My Pet Peeve--Writing Clichés by J.Q. Rose
For some reason clichés are not approved by editors when checking my stories. I don’t know why. It makes writing as easy as pie. These familiar expressions are as good as gold when it comes to taking a short cut in your storytelling.
Instead of writing a paragraph about how bad the storm is, I can just say the rain is coming down in buckets. The reader knows exactly how bad that is. However, after sending this in to the editor, the phrase will appear red-lined in the manuscript and a comment will show up in the margin gently reminding me that I should not use a cliché. But seriously, if I want to describe how hot the weather is in a story, why can’t I say it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? That really does explain the heat factor!
When push comes to shove, a cliché is the way to go for me. For instance, when the coroner arrives at the death scene, why can’t he say the victim kicked the bucket? That is so much more colorful than saying he’s dead.
It makes me madder than a wet hen when I realize I have used clichés in my writing. For Pete’s sake, I KNOW the editors won’t let me use them, so I try to be conscious about it when I write and re-vise the chapters.
Still and all, once in awhile a cliché does slip into my writing. The solution is to carefully read through the story and concentrate on finding the little demons. To tell you the truth, I don’t always recognize them. I submit the manuscript for editing on a wing and a prayer that I have caught every cliché and I won’t have the editor tearing her hair out when she reads it.
There’s no time like the present to change and recognize clichés in my writing. How about you? I plan to be as sharp as a tack when putting words down on paper so I can make it easier for me and my editor to get through the manuscript.
I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I'm vowing to do better on using clichés. Just notice how much I’ve improved already!
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring
for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
MuseItUp Publishing recently released the mystery, sweet romance, Coda to Murder, by J.Q. Rose.