Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Avoid 'em like the plague...

Oh, the dreaded cliche. I've been known to succumb to a few of these in my writing at times. As the self-proclaimed queen of one-liners, it's often hard to resist. Who doesn't love a good one-for-all and all-for-one? I know I do. In high school, my best friend was in awe of my uncanny ability to recall the latest t.v. commercial jingle word-for-word, tune included (of course, it wasn't often actually IN tune). And, I can still remember my Sophomore English teacher warning me, in almost unreadable scribbled red handwriting, of the dangers of using cliches in my essays. Yes, but how else was I supposed to describe my character's shock if I'm not allowed to say: "It was like smacking into a brick wall?" Hmmm??? Fast forward a few years. I've learned to suppress my cliche urges, at least as much as an addict can, but sometimes I fall off the wagon (hee-hee, see what I did there.) I've read on various Internet sites (and we all know the Internet is king) that it's okay for a character to use it in dialog, because that's how people talk sometimes. And so, I've used this advice to my advantage. Jackson, a brooding Watcher in my YA paranormal novel, IGNITE, has been known to quip a few on occasion. So, my question is: Do you use cliches in your dialog? Or, would you not touch them with a ten-foot pole? Leave a comment and let's discuss. But, if you can't take the heat...get out of the kitchen!


  1. Side note: I found my way to your blog from YAlitchat. =)

    It's funny that your post is about cliches and even more funny that in my MS I used the "like smacking into a brick wall".
    Maybe you read my first five pages and that's what inspired your post--well, that would kinda suck. Or coincidence is the culprit here. Haha But I clearly need to change that either way!

  2. Haha.

    I'm happy to report: coincidence. Although, I would love to read the first five of your MS. I'll make my way over to YALITCHAT and see if I can't check it out.

    Thanks for finding me here...

  3. I remember in 8th grade, my English teacher had us come up with idioms and we learned and discussed them as part of the curriculum. Are idioms and cliche's the same? I think they're great either way and only an issue if English is your 2nd language. Sure if you're writing a formal English paper, maybe not, but otherwise I think they add fun and creativity to our language.