The Famous Cliche And Other Writing Things

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Today’s post is brought to you by Ruby. Thanks, Ruby!


Writing is hard, harder for some more then others, but even for them it’s hard.

You can have all these problems, writers block for instance, I’m absolutely positive that this happens to all writers, there’s no denying it. It may be that you are stuck on how to describe a character, setting or feeling. I often find that I spend a lot of time working out how I’m going to help readers see what I’ve been imagining. As it is your work they won’t know unless you set the scene for them.

My biggest advice for you, although it might be obvious anyway, clichés. Ah, the marvellous cliché, for example: love triangles. Now, I’m not saying don’t include them, just try to make them original somehow.

In a lot of dystopian books you’ll find that the protagonist is often ‘the chosen one.’ Again, I’m not saying don’t ever use that idea, just don’t have it be the same as other books you’ve read or heard about.

There are also the similes, those extremely cliché similes, the ones everyone uses: dark as the night, as white as snow, as quiet as a mouse. You want to use them (especially when you have writers block) but sometimes most of the time, you are better off not to use them.

Cliché, to me, means ‘a phrase or situation that is so commonly used that one often expects it,’ I very much doubt you want you work to be predictable, do you?

Moving on, when you are trying to describe a feeling though words it can often be hard, there are some authors, I find that can make it like you are the character that is feeling those things, you can almost feel the pain or hurt or happiness that they are gong through. It’s not easy to do this, but I think – as with most things – that if you practice enough you will become better. I’m not saying perfect, I hate that saying ‘practice makes perfect’ because no one will ever be perfect at anything. Yes, they may be amazing and talented, but there’s always room to improve. Oh, look how cliché I’m being.

Progress. Progress is the word you should be using, ‘practice makes progress.’ I always seem to discover that I am awful at describing how things look but can describe feelings easily.

I wrote this the other day:

“She dived head-first into the pool of ice-cold water. The feeling spread though her body one limb at a time. It hit her head first, it was backbreaking and freezing. She ached with numbness, the feeling seeping throughout her, turning her blood to ice and slowly, slowly freezing over her heart. She felt it sharp stabbing pains, as if there was a sharp, jagged shard of ice slicing through her skin. She was a lost cause, she meant nothing to the world any more. Nothing.”

I’m sorry it’s not very cheery, but then what is?

Do you have any tips for descriptive writing?

Did you enjoy Ruby’s post? Let us know in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “The Famous Cliche And Other Writing Things

  1. I love “practice make progress” because that is so true. There have been many times in my writing when I wrote something and it turned out amazing only to have the next paragraph flop.
    Cliché are annoying at times, but sometimes we readers strive for them. Many times over I pick up a book because it has the obvious moments which will happen. It’s exciting when you know those moments will happen but then the author changes a little bit ever so slightly and makes the cliché their own. That takes great writing talent.
    Thanks for sharing your great words, Ruby!

    • I find that to be a great quote. No one is perfect and no one will ever be perfect. We all make progress, and make it at our own pace and style.
      And I agree. Cliches can be annoying, but if done right, they’re enjoyable.
      I think Ruby wrote a wonderful post. 🙂

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