So, I know good and well that at this point, everything's been done. That the idea of a "new idea" should be stricken from your mind. But, I keep feeling that the more I add to my story, it unintentionally becomes so similar plot and character wise to other things I've read or seen. You start with a character, make them a kid, but then you decide they need a mentor, but then you want to kill the mentor off early on so that the kid can take the lead, and to make it more fun, you want to give him powers, but then you realize you need a strong female character, so you create a sharp-tongued rebellious girl, but because this kid has powers, he needs an even stronger villain with powers, and you need to make the struggle personal, so throw some sort of family history in there, and all of a sudden you've got Star Wars. That's not my story, but it was my example. I guess my question is not, "how do you avoid rehashing old ideas" so much as "how do you cope with rehashing old ideas." Because even if certain plots are similar (Firefly is about rebels vs the alliance -- Star Wars?), people don't ever say "Oh, all Joss Whedon did was copy Star Wars." But it's a fear I have. I know when The Hunger Games came out, a lot of people said she just copied Battle Royale. I hate the idea of people saying "Oh, that's just an updated version of so-and-so." Or "Oh, he just mixed yada-yada with so-and-so." If my protagonist is a small boy whose destiny it is to defeat the greatest evil in the world, I can't help but think "Yep. There's Harry Potter." Just looking for some writer therapy here.