On age 220 of "How to Read Like a Professor," the last sentence of the first paragraph reads: "There is only one story."
This is the saddest truth I have ever come across and I have been battling that statement since I could write a coherent sentence. A story is a story because it fits the requirements, and these requirements link all stories together. If a story has a rising action, falling action, all that fun generic stuff, guess huh? So does nearly every other story. Characters, setting, everything links to everything links to everything links to everything. Chile might not have much in common with Alaska, but you can still walk from one to the other.
What's really disheartening is over 4000 years ago, an Egyptian was saying the same thing (page 222). If this was a problem when they were using papyrus, think how recycled we are today! Dah! It's so frustrating! It's almost impossible to be wholly original and originality is the new Levi Jeans...
These are the pains of the writer. So many times I'll start writing a story and a few pages in I'll begin to think I've seen it somewhere before, that someone else has done this idea that I came up with myself.
Maybe I'll switch to Painting.