Monday, May 19, 2008

Tuesday's Tips and Tidbits for Better Writing

The Cliche

Cliches are old phrases that once made a strong impression, but have been used so much they no longer make an impact on the reader. They come to mind easily, and seem to make writing sound more interesting. But using them too much is poor writing etiquette.

Overuse of cliches might look something like this in a story:

Billy always enjoyed getting under his mother’s skin. It was his sneaky way of cajoling her into letting him do what he wanted. He'd simply climb the walls until she would get all worked up and say, “For Pete’s sake, Billy, go over to Johnny's house to play!”

Perhaps this is an entertaining story, but the cliches are too much! If you spot one in your writing there are two things you can do: (1) Give it a new twist. An example I like is, "Halfway up the ladder of success, she found several rungs missing." (2) If you can't give it a new twist, simply replace it with a more fitting word or phrase.

So be sure to read the writing on the blog, and avoid the old cliche in your writing.

Have a wonderful day!

1 comment:

youmeher said...

Great tip. How I wish I had thought of 'Halfway up the ladder of success, she found a couple of rungs missing'

Oh well, here's to hoping!