Basically, two questions: 1) Most people here comment on how you should evade using clichés and such, but how exactly do you do that? I can't think of any plot devices which haven't already been used before by seasoned authors... I'm coming to the realisation that the question is not "what?" I use with regards to plot devices but "how?" I use them. Same with clichéd character roles like the everlasting Obi-Wan archetype. 2) With borrowing ideas I mean, for example, you watch a movie or read a book and there are particular scenes in those which showcase stuff that might fit like a glove in your own plot (of course, not copied, but adapted). For example, the hero overcoming a lesser obstacle in order to reach the main villain (like a game's mini-boss), or creatures of the night (could be vampires or whatever) being shown in scenes revolving around sex, drugs and other vices. Is it not frowned upon to, say, borrow a little from here, a little from here and build your own stuff with those borrowed ideas, knowing they weren't exactly yours in the first place? I ask because here in the forum I feel like the readers won't respect what I write unless I come up with something that really stands out and amazes people. I admit it's a bit intimidating... Maybe I'm wrong?