“A cliché is a cliché because it works”
― Feige Gornish
Well .. ain’t that the truth?
One of my mentors, Barbara Large, told me on our second meeting to ‘Get rid of all the clichés! I take on board everything she says. I am like an elephant, I never forget but, two years on I’m still doing it.
My long-suffering, resident critique(r)- in-chief read the 1000th rewrite of my synopsis yesterday, which came back with more highlighted sections than my last 999 efforts.
‘There are clichés in there.’ She said. You shouldn’t be using them.’
I have the audacity to call myself a writer and I’m not aware that I’m interspersing my work with unspeakable clichés? Sometimes they work, the problem is … sometimes … is way too much. The cliché may have become a big part of our vocabulary, but it’s no excuse to use them in your writing. They have got to go.
K.M. Weiland writes a blog, Helping Writers Become Authors and when she posted 3 Ways to Make your Clichés Work in your Writing, she sums the little critters up brilliantly. Although making me feel a little better by saying it’s pretty darn near impossible to write a story without clichés, she goes on to describe them thus…
‘They’re like a bright red balloon turned limp after the helium fizzed out. The brilliance is gone. And no self-respecting writer wants to use a lackluster phrase in his writing.’ K.M. Weiland
I have just re-written the ending for my novel-in-progress because I thought it was limp, so in order to save my self-respect, it’s back to the proverbial drawing board to cut the clichés.