The game has changed now that I have moved into the realm of serious writing. This is no longer jotting down stories on the back of napkins. This is no longer 300 words here, 200 words there – none of which see the light of day. I want the world to read my writing. This is serious. My words suddenly matter. And they better be free of clichés!
I imagine first drafts of all beginning writers are riddled with clichés (I hope it’s not just me). They are so easy to write – they are on the tip of our fingers, they roll off our tongues. When we are revising, we must rework those clichés. Easier said than done (ha! I’m having too much fun.).
But what if my characters are nothing but big fat clichés? What if my entire story is a cliché? This is where I keep finding myself stuck. I come up with an idea for a story that I L-O-V-E. I love my characters. I love the plot. I can think of nothing but this story. I write a draft. Then I read it. And think, what a cliché! I fall immediately out of love with my story and my characters. I move on to the next one.
Heck, I’m a cliché: Suburban housewife turned wannabe novelist, penning dystopian teen novel from Starbucks while children are at school.
I know that I am doing myself a disservice by not staying committed to my writing, by not working out the clichés. I know that clichés can be worked through by developing my characters more, or by adding an unpredictable twist to the plot. But my excuse du jour is: I’m stuck in cliché-land! My computer holds nothing but a cache of clichés! I will keep going so this thing called writing will work out for me. But today, I’m hating.
Are you finding yourself penning a pile of clichéd crap like me? Here are some articles I found on Writer’s Digest that could help:
How To Prevent Predictable Plots
12 Cliches All Writers Should Avoid