One of my absolutely favorite television shows is Stargate: SG1. It ran for 10 seasons. Why do you ask did a science fiction show all on it's own, run for so long?
Well, because it had originality. The writer's were innovative, but also cliche on what would go on in the storylines. And a lot of the originality does come from the cast as well, but I have to say--they really do like to input into the show how cliche things are and how unoriginal some people are. Quite funny actually.
There is a moment in the show where the villains go on thier, "I'm your God and if you don't bow to me and worship me, I will destroy you." Well, Jack O'Neill (played by Richard Dean Anderson) would always come out and say, "Don't you have anything better to say? I mean, I've heard it from all you bad guys and it is so cliche." I believe the writer's really wanted to show how things are going unoriginal these days. Even Stargate gets cliche in some of it's storylines.
But lately, the newest fad in writing is vampire romance. How old is that going to get? How fast is it going to wear out? Just because we all are just regurgitating an idea. If you look at it, Stephenie Meyer has just regurgitated many other classics. She says that she was influenced by Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights and The Merchant of Venice. All classic tales of love, death, and deceit. Although I love Stephenie Meyer's "voice" in her writing, it is a cliche to have star-crossed lovers, love triangles, etc.
It doesn't mean that she wasn't original. Who could come up with the idea that vampires "sparkle" in the sunlight? There is originality in her story.
Writer's now are just regurgitating other stories. Even I notice how cliche some of my stories are and how I seem to be copying bits and pieces here and there into another story.
What I'm trying to get at here is "be original". Be innovative in your thoughts on your stories. Don't just look at your favorite book and decide you want to write something just like that--because you will basically hinder some copyright infringements when you do.
There are authors who really have been innovative and who really have sat down and let their subconcious take care of things for them. They let their stories twist and turn on their own. These authors have studied the backgrounds, they have learned of different things to do with their stories.
When I have been working on my stories, I always think to myself, "Am I being a copycat or have I been original in my thinking?" My first draft of a story I finished last May is, in my opinion, innovative. I have created a vampire race that can't be out in the sunlight without a certain jewel created by a witch in the 15th century. Why not have vampires who will vaporize but can be saved by something else? That story--I have other ideas in it that I believe are of itself, original. It doesn't mean the whole of the story is...I just have things to work on now to make it more "innovative."