Monday, October 8, 2012
Thinking Outside the Box?
Do you eat an apple a day? Know someone who is as slow as molasses in January? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black? Avoid editing like the plague?
Are cliches present in your writing?
If so, you might want to check out Brian Klem's article, 12 Cliches All Writers Should Avoid. Brian and his colleagues compiled a list of overused cliches. See if you concur.
While I agree that some cliches are best avoided, I think that they can stretch our creativity and provide fresh ideas. Depending on what I'm writing, I like adding my own spin. If, in my historical fiction WIP for example, I wanted to say "If walls could talk." I might use a location familiar to my main character, such as a barn, general store, or corral to convey the same idea.
Here are a few links to get those cliched thoughts churning:
ClicheSite has an alphabetical listing of phrases and interesting sayings.
Garden Digest lists an assortment of garden and agriculture related cliches, metaphors, and idioms.
And don't forget one of my all time favorite blogs, The Bookshelf Muse. This post's link discusses when it's okay to use cliches, like in dialogue and thoughts. The site also offers advice on metaphors, similes, and dozens of other helpful tidbits.
A Quick Congrats
Congratulations to Rhonda Schrock, winner of Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund!
What do you think? Are cliches helpful or harmful? Do you use many?
Photo credit: Stock Exchange