Avoid Cliches Like The Plague.

Feliz Año Nuevo, Perezosos!  I did have something important and dull to get on with tonight so I decided to write a Slog post instead. Never put off till tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow, as they say back home.

After watching a certain British TV show on New Years Day about an iconic detective , it occurred to me that the writer had committed the cardinal sin of killing off the main female character solely for the purpose of adding dramatic tension to the relationship of the two male lead characters. This is known as ‘fridging’ in the Nerdo-sphere.

See below for a full explanation of this lazy plot device:

TV Tropes

I love actual laziness in real life (obviously) but, paradoxically, can’t stand laziness in fiction. I should clarify that I am a fan of the aforementioned show (in general) but it was this part of the story that particularly grated. Yes, that character dies in the original stories but no, it didn’t work for me.

Back to the point anyway. I think that, for a writer, learning to avoid clichés is a bit like learning how to anchor a rope to a cliff if you are a climber, or, knowing what immunizations to get if you are travelling to Latin America.

I did some web-based research and came across some fun pointers from the world wide web. I particularly liked…

Train yourself to kill cliches…

Or the solid advice of this guy:..

Writing is hard work

We love fantasy here at Sloth so this is an entertaining list to read through and pass away another five minutes …

Silver Blade Magazine

You get the picture anyway. You may say that everyone’s a critic these days and I suppose they are. They have a right to be too! Why should any of us spend valuable time engaging with entertainment that doesn’t captivate our attention? As a writer, being your own harshest critic is only going to make you a better writer, after all.

I will leave you with my pet hate among clichés – an evil mastermind is incarcerated, talks to the protagonist (who is the yin to their yang) and then proceeds to escape spectacularly. This is especially irritating if the antagonist in question is a psychopath.

Happy cliché hunting.

Pura Vida





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