Have you ever read multiple books by an author and realized you could figure out exactly what would happen next? Different characters, different setting, same methodology. Granted, some folks like to figure out the ending, but most people like that "gotcha" ending.
Writing a novel that's fresh requires hard work. Am I doing the research, the brainstorming, and finding the new way to express old ideas? Since only two manuscripts occupy my computer hard drive, I'd be interested in your answers. How do you keep your work from becoming the same-old, same-old?