1: a trite phrase or expression; also: the idea expressed by it
2: a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation
3: something that has become overly familiar or commonplace
I'll be honest. Up until, oh, a week ago, I thought I had this one figured out. I was the one to quickly highlight and click that comment button when critiquing your manuscript and point out, "Cliche! Try again." I avoided using commonplace sayings and overused descriptions in MY manuscript. I would never go there--such an elementary writing mistake.
Then I get my edits back from my agent. Yeah. So this is where I fell short: several of my descriptions were just too easy. The words might have been written in a new way, unfamiliar, and therefore I thought: non-cliche. But the idea behind it? It's been done before. I needed to come up with fresher metaphors and a different way of looking at things. To quote Jennifer: "When an easy option presents itself in fiction, ignore it and move on, to seek out the more surprising and often more challenging options."
And what a challenging process it has been. Whining and pulling my hair out and lots of chocolate kind of challenging. Here's what it looks like, pretty much:
1-I can't do this. It's too hard.
2-Why is this happening to me?
3-I tried and it sucks. See? SEE?
4-Ooh, distractions on the internet.
5-Pass the chocolate.
6-Wait, this might actually work.
7-*move words around aimlessly*
8-Delete. Delete. Command Z. COMMAND Z!
9-This is beautiful stuff. Wow, I'm an amazing writer.
10-Shed a tear and give an impromptu speech to the Pandora web page.
Yep, sounds about right. Then I move on to the next cliche. And as my CP's well know, the process may also involve some nail-biting freak-outs where I send them emergency emails to make sure I haven't completely lost my mind. Usually at steps 3.5 and 8.2ish.
So...do you catch yourself using cliches in your writing? How do you go about fixing them? *Bonus points to whoever can point out all the cliches I've used in this blogpost.* I'm just kidding, sort of. :)
You all know how much I like music. One of my favorite bands is Sigur Ros based out of Iceland. Here's an awesome music video of theirs that takes a common cliche and turns it on its head.
And finally, poll results:
55% of you have never read the last page of a book before reading it. Very good.
27% of you have done it once or twice but don't make it a habit. I think I can forgive that.
9% of you do it all the time. Um...are you INSANE? I want names and numbers. Now. :)
And 9% of you said no comment. "Is wise, this choice you make," says Ilimayoda.
Thanks for participating!
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Posted by ilima at 2:00 AM
Buy my books!
Who am I anyway?
- ► 2016 (9)
- ► 2015 (14)
- ► 2014 (65)
- ► 2013 (108)
- ▼ August (7)