A Cliché  is something that has become overly familiar, this is the definition I found at Merriam-Webster.

The difinition of the one thing we hear just as often as “show, don’t tell” is “avoid clichés”.  Although one here and there won’t completely shatter a story and can fit nicely, we can even get away with using it in dialogue.  Since people in general speak in clichés, the dialogue can seem convincing just don’t over do it.  If too many clichés are used in one paragraph it can make it seem flat, dull, and just plain boring.  Although clichés get the message across, they do so in a very unimaginative way.  This is a trap we all fall into, I’m sure we all have come across a few clichés during the edeting of our own work, I know I have.  In fact I have read books that are plagued with them, phrases such as.

That was easy as pie
Tall, dark and handsome ( I am guilty of this one)
Better late than never
Easier said than done
More than meets the eye 

At the end of the day (this I see a lot)

The list is possibly endless, so when life gives you lemons… Argh! Ask for tequila,  I personally hate lemonade…

Are there any clichés you can think of? When you re-read your ms have you come across any clichés you’ve written?

3 thoughts on “Clichés

  1. Lovely post, thank you! Last year I read a book set in the 1800s, in England, that had modern cliche. Couldn't help but laugh. (Do you ever wonder how that stuff gets past an editor?)

    Have a great weekend.


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