Avoid those writing cliches like the plague!

Cpencilslichés are just thick as thieves in some writing, aren’t they? I mean more tired and worn out sayings than you can shake a stick at. So what’s a writer to do? Read your work thoroughly with an eye to eliminating every overused phrase that you can find? Check! Then hand the piece to someone else to do the same thing. Double check! But what about those other kind of clichés? The plot devices and character traits that seem to crop up too often in novels and movies. Let’s take a look at a few in this blog series.

Number one in romance writing? The great misunderstanding. This occurs when the hero and heroine are apart because they have some erroneous assumptions between them that could easily be cleared up in chapter one. I once read a book where the woman thought her husband was stealing money. First thing this wife would do? Confront the hapless husband and demand an explanation. This confrontation did not happen in the before mentioned novel because that would have deflated the mystery/relationship tension. If the balance of plot and relationship issues are based on a misunderstanding, the book isn’t strong enough. I know. I’ve fallen into the trap myself. As a romance writer the tricky thing is to find enough character conflict to keep the hero/heroine apart, and then help them work their way through it to get to that happily ever after moment.

Have you ever read a book where there’s a great misunderstanding? Or are there plots, character traits that are overused in your opinion?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by JackieW on August 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    The character flaws that are overused in lots of stories are those where the heroes are usually macho guys who function outside societal rules and never get their due unless they encounter a spitfire of a heroine who puts him in his place.

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  2. Posted by JOYE on August 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I think the theme that is overused is in the Regency era romances where it seems like all the heroes have to quickly wed in order to inherit their farms, castles, and/or money. And the heroine doesn’t think she wants to wed the hero. Oh my, what a dilemma

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