When you read a great deal, you are very aware that fictional genres have a precept or process that they adhere to and ideas and story lines get re-constructed. yet a clever writer can take any ideas or concepts and make theme evolve and fluid.
I read fiction because the thrill for me is seeing how an author approaches a standard construct and makes it their own. There are two authors I am currently loving – their voices and world building are extraordinary – but their ideas are to me, ones I have read before. I don’t mean a vampire or plucky heroine or a moody ennui’d hero etc, I mean, what appear to me to be obvious story arcs and character profiles – let me clarify though I don’t think they are copying or plagiarizing the previous books. In my mind they are “refreshing” the storyline.
I don’t demand “all shiny, all new” (in fact, I love the downtrodden plain jane heroine or the skanky evil hero turns sort of good (in fact there are not enough around) or the really smart and sharp detective or the youth who is born with a destiny to slay the evil overlords!!)
The fascination for me (and awe) in how a concept can be re-used to completely create a new story.