After having done a bit of writing, I find that while I am enjoying books and movies, at the same time I am examining them in an almost clinical fashion, noting plot twists and turns of phrase, uses of setting and metaphor. It has made me more critical of the efforts of storytellers, but it also enables me to better appreciate their art.
That, and while no good writer will ever plagiarize another’s work— that’s grounds for ending a writer’s career on the spot, no discussion, no appeal — there’s nothing wrong with gaining inspiration from their ideas. After all, there were giants in those days, and it’s much easier to reach for new heights if we’re standing on their shoulders.
Of course, my wife and sons are not happy when I see a predictable plot twist coming and I tell them what’s about to happen….