I think getting inspiration from other writers or any media in general is awesome. I often listen to music when I’m writing, and whole characters can be created just based off of a song. Actually, I’ve written down a few ideas for entire stories that could be based off of some epic-sounding songs. You never know what’s going to stick and turn into your next favorite piece of writing or other media.
Movies are another thing that does it for me. I know a recent one that came out I enjoy dearly is Encanto by Disney. My all time favorite movie is How to Train your Dragon, which definitely sparks the idea of different dragon species.
In fact, species variation in general is a fun concept I want to explore more in my future works. I didn’t do that in Kingdoms of Blood
though I adore my living vampire lore
I think when it comes to inspiration, there is a difference between following something like it’s a required manual as opposed to taking the idea and turning it into something of your own. Obviously, you need to be careful when dealing with fairy tales/mythology outside of your culture, and getting a sensitivity reader for that is good practice. But I’m talking more about large writers before you.
For example, many folks take Tolkien as a practical god of fantasy. Everything he says goes. Or use D&D rules or lore for everything. That’s just not creative, if I may be blunt. You need to explore and expand. Being restricted by some writers’ style isn’t a way to bring new things into the fantasy genre. After all, it’s all about creativity. Why, then, does a particular creature have to be this way?
Sure, some traditional things should probably be followed. Vampires as parasites, for examples. Dragons as large beasts, usually reptilian (but sometimes furred) with either lizard-like or serpent-like bodies. That said, many rules are meant to be broken. Some readers might not like it, but that’s their opinion.
As for me? I abandon traditional lore, especially with vampires. I don’t really like them being undead, and see them way more interesting as a living species.
What creature or world will you create next?
Fun facts from The Kingdoms of Blood:
“Sam has threatened to eat a deity that’s annoyed her on more than one occasion.”
“At the beach, Darcia will help Ares collect shells, with a small goal to find some good ones for Smoke as well, who she knows appreciates the gesture.”
“Smoke did not actually kill an abundance of people in Elapid City, and actively avoided doing so. He has a lot of blood on his hands, but not as much as Ash tried to make it appear.”