How to Make an Old Plot New

Your fresh ideas make your story unique! Don’t miss the video!

Andrea Lundgren

Plots have been recycled ever since stories have been told, reusing themes like sacrificial death, the poor becoming rich, the ugly becoming beautiful, and other archetypes. Even great works like those of Shakespeare or Jane Austen can be traced to other influences, ideas, and concepts, but how do you make an old plot new? How do you avoid making it seem like fanfiction or a warmed-over version of something that’s already been done?

  • Recognize that it can be done. Nothing defeats creativity faster than a feeling like what you’re doing is pointless. From Hamlet to Sense and Sensibility to Wicked and Ever After, new versions of old stories can be enjoyable, original, and fun.
  • Look for something different you can bring to the tale. It could be selecting an alternative narrative method, like turning it into a graphic novel or musical, or it could be changing the point-of-view from someone…

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