Pondering Hollywood's lack of originality, Graham Powell blogged:
"...Has it been done before? Why is my version different? If it's not, I put it aside until I can come up with something new. Apparently Hollywood doesn't bother."
I try to write stuff that hasn't been done before, all while knowing it probably has been done.
The key to newness for me is in the characters. By virtue of their different life experiences and outlooks, no two authors will approach similar characters exactly the same way. No two characters will respond to similar situations exactly the same way. The deeper I get into character, the more unique my story seems.