We all know that cliches should be avoided like the plague, but that can be easier said than done. They can be a thorn in the writers side, and hard to spot when you can’t see the wood for the trees.
Yes writing in cliches and / or writing a story that plays out like a cliche will make your readers groan.
Where do cliches hide
- in common phrases or words – there may have been a few above 😉 . . . How about twisting one up? Saying the same thing from a fresh perspective? Some great examples here Rewrite (and Rev up) Cliches
- in the story plot – the computer geek who becomes a ass-kicking ninja . . . what about an ass-kicking ninja who becomes a computer geek?
- in the stereotypes we apply to characters – drug lords wear designer suits and speak with an Italian accent . . . how about a school teacher who is dying of cancer? Hmm worked in ‘Breaking Bad’.
So, cliches are not all bad, and can actually be used to innovate and invigorate your plot, characters and even your prose.
Have you tried playing about with writing cliches? How did you break the cliche mould?