Encourage the copying. In fact, tell Young Writer to pick three of his favorite characters. Then, get sneaky: Have the writer choose the strength of one of those characters, the flaw of another, and a physical feature or two of the third, and then list those items. He’s now looking at an amalgam of three characters—and thus a copy of none. Now have the child write down what Mr. Amalgam wants more than anything in the world, making him a full character complete with a goal to strive for, a flaw that hinders his efforts, a strength to help him overcome that flaw, and a look that’s all his own. Voila! A unique protagonist with shades of the writer’s favorite heroes, making the child more eager than ever to write his story.