Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Clichés in Writing
Clichés are unnecessary for a story. Clichés in writing take up space but don’t add value. And when you’re writing a story, you don’t want to add words just for the sake of word count. That’s usually one reason why writers resort to clichés.
Here are a few examples of clichés:
- Cold as Ice.
- Burning like an oven.
- At the speed of light.
- Frightened to death.
- Fall head over heels.
- Without a care in the world.
- Lived happily ever after.
Still, what exactly makes clichés in writing a bad idea? First and foremost, a cliché is lazy. When a writer cannot think of a better description, they sometimes fall prey to a cliché.
Clichés are also redundant. They’re clichés because they’ve been used too often. They don’t have originality. And without originality, your story is not your own. Instead of saying “it was light as a feather,” you could find a better way to show that it the object was light. For instance, you could describe how the object was easily carried by the wind. You could even describe the object’s soft texture or how it fell to the ground without making any noise. Those are better ways to show that the object was light.
Clichés Reflect a Poorly Written Story
Clichés in writing also hinder your story. They do not add value and simply draw attention to the fact that your story is probably a first draft. After all, when you’re working on your story for the first time, you are more likely to write a couple clichés in. The trick is to remove them during revisions and insert better descriptions.
Plus, clichés are tacky. No one likes or appreciates clichés. They’re like outdated jokes. “Hot as hell” has lost its meaning from being overused. What exactly is “hot as hell” anymore? When this cliché gets thrown around at every given chance, no one can tell if it’s a legitimate compliment.
No Awards Come From Clichés
Lastly, using clichés will not give you a writing award. You are not trying hard enough if you are using clichés, and this shows. As was stated above, clichés in writing are lazy. A Pulitzer Prize is only given to those who work hard to show off their talents.
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