I was made to realise this week that there is no such thing as a completely original idea.
You can come up with something you believe is utterly unique, totally different from anything that has come before, entirely new, but someone somewhere will have done it.
Not exactly the same as you’ve done it. A different angle, perhaps, a different style of writing, a different setting, a different treatment of characters. But, something in that will be the same as your brilliant idea.
It’s very frustrating. It’s also very annoying when you’ve put a lot of work into an idea you believe is original only to find someone else got there before you. But…that doesn’t have to be the end.
I think I read somewhere there are only seven tales in the world (or is it three?) but the difference comes in the way you tell it. That’s where I think the originality has to come. It has to come in your style of writing, or the way you treat the idea, or an entirely new angle.
You don’t have to tell a new story. It’s alright to tell an old story if you tell it differently.