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?
We all have them, the little rituals we do every time we write.
I have a fixation with sparkling water. I get my water bottle, my glass, and as long as it is morning my cappuccino as well, and head up to my writing room. I always tidy my desk up before I start. There is something about having a tidy space that makes me feel work ready.
If the cats are in the house (more likely if it is a chilly winter day) they follow me up and find a comfy spot behind my laptop and snooze while I write.
I check Facebook, twitter, my blog stats. If anyone has left any comments on my blog I will respond. Then I close all them.
I open scrivener—my writing tool of choice.
Then I am ready to go.
I used to be terrible for editing as I go, but I have become more disciplined of late. I still have a little read of the last written chapter, but restrict myself to only basic fixes and then I move on.
I reward myself for a productive bursts by snacks, and little breaks.
Mostly, if I am actually writing, I just go with the flow and try not to interrupt myself. If I am struggling to focus, more breaks inevitably creep in.
What are your writing rituals? What is your favourite place to write?
Strange Rituals of Famous Writers
The Daily Rituals of Famous Writers
Writing Tools – Album on Imgur.
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Mythology is full of stumbles that turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps one of the greatest examples is from the Arabian Nights. A man is ploughing a field, but the plough becomes caught. When he investigates he discovers a ring, but it is not just a ring, and he instead finds a cave full of jewels.
Our treasure is not necessarily about a chest of gold, though. Our treasure may be the thing that gives us greatest pleasure, makes us feel at peace, and alive.
The stumble might be considered a point of failure. We are going about our day, doing what we always do, when something stops us, blocks us, causes us to halt or pause, to slip or fail. There, in that moment, is where we can find our treasure.
Perhaps the stumble is not the obstacle we first presume, but is in fact, the thing we most need.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
Perhaps a failure leads us to take another road or approach that reaps an entirely unexpected reward.
The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for.
And perhaps those stumbles, are our greatest opportunities for us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, and ultimately, to grow.