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Are You a Cliche Writer?

December 14, 2012
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Consider the guy in the office who greets you every day by saying, “how’s it hanging?”

“Working hard or hardly working?”

“Well you know what they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“Ok, see you later alligator.”

Annoyed yet?


What if he comes back every evening and says the same thing. That should do the trick, right.

But what’s so annoying about this guy anyway?

It’s not the fact that he’s checking up on you.

He uses all the cliches that make women want to roll their eyes, and guys want to cuff him down.

Well, cliches will sound exactly like that in a story. They really turn-off a reader.

I actually had a couple of them in my first novel. But after reading many articles on how to write better, and after coming across several cliches while rewriting during my 2nd draft, I realized how terrible they are for writing.

Sure, using 1 or 2 of them may be cool while having a couple drinks with your buddies, but that’s where you draw the line.

Some cliches are so over used that they are considered illegal in certain countries.

If you told the Queen of England that you were “sweating like a pig”, she just might point at you while looking at her guards and reply, “off with his head.”

Yes, cliches are that serious.

So do yourself and your readers a favour and delete all the cliches in your story, every last one.

Then swear you will never write one again.

So are you or where you ever a cliche writer? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to read Dirk the Juggernaut, this month’s trailer of my latest book, King Larsen.

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From → Writing Tips

  1. Yes, these things can be annoying, but it depends on a lot of factors

    Take fantasy, if you shun all cliches like the plague, it will take a lot of hard ploughing for you to create your own “pure” ideas. In the end, the novel is at risk of being too bizarre, which no publisher will buy. Besides, cliches exist for a reason – readers loved them once and they made great books sell. If you think about it, you can turn it to your advantage 🙂

    • While I still have my doubts about them, I see your point. They wouldn’t be popular if they weren’t loved at some time.

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