Writing lies are back! Who is ready to delve back into this series? I love these posts because they definitely spark some conversation and I love hearing your thoughts on this subject. Let the controversy begin!
“That’s so Cliche”
Honestly, I’m just going to apologize in advance because a) this is a pet peeve of mine and b) it also tends to become a soapbox. So that out of the way . . . here we go.
I have been told this about my own writing. I have heard and read it in so many reviews, and honestly, it makes me want to gag every. Single. Time.
You want to know why? My most common argument against the whole “it’s cliche” argument is the verse from Ecclesiastes. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Often times, I feel like this argument is more of a cop-out for a reviewer trying to explain why they didn’t like the book than it is for the writer.
Take my book for instance. A mystery. The detective is the main character, he’s grouchy, he has a doctor friend. . . seeing the ‘cliche’s’ here? Some would see some details of the book and go full on beast-mode that the story is a knock off of Sherlock Holmes. But honestly, what is wrong with that even if it were true? My book has so much more to offer than just a typical “Sherlock Holmes spin off”. It has sibling relationships, a detective who is damaged goods and a Christian perspective on grief and healing.
But the same people who complain about cliches also enjoy fairy-tale retellings. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t add up.
The definition of cliche is something that betrays original thought. Cliche might be a valid argument if it were used correctly, but so often it is not. Just because a story had a popular trope – take a love triangle, for example – most people have more imagination than you give them credit for. By telling them that their story was cliche is telling them that they did nothing imaginative or inventive or new with the story. Which in most cases isn’t true.
I just get so bothered under the collar because this complaint is used as a cop out. At least the majority of the time in my opinion.
So anyway, to try to wrap up my point: Don’t let the naysayers get to you. Unless someone can explain to me why something in my writing is cliche and why it should be changed with a knowledgeable approach, I often ignore this criticism in reviews. So just keep plugging away at your writing. Write for the people who love your work. Not the people who don’t.
By God’s Grace,