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How much cliche shall we use?
ND Mahshid
Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:03 AM
Joined: 4/27/2013
Posts: 1

So you're reading a love story or writing one. What dose of cliche do you think is allowed in a romance? In characters, plot, and ending?  
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 2:24 PM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229

What you call cliche, I might call genre trope...

Any thoughts?

Carl E Reed
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 3:43 PM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 608

The paying audience (for any genre) knows exactly what it wants: "The same, only different." Good luck with that!

PS. More helpfully, perhaps: As regards language, don't use cliched metaphors or similes. As to genre tropes (see Brandi above) make them your own. Ray Bradbury remarked, "Passion excuses many literary sins." Now, he wasn't speaking specifically of the romance genre (passion, indeed!) when he made the above remark but his advice is equally true and relevant for all of us: Write what you get excited about; write about the characters and situations that get your blood pounding. If you do it well enough you will make it your own; no one will say, "Hey, that's a cliche!" but "Where can I get more of that?" What do the Lit. majors say? "There's only seven [or six, or five, or four, or three] kinds of stories anyway."

In the act of writing your unique voice and perspective will show itself; it's inevitable. Don't worry about being unique, un-cliched or orginal; worry about being good. That's the challenge before you: authorial competence/accomplished craftsmanship--earned through many a delightful in-public pratfall along the way. (heh!)

Good luck to you!

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 5:35 PM
Joined: 2/21/2013
Posts: 40

The idea to avoid cliche or at least look as if your are. Mind you, the factory-authors of the world deal in little else at times and it sells, but good writers are trying to develop a distinctive voice, and that means cliche is best used only ironically or sarcastically. 
Atthys Gage
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 6:52 PM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467

There's no such thing as an original sin (as Elvis Costello said), but that doesn't mean it can't be fun.  Or terrifying, or wrenching, or hilarious, or arousing.  To paraphrase Hamlet (I steal from the best):  The writing is all.  

Atthys Gage
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 9:29 PM
Joined: 6/7/2011
Posts: 467

In sum, you can use any cliche you want if the writing makes it new and vivid.  But use cliched (which is to say lazy) writing, and it won't matter how original your characters and plot ideas are.  
Maya Starling
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013 9:45 AM
Joined: 4/24/2013
Posts: 45

Cliche's aren't necessary evil, you can use a cliche idea and completely own it by twisting it around, but I do agree with cliche lines, sometimes they bother me, sometimes not, depends on how much and often they're implemented into a story.

Just my personal opinion.

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