Have you ever read a book with the sinking feeling that the story seems so very, very familiar? In fact, it seems almost an exact replica of the story you are writing or have written. A story this author knows nothing about, just as you knew nothing about theirs. The farther you read in the already-published book, the more deflated you become. What hope is there for your story now?
Not only have I had this feeling in the past, but I am in the midst of it right now! As I am currently reworking the first novel I ever finished (almost 15 years ago!), a story no one but a few close friends know, I am also reading the latest novel by one of my most favorite authors. And there it is. A very similar plot line. Very similar time period. Even a few of the same character names! It would be extremely easy to be discouraged and scrap my own rewrite now. Learn more.