While working on my current piece of fiction, The Amber Tower, a sort of fairy tale, I've found echoes of things I've read in the story. This is a courtship story with a bit of a twist. Like Repunzel and unlike since the prince is the one in the tower. He has a month to choose one of two princesses as his bride. The sorceress guardian of the land has shown them a likeness of him but he can only view them from a high window in the story. The first twist is that he has a month to make his choice or be in the tower for life. The second is that is has been transported from his own land where he has been urged to marry by his mother and his father. The Witch of the Woods tells him she loves him just as she loved his ancestor a hundred years before and Rafel, the current crown prince can break the curse she placed on his family. His refusal sends him to the land of the amber tower. Not only is there the Repunzel thread but there is a touch of The Lady or the Tiger and an O. Henry bit at the end.
Now that I've discovered the echoes in one story, I wonder what echoes are in the others I've written. I also wonder if I'll be aware of this as I write each new story. At my age I've read a lot of fiction and non-fiction. Perhaps what all writers do is weave in hints of what their reading habits have been. Any ideas anyone?