When I’m a storyteller,
I steal a lot of my plots I pay tribute to a lot of source material. I make no attempt to hide this in my RPG storyline notebook. I’ll have a title at the top of a page like “Haunted House Flipper” or “Deadwood With Magic”, and some notes of elements I find interesting in those bits of media. Sometimes it’s a single idea, such as the bar location of The Red Strings Club; at other times it’s as expansive as the basic plotline of a Poirot mystery flipped upside-down (what if somebody accidentally died, and it totally looks like you did it, and you have just a little bit of time to hide the crime from the investigator coming in?).
Whatever it is, I really enjoy
ripping off taking creative inspiration from things I read, watch, and play. It’s quite difficult to create a new thing from scratch, but if you can twist something or just put a familiar thing in a new setting (let’s face it: Firefly is just “what if there were cowboys in space?”) oftentimes people either won’t realize it and enjoy it without hinder, or realize it and enjoy it all the more by leaning into it. There’s even a special joy you can take in hamming up a scene with a poor impression of the source material.