Friday, November 11, 2011

Common Problems (Part 4 of 50)

Kill the clichés. They're those tired, overworked phrases that we hear and read constantly. It's easy to write with hackneyed expressions because we don't have to work hard. A major difference between mediocre authors and excellent ones is that the former use the current expressions of the day instead of trying to say it in their own words.

The cliché can be a simple word (utilize instead of use), or a phrase (at the end of the day, at this point in time, or do the math).

Here are a few, and I have several hundred of them. (Or I could use the hackneyed clause, I have literally hundreds of them.)

• The searing pain returned in full blast

• With each passing second

• The last thing I wanted was

• It was marvelous to behold

• To take the edge off

• I was frozen for what seemed like an eternity

• More than I cared to know

• I'll defend it tooth and nail

• Spoiling for a fight

• The defining moment of my life

Clichés work for easy writing;
Clichés also make for boring reading.

1 comment:

  1. What about in dialog? Don't most people use cliché’s when speaking?

    ReplyDelete

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