In quilting, there's a kind of anti-pattern called Crazy Nines (if you read the quilting trades, it was featured in this Summer's issue of Fabric Trends.) Basically what you do is stack and rotary cut 12" squares of different fabrics into nine asymmetrical pieces, swap the pieces around, and sew them back together. The end result is sort of a lazy person's not-very-interesting crazy quilt.
All right, I'm being a bit of a sewing snob. It's not a bad piece for a beginner or a kid to make, because there are no templates involved, all the seams are straight and you end up with nine squares you sew back together. If you use the right fabrics, you can make a reasonably pretty quilt.
The problem I have with anti-patterns like Crazy Nines is that there's no real workmanship involved. Shortcut stuff like this encourages laziness and lack of imagination. The real art and skill involved in quilting gets shuffled to the sidelines. To me that's only a couple of seams away from using cheater cloth.
In writing there are all sorts of ways to take shortcuts with characterizations, too. Take some very popular characters created by other writers, stack them, cut them up and put them back together at random, and you may think you have a fully-realized character of your own. But what you really end up with is a hodge-podge of someone else's ideas.
You can only hide so much of that behind the excuse of a genre trend. The lack of workmanship always comes out in the story, too; anything that isn't your idea is probably going to pale in comparison to the original because it was never yours to begin with.
Rather than throwing together characters made out of bits and pieces of other authors' work, consider what you gain when you create your own characters according to your individual vision. Yes, it's a lot tougher to create versus imitate; at first you're probably going to mess up and have to redo a lot of work. But I think that's an important part of the process of becoming the writer you were meant to be instead of a clone of every other writer in the herd.
As a writer you bring a lot to the character worktable that has never been there before you got into this gig. Think of all the people you know, have met, have watched, have studied or have simply dreamed up over the years. Think of all the character ideas they've inspired for you. I can practically guarantee you that I don't know any of them the way you do, and I will never write any of them the way you can. They're yours, an entire secret world of them. They're worth investing your time and effort to bring them to the page, because no one else can -- and if they try, they'll only pale in comparison to you.
Writing outside the paranormal box – creating unique characters by Jennifer Estep
Creating Unforgettable Characters by by Vicki Hinze
Creating Well-Rounded Characters by Lori L. Lake
Creating Memorable Characters by Lee Masterson
The Mystery of Character by Robert Wilson