Posted: December 30, 2009 in Uncategorized, Wednesday's Writing Tip
Tags: , , ,

Why is every FBI agent a pretentious, self-important clod?

Why do hookers always have hearts of gold?

Why are sidekicks usually of a minority group and then, because of whatever minority group they are from, they have special powers, insights or spiritual sensibilities?

Why are people who are computer experts always strange and quirky?

These are cliches. They are a sign of lazy, unimaginative writing. Cliches are boring and they are a sign that you are phoning in your work.

Next time you’re writing twist things around. Make the FBI agent a reggae fan, the hooker a needlepoint expert, give your sidekick a girlfriend and make him a white, middle-aged guy and make the computer guy, well,  normal.

The characters will take on new dimensions and you’ll challenge  your readers to think.

And that’s the goal, right?

Hre’s a great website on cliches

  1. Billy D says:

    If I had a nickel for every recovering alcoholic detective in the murder-mystery world …I’d have more money than all the tea in China you could shake a stick at.

    Happy New Year, TS!
    Hope to see you down to AJ’s soon.

  2. Dr. S.G.C. says:

    I am totally with you. I am tired of seeing the “cliche effect” in books and really in all types of writing. Many people have come to accept the false truth that people are divided into “types.” I wish that people would stop blinding themselves with Hollywood fables and other writing forms that do not show the actual truth. For people reading cliche, here’s a little phrase I made for you. We are much more different than we are alike, but it’s that difference that binds people of similarities together.

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