Janet Sumner Johnson
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dark and stormy night

Conquering Clichés, Part 1

Jan

07, 2011 |

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It was a dark and stormy night. My heart pounded as I prepared to write this post. I got butterflies in my stomach, and suddenly I felt cold as ice. . . .

Clichés: Ever-lurking. Ready to spring themselves into your manuscript. Sneaking in with those fiery-tempered red-heads and ditzy cheerleaders. All those overused ideas and expressions that we roll our eyes at in others’ work, but fail to see in our own. (Okay, I may be speaking for myself here).

The first time I saw “cliché” marked on my manuscript by one of my critique partners, I was chilled to the bone. “What?! My work is original! I wrote it with my own hand!” Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with it.

Since then, my eyes have been opened, and I’ve improved by leaps and bounds. Trust me, the grass IS greener on the other side. It’s worth the effort to conquer the cliché (and that doesn’t always mean you can’t use them). 😉

So the thing about clichés is that there are multitudes of them. In fact, there are so many ways to be cliché, they’ve had to categorize them. Furthermore, there’s even a cliché dictionary! I bet you didn’t know that.

I know I’m leaving your hanging, just when it started to get interesting, but I am a woman of few words, and this post is getting long.

So to close (with the promise to continue this discussion next time), what is your favorite/most detested cliché?

P.S. Can you find all the clichés in this post? I’ll mail a candybar to whoever gets it right first (on their first guess). 😀

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