Q. I’m writing a story that has a lot of the same ideas as your books. Problem is, I hadn’t read your stuff before writing my story. Should I give up and write something else?
A. One of the great things about fantasy, and even fiction in general, is that two writers can take similar ideas and create very different stories. The Wheel of Time shares many similarities with Lord of the Rings and Dune, but is still its own distinct story.
So long as you don’t use the terms that I have used, or the trademarks that belong to my company (things like Mistborn, or Stormlight) the chances are that even though we began from similar places, we will end up with very different books.
Make sure your characters are your own in personality, but don’t be too afraid of getting inspiration from what other authors have written. Tell the story you want to tell. Stories can’t be trademarked, even if individual bits can be copyrighted, and if our ideas share some common themes, it probably just means we have similar inspirations.