Why are clichés discouraged in fiction writing?

Asked by: Jonathan Semanko

Why shouldn’t you use clichés in your writing?

Here’s why you shouldn’t use cliches in your writing: It muddies your story’s originality – It’s hard to read a story that’s riddled with common slang and overused ideas. Using cliches can dilute your story and make it sound pedestrian.

What are the problems with clichés?

Overused clichés can show a lack of original thought, and can make a writer appear unimaginative and lazy. Clichés are often specific to language and cultures and may be a communication barrier to international readers.

Why are writers discouraged from using clichés?

Most people don’t want to read something they could recite from heart (obviously not true about everything, but you get the picture). That’s why cliches get a bad rep – because authors can (and sometimes do) use them as a crutch.

Why do people hate clichés?

Clichés work against us when they replace our tongues entirely, when the greeting card messages supplant our own. They work best when they link our singular experiences rather than efface them — when they function as dangling strings around which the rock candy of individual experience crystallizes.

When should you avoid clichés?

When you’re writing on a more formal level, it’s better to try to avoid using clichés. They tend to annoy people, especially if they’re overused, and they may even create an impression of laziness or a lack of careful thought.

How can one avoid using clichés?

10 Tips to Avoid Clichés in Writing

  1. Avoid Stolen or Borrowed Tales.
  2. Resist The Lure of the Sensational.
  3. Turn a Stereotype on its Head.
  4. Tell the Story Only You Can Tell.
  5. Keep it Real by Taking it Slow.
  6. Deliver Your Story From Circumstantial Cliché
  7. Elevate the Ordinary.
  8. Rescue Gratuitous Scenes From Melodramatic Action.
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Are clichés annoying?

A cliche is a hackneyed and commonplace expression, phrase or idea that has become irritating through its frequent use. The most annoying cliches are either meaningless or contradictory in relation to the sentence they are attached to.

Why do clichés exist?

When formulas come unmoored from their genres, as they often do, they are likely to become clichés because of their more general, imprecise, or inaccurate application in more or in broader genres of writing, particularly in journalism.

Why do clichés become clichés?

Clichés are terms, phrases, or even ideas that, upon their inception, may have been striking and thought-provoking but became unoriginal through repetition and overuse. Popularity made them seem trite, turning them into what we now know as clichés.

Are clichés OK?

At The End Of The Day, Cliches Can Be As Good As Gold Cliches are often criticized as the most overused and contemptible phrases in the English language. But writer Hephzibah Anderson says there are times when cliches are not only useful, but also create a sense of camaraderie.

What are clichés give two examples?

A cliché is a phrase or idea that has become a “universal” device to describe abstract concepts such as time (Better Late Than Never), anger (madder than a wet hen), love (love is blind), and even hope (Tomorrow is Another Day).

What does cliché mean in literature?

Definition of cliché



1 : a trite phrase or expression also : the idea expressed by it. 2 : a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation. 3 : something (such as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace.

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Is a cliché a literary device?

A cliché (klee-SHAY) is a scenario or expression that is used excessively, to the point that it is considered unoriginal. A cliché can refer to any aspect of a literary narrative—a specific phrase, scenario, genre, or character. The term has a negative connotation, as clichés are often associated with lazy writing.

Can a person be a cliché?

Cliche definition



A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial. An expression or idea that has become trite. The definition of a cliché is an often repeated or used phrase or statement that has been used so much it has become trite and kind of meaningless.

What is a bloody cliché?

A cliche or cliche is an expression. Idea or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect even to the point of being trite or irritating.

What are 10 clichés?

Examples of Clichés in Everyday Language

  • read between the lines.
  • play your cards right.
  • it’s an uphill battle.
  • better safe than sorry.
  • you can’t judge a book by its cover.
  • bring to the table.
  • low-hanging fruit.
  • the grass is always greener on the other side.

Are idioms clichés?

Summary: 1. Clichés are phrases which have been overused and have become very common and boring. Idioms are phrases which are not so overused, and a vocabulary needs to be built to learn to use them.

What’s the best way to express the difference between jargon and clichés?

Clichés are expressions that are so common and overused that they fail to impart any real impact on your sentence. Jargon is the specialized, often technical, language that is used by people in a particular field, profession, or social group.

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What is the difference between slang and cliché?

A cliché is a saying that has been overused and has lost it’s meaning. Colloquialisms are slang, informal, or localized language. When writing formal papers, both clichés and colloquialisms are inappropriate. Eliminating them requires changing habits.

What is the difference between a cliché and a trope?

The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. A trope is like a song in a familiar key; you may not know all the words, but you can probably sing along with the chorus. A cliché, on the other hand, is hoary and old.

What is the difference between a platitude and a cliche?

For one, clichés are defined as overused phrases. Phrases that were once considered original or insightful become clichés when they are overused, whereas platitudes are always considered shallow and unoriginal. Platitudes by definition simplify complex ideas, whereas clichés can handle both complex and simple ideas.

What are common tropes?

Examples of common, often-cliched character tropes include:

  • The damsel in distress.
  • The chosen one.
  • The girl next door.
  • The femme fatale.
  • The mad scientist.
  • The trusty sidekick.
  • The dumb muscle.
  • The wise old man.