Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Senseless Cliche

One of the biggest turnoffs in any form of writing is a pointless cliche. Don't get me wrong: sometimes a cliche is the BEST way to get a point across. But the reason they become cliches is because they get used a LOT.

Many people talk about how to avoid writing cliches. To the point where it's a cliche to write about it. So what's the point of this post?

To encourage you, the reader, to find cliches that DON'T bother you. Or find NEW expressions, tropes, archetypes, or metaphors that jump off the page (cliche) and suck you into a story (another cliche).

Seriously: what's your favorite expression? Why?

What about archetypes? Do you like it when your Fearless Hero is also the Mentor in a story? How about the Star-crossed Lover turning into the Villain?

Give me examples, whether recent or in classic forms of literature that get you excited about a story.

I'll start: one of my favorite similes comes from THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE. The narrator describes the drink, the Pangalactic Gargleblaster, as being "the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging. Very expensive and bad for the head."

The first time I heard that, I almost wrecked my parents' car, which I was driving through Idaho on my way from Denver to Portland on the first road trip I'd ever taken on my own (at the age of 17. In my PARENTS' car).

Your turn. Leave a comment and let me know!

Written by a smug wizard with fancy rocket boots. Giles also writes over at High Aspirations on Mondays and Fridays. Most weeks. When he feels like it and/or has the time.

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