The other day I was reading the Write for Kids post on how to create your own writing niche. The idea was to take an overused idea, such as the bed time story, and give it a twist to make it new and different. One of their suggestions was to take “bedtime story” which many editors will tell you that they see way too many of and, with a twist, change it to “wake up story.”
Today, it hit me — what a great way to create a humorous story. That’s what Aaron Reynolds did with Carnivores. Instead of having a person who wants to be a vegetarian because he likes animals, you have an animal, specifically a carnivore, who wants to be a vegetarian because no one likes him. If you haven’t read this story, go get it from your library. It sounds like an odd twist but it works and it works well.
How can you employ such a twist with some of your own stories?
Instead of a story about a child who is afraid of clowns, you might have a clown who is terrified of children. Your rhino doesn’t want to play football. He wants to dance with the flamingos. The mom in your picture book doesn’t council caution, but take some risks.
I’m not saying any of these ideas is brilliant but take out a story that you’ve been told isn’t original enough and start applying a twist here and a twist there. Go for the wild and wacky. It might not work but then again the results might be something fun — like a wolf who tries to eat berries instead of bunnies.