This apparent dilemma has been driving me mad with my story. The reason is that I've been coming up with character appearances, traits and goals that I feel are a bit too close to other stories I've read, and, since I want to eventually publish (or attempt to publish) my work, my biggest fear is that there'll be people who'll point at me with angry fingers and say "you copied X", or "this is a rip off of Y", and so on. However, other people might just view it as "he took inspiration from Z" and, if it's true, I'll be the first to openly admit it, as it's something like a homage to authors I admire. I'll give an example: in my story, the main character is hunted by vampires because her blood, which allows her to heal even large wounds at a fast rate, will grant them enough power to establish a rule in the world without opposition from groups which defend humans (vampire slayers, the Catholic Church, etc.). The source of her healing power is a mutation in her bone marrow cells which makes her produce stemcells at will (sort of like a reverse cancer, which fits since her mother dies from leucemia). In an anime I watched (Blood+, don't know whether you guys are familiar with various anime), there's a class of characters called Schiff who need the blood of a certain vampire queen to survive. When I realised the similarity of the concept, I really felt bad... As I want to write something original and I don't know whether using elements which were already featured in other works is ok or not. There's other stuff in my story which I'm having trouble with (like the existence of a vampire-and-demon slaying character from the Church, which is a bit cliché but I don't want to drop her), but I think I'll address those in other posts if needed be. I've lurked here a bit and saw a few people aren't too fond of clichés so I fear you may come down hard on me... Well, I'm open to criticism. Any thoughts?