In the music world, composers often take one theme--be it theirs or the melody of a previous composer--and write a new piece. This new piece that emerges can be a variation on the original theme. Sometimes, the new composer enjoys the theme so much that he creates more than one new variation. Here's The Source of All Truth (Wikipedia) on "Variations."
Last night, while watching the conclusion of the compelling "Collision"* on PBS's Masterpiece Contemporary, an idea struck me. Hey, what if...and I got Idea #1. I put it on a notecard and finished the program.
Afterward, while getting trounced in Scrabble by my wife (you don't want to know the score. Really.), I scribbled down a few more thoughts on Idea #1. That, of course, led to a modification of Idea #1, thus creating a new, separate notecard containing Idea #2. Both are decent and, undoubtedly, a third idea could emerge.
Thus my question: is there, in literature, a series of works that take the same basic premise and create variations? Variations on a Mugging? Variations on a Robbery?
*"Collision" was created by Anthony Horowitz, the man who gave us "Foyle's War." I can't recommend "Foyle's War" highly enough. I've written about it before (here and here). Get thee to your local library and see if they have any of the seasons available. Or, of course, you could just buy it.