Are you influenced by the work of other writers

As I've pointed out in another forum post, using another writer's plot is very common and it's not wrong. A great deal of fiction is a re-write of another work updated to the current time and setting. A prime example is the movie "The Martian", based on the novel by Andy Weir. It could easily be considered an adaptation of Daniel DeFoe's "Robinson Crusoe". Both have very similar plots - a man alone surviving by his wits after being marooned in a hostile environment and later being rescued.


Before and immediately after WWII, there was a proliferation of so-called "men's adventure" magazines. These magazines were originally pulp magazines and contained stories of men and adventure. While some of the stories about WWII were indeed true, many if not most were pure fiction. Most had at least some soft-core erotic content.


Each magazine cover was a painting, not a photograph, of a scantily clad, beautiful women in some sort of distress with a tough, but good-looking guy in the process of rescuing her, and this was also the plot of many of the stories. There were stories of WWII daring and bravery as well as stories about expeditions of adventure such as safari's into Africa, exploration of unknown lands, conflict with wild animals and other topics deemed to be "manly".


Many well-known authors wrote these stories, several before they became well known. Examples are Mario Puzo, Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Upton Sinclair, Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mickey Spillane. In some cases, these stories were collected and re-published as paperback books.


My dad bought these magazines and I would "borrow" them and read every story. Most did not survive the advent of "slick paper" magazines that featured photos of semi-nude women along with some stories that followed in the 1970's.


The magazines I remember are "Argosy", "True", "For Men Only", and "Stag", and the characters, plots, and style of writing have influenced a lot of what I write.


Are/Were you inspired to write a story by another publication or author? Do you write for Noveltrove in hopes of finally being paid to write? I'm sure other writers would find that interesting. Let us know with a comment.