By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy
In Saturday's post, I was talking about plots we see all the time the importance of being original. It dawned on me that it could have been taken to mean that using a tried and true plot was dooming yourself to failure.
Any plot can be made fresh with a new twist. It's our jobs as writers to put the brain cells to work and think up those twists. Even when we can see the end coming a mile away, getting there is most of the fun. My love of underdog sports movies is a classic example. I know the underdogs are going to win, but I'm on the edge of my seat anyway, and I cheer when they do win.
A unique character can add a new dimension to a well-known story. Gregory McGuire took the world by storm by writing The Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch's perspective in Wicked. Spielberg's idea of a grown up Peter Pan in Hook was sheer genius.
A unique setting can also add depth and dimension. Clueless is just Jane Austen for the modern day, but giving it a teen setting made a classic story fresh again.
So, finding the original and fresh in your work is vital, but you have a million ways to do that. Don't fret if your idea is tried and true, as long as you try it in a way that's uniquely true to you.