Just as phrases can be cliché, so can plots and characters. Giving an old plot or character a new twist is what we all (hopefully) shoot for.
Now that I’m finishing up my college degree I use this tool for my writing there. How can I give a fresh new twist to an old assignment? This isn’t easy to think of with five loads of laundry lurking in another room! How do I do it? I look at it in different ways: through the eyes of my children, my husband, the dog or even the laundry!
Oh Captain, My Captain!
Remember that line from Dead Poets Society? Prodded by their teacher (aka Robin Williams), the students got up on their chairs and tried to look at things from a fresh perspective.
This works for more than school assignments. It works when applied to short stories, novels, essays, poetry, whatever writing you are working on at the moment.
Brand Spanking New
Okay, say you’re writing a story and your topic is Christmas. What’s new about Christmas? Well, I live in Florida and we don’t generally get snow at Christmas time down here, ya’ll. Usually you think of a “Winter Wonderland" and a “White Christmas" in connection with northern states. So I wrote about what makes Florida unique at Christmas, in “The Colors of Christmas. "
Go For The Unexpected
How about when you have a practice prompt you are writing for. Take this example from a prompt I wrote for a couple of years ago: A cat, a kitchen and a bottle of ketchup.
The first thing you think of is a bit of comedy – cat sees ketchup, knocks ketchup over and paw paints the kitchen floor. It was my first inclination too, since I enjoy writing in comedic tones. However, I figured that was the direction everyone else participating would be going. The rebel in me decided to go in the completely opposite direction and wrote one of the best stories I had ever written up to that point: “Acceptance. "
Twist and Shout
Another way to add a fresh twist to your stories is to mix genres. We’ve all heard of a romantic-comedy or romantic-drama but how about romantic-science fiction or romantic-mystery? Yes, it’s out there, but not as much as romantic-comedy, so it’s new and exciting.
Spring cleaning can be applied to more than your house or your laundry. Try giving your writing a freshening up, as well.
© 2006 Holly Bliss. All Rights Reserved. This document may be freely redistributed in its unedited form and on the condition that all copyright references are kept intact along with the hyperlinked URLs.
About the Author: Using her writing as paint on the canvas of her life, Holly Bliss is an eclectic writer, newsletter editor and an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writers .