. Both authors took the old and well-known, added a dash of new (hobbits, for example) and told a story that is known as a classic of literature.
I believe that Andrew Peterson uses the phrase, “Steal boldly.” Don’t be afraid to use other’s work as inspiration.
After all, the best stories are copied off the one God is writing in his children.
Forgiven. Loved. Creative.