...you realise the characters you are growing to love in your story are actually a bit too similar to characters you've read in other stories you love. I've been enjoying planning a new storyline recently that I already know has elements of other favourite novels, and that's ok because I really enjoy the genre and writers' styles. But up until last night I felt they were sufficiently different - more cliche than copied for lack of a better description! They DO have their own personalities and I don't feel as though they are completely predictable or stereotypical. The characters work well together and I feel are terrific for my plot and subplots. However last night I realised that at least three of my characters are probably too similar to the other authors' characters, although I didn't consciously create them as such. The more I thought about my guys, the more I felt sick that they were pretty much just the original characters who jumped into my story, even though I *feel* like I have created them differently. I can see the differences, but I know if I was reading my novel and had read the other authors' novels I would probably draw comparisons. How do you determine if your characters (or plot etc) are too close for comfort to another text or world? Where is the line between allowing your world to be its own, or being stuck in Copy Land? Is it just a case of "write it" or should I attempt to alter things? What would you do?