I have recently started to invent a story that I hope to turn into a published novel. I'm still at the very beginning of the process though, I'm still not done sketching my plot. I sometimes have these gusts of inspiration that win me over and have me come up with a lot of ideas at once, but the big issue is that I can't help but think of a movie/novel that has already used that idea right after thinking about it. So with each idea I have, I start wondering whether I thought up the idea first and linked it to an existing work afterwards or whether it's the reverse. If it's the reverse, it makes me feel guilty for it pretty much means I copied an existing work and thus have no personal merit, doesn't it? And even when I thought of a certain idea before linking it to an existing work, I still feel discouraged because the fact that I knew of the existing work probably subconsciously brought me to that specific idea (hence the fact that I immediately link the two afterwards)... or something? I don't know... I feel so uncreative and dull for not being able to come up with plot elements that haven't been done before (love triangles, rebellion against the current powerholder, commitment fear when it comes to relationships, etc.) to the point that I often consider quitting writing my novel. But then again, is there really something that hasn't been done before? Should one feel guilty/be discouraged for failing to be original? Or does the writer who re-uses old ideas and makes something nice out of it have as much merit as the one who makes something nice out of something completely new?