|from publicdomainpictures.net - a very enticingly named site!|
Yesterday, Jerry Jenkins answered this question. At first, it seems that "You know what makes your message unique? You do!", feels like a cross between self-help literature and stating the obvious. In the following points, though, a great list emerges:
There's a new spin for everything.
A huge aspect of this is when you write. Sure, Shakespeare may have had some things to say about the human condition, but surely something else can be said now that four centuries have passed. Having had the experiences you had growing up, the surroundings you have now, the expertise that makes you knowledgeable, and the life that inspires your writing gives you that new perspective.
When will any topic ever truly be exhausted? I like this attitude. Even as seemingly a hackneyed setting as medieval-themed fantasy could use more character intrigue... or a drastic setting change. Even I'm doing something very vaguely similar. As much as humans have said over the millennia, we haven't said everything. The more we've read, the more we know what's necessary to fill the gaps.
This is probably the least common of the three but is probably still happening everywhere. Find your favourite old style is forgotten or was never read? Sometimes our favourite works are obscure... or sometimes we even think we can improve on them. I've been talking about this since the early days of this blog in 2012!
Jenkins's full version, sadly without my commentary, is in the bolded link above.