Questions tagged [cliches]

At the end of the day, we all use them.

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3answers
103 views

Is it possible to combine clichés/tropes to make it not a cliché?

I have read a couple romance books at most and so don’t claim to have very much experience with romance and clichés. But here are the ones I can think of: Something happens to make them hate each ...
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2answers
121 views

How do I improve my “impact” in writing?

I don't know the exact word for it, but I hope I make it clear what I mean by "impact" soon. My favorite pieces of writing are Rosa Luxemburg's Junius Pamphlet, the lyrics to this Phil Ochs song, and ...
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2answers
128 views

Is a nuclear apocalypse cliche? [duplicate]

My post-apocalyptic novel occurs in 2122. In canon events, around the year 2018, after many years of global war, a chain reaction caused the launching of all the world's nuclear missiles and after ...
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3answers
236 views

Writing romance when I have little experience in it [duplicate]

I'm in high school, and have had few romantic relationships. The few that I have had were very unhealthy. I have pretty much no good experience with romance. How can I write romance when I don't ...
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3answers
520 views

Dystopia that isn't cliche

Dystopian fiction is a big thing right now, and YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent are pretty individual and subsequently are bestsellers. But a lot of stuff is also really cheesy and trite,...
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1answer
270 views

Is there a test for cliches in plot?

I know there are already questions about cliched phrases, but are there resources to help identify plot and characters that are cliches? I found some (like this), but they weren't very helpful for ...
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5answers
768 views

Why using the “It Was All Just a Dream” Trope?

There is a particular trope that became quite infamous across many media: the "it was just a dream" revelation, where, usually at the end of a important story arc, everything turns back to the start ...
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13answers
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How to make side-characters look competent next to the chosen one?

I'm writing a storyline for a game where the forces of evil have humanity cornered. Truly everything seems lost, that is, until our main character decides to step in. Let's call him Bob. The Chosen. ...
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4answers
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What are some tropes associated with social acceptance or rejection of infants with supernatural abilities?

Are there any tropes regarding how societies react to children with supernatural abilities, besides abandoning in the woods or, for the complete opposite, considering them gods? Is there anything ...
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5answers
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Is Ice/Fire opposition too stereotypical?

I'm writing a story where a secondary story-line (it's about a companion of the main character) is basically about a fire mage and an ice mage. It fits well in the story and the fire/ice elements aren'...
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2answers
103 views

How many metaphors?

Some of the best books I read have a heap of metaphors, awesomely describing the characters' surroundings or the characters themselves. My creativity appears to be limited in metaphors. I want to ...
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4answers
709 views

Romance without cliche?

My school is doing a romance writing competition and there is no cliche allowed. But that is the only way I know how to write romance. I mean, I haven't read a single book that hasn't had a bit of ...
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14answers
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Is it bad storytelling to have things happen by complete chance?

Background I recently noticed in my latest masterpiece novel there is quite a lot of things happening by chance. For example: The main character just happens to pass by an old, frail warrior who ...
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3answers
589 views

What kind of an effect does breaking gender roles/stereotypes have in fiction?

Background It might sound like a silly question, I know, but something someone said to me today has made me concerned that my book sounds childish and nonsensical. Apparently: "having a woman who ...
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1answer
4k views

How to Write a Bullying Scene? [closed]

In my newest story, the protagonist gets bullied constantly, and I'm planning for him to be driven to suicide later on the the story. But, I'm completely stuck on how to write a realistic scene, which ...
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6answers
396 views

Is a bandit ambush a fatal, cliche mistake?

Background I've planned the chapter I'll write tomorrow. It features a bandit ambush! That's so exciting! Wow! The sickly scent of blood, the glistening blades and powerless enemies. They are nothing ...
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2answers
545 views

How to split up a book into a series?

Related My book was never meant to be a series, so I'm genuinely uncertain on what to do. I only really write completely self-contained things. Background I've really been having a great time ...
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3answers
256 views

Adding a character from present-day Earth to a fantasy/scifi setting

The average present-day human whisked away to a fantasy and/or scifi world is a common trope. It can be used well, or end up in boring stories. I feel like this trope is a bit overdone, but still ...
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2answers
165 views

Are some ideas too cliched?

So I was thinking, and I've been wondering if some ideas are so overused readers don't get the 'thrill' of reading them anymore. I'm really into last-man-standing type novels, I love them. I've ...
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3answers
142 views

Trying to avoid being cliché

Has opening a story with something like "I hurtled to my death", "I had destroyed the earth", or other outlandish statements like these become cliché? And if so, what are some alternative methods to ...
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3answers
261 views

How to write a scene where the villain meets the protagonist?

The villain was, like the protagonist, a child soldier/mercenary, who served with him. The villain was captured, tortured, and snapped. He feels a burning hatred for the protagonist, believing that he ...
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3answers
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Can an overdone theme still work?

Okay, I think it goes without saying that vampire stories are really overdone. But I have a novel idea I would really like to write that has a vampire theme. I think I can pull it off if I do it in a ...
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8answers
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What to do with cliched metaphors?

Example from my own writing: "Please take care of yourself," she replied. "Health is the most important thing in life, remember that." "I know, Mom." I had already lost count of the number ...
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4answers
358 views

Clichéd Actions

I sometimes catch myself writing excessively clichéd descriptions - not in the words, but in what the characters do. For example, they always seems to end up pacing up and down the room while waiting ...
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8answers
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Why do heroes need to have a physical mark?

It seems that a lot of authors want their heroes to be marked in a special way. It is not enough that these protagonists are going to be heroes, no; they seem to require having a mark that makes them ...
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3answers
830 views

Critique a short essay

So There I was in the scorching, afternoon, summer heat of Cairo. It was a huge change from the UK’s mild weather, and together with the fact that I had been fasting - as in no food or drink- for 15 ...
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6answers
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What's the significance of ancient mythology in literature?

Whenever I see a movie critic praise Ridley Scott's Prometheus, they seem to be drooling over all the mythological references, although most don't necessarily complement gaps in the story or enrich ...
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3answers
575 views

How to discover clichés

What is the best way to find out if a certain phrase is considered a cliché? Is there an online resource, a specialized dictionary-like lookup? EDIT I found these so far: Cliché Finder Movie ...
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8answers
23k views

“All of a sudden…” ?

I am writing a manuscript for a novel. It's my first attempt, and often I find myself wanting to write "suddenly" or "all of a sudden". I do this when I want the scene to change in an instant, or ...
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4answers
534 views

Resources about different people types?

I'm native German, but trying to write in English for various reasons. One of the big points in a story is to keep the characters very distinct from each other, and that requires some knowledge about ...
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339 views

What techniques do you use to invent snappy turns of phrase?

We all know clichés are bad[1] and that fresh, inventive and "fitting" phrases will delight and entertain our readers. What techniques can be used to invent such phrases? Sometimes they just "...