The Nature of Clichés – Honest Thoughts

Clichés can hurt your writing, but can also be an opportunity. Learning to identify and handle clichés is an important skill for a writer to learn. Writer’s worried about finding clichés in their writing might find this video helpful as I cover a few of the many ways one can utilize clichés to their advantage. It’s not just about eliminating clichés, but a clever writer can use clichés to shape and subvert audience expectation.

Welcome to my first honest thoughts video. This will not replace Terrible Writing Advice. Too much positivity is poisonous to me. Rest assured, the cynicism will return next video.

My Terrible Writing Advice on the Nature of Clichés

The most critical component of any story is clichés. Now some writers will mistakenly say that clichés can be bad. These writers have no idea what they are talking about! Clichés are always good just like generalized platitudes and statements. Generalizations are generally correct just like clichés! But how should a writer handle clichés? Well that’s easy! A writer should strive to add as many clichés into their writing as possible!

Now when it comes to clichés, a writer should be careful to avoid some of the more common pitfalls. The biggest mistake writers make when adding cliches to their work is intentionally and knowingly using a cliché. Clichés only work if a writer uses them unknowingly. The best writers don’t do dumb things like think or use their creativity when writing. No one reads to engage their creativity or imagination.

Now another big pitfall is using clichés to subvert audience expectation. This is bad because it creates a high quality expectation from the audience and making quality work is like really hard while being lazy and shamelessly cashing in on pop culture trends is super easy! Who cares that adhering to common clichés has a high chance of making a writer’s work appear dated. You’ll be rolling in cash before that happens!

Highlighting a cliché through a technique called lampshading is also out of the question. Calling attention to a cliché suggests a certain level of self-awareness on the author’s part which is bad because it strays dangerously close to critical thinking and self reflection; both mortal enemies to writers and audiences alike!

Actually critically analyzing and considering clichés and tropes in one’s own writing can only be bad because it might make the reader think and I think that thinking is always bad. Who cares if our portrayal of fantasy races looks an awfully lot like eugenics, or our dystopian setting is full of evil intellectuals opposed by pure hearted idiots, or that our military science fiction story promotes fascist ideals. All that matters is that clichés rake in the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Who needs integrity when we can afford an indoor heated pool in our mansion made of hardened money. Besides, when has any classic story used clichés in a clever way? An author’s only hope is to play every cliché straight and make sure to avoid all attempts to create their own unique and distinctive style. Instead we can regurgitate whatever is popular at the moment. Be sure to follow that crowd even if they are careening right off a cliff. I would totally follow everyone over a cliff because I am pretty sure there is a big cushion of money at the bottom!