Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. Today is the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop!
|Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop|
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.
The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month. The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
|IWSG Question for the Month|
For some reason clichés are not approved by editors when checking my stories. I don’t know why because it makes writing as easy as pie. These familiar expressions are as good as gold when it comes to taking a short cut in your storytelling.
Instead of writing a paragraph about how bad the storm is, I can just say the rain is coming down in buckets. The reader knows exactly how bad that is. However, after sending this in to the editor, the phrase will appear red-lined in the manuscript and a comment will show up in the margin gently reminding me the sentence is a cliché. But seriously, if you have to describe how hot the weather is in a story, why can’t you say it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? That really does explain the heat factor!
When push comes to shove, a cliché is the way to go for me. For instance, when the coroner arrives at the death scene, why can’t he say the victim kicked the bucket? That’s so much more colorful than saying he’s dead.
|Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose|
A handsome detective, a shadow man,
and a murder victim
kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
It makes me madder than a wet hen when I realize I have used clichés in my writing. For Pete’s sake, I KNOW the editors won’t let me use them, so I try to be conscious about it when I write and re-visit the chapters.
When I was writing my mystery, Deadly Undertaking, I combed through every word, every paragraph, and every page trying to ferret out the clichés. Still and all, once in a while a cliché is missed and once they’re out there, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. To tell you the truth, I don’t always recognize them. So I submit the manuscript for editing on a wing and a prayer that I have caught every cliché and I won’t have the editor tearing her hair out when she reads it.
There’s no time like the present to change and recognize clichés in my writing. How about you? I plan to be as sharp as a tack when putting words down on paper so I can make it easier for me and my editor to get through the manuscript.
I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I am vowing to do better on using clichés. Just notice how much I’ve improved already!
# # # #
Dangerous Sanctuary Virtual Book Tour Continues
Come join in and win prizes!
Thursday, January 5, I'm a guest at Sandra Cox's blog. Come over and eavesdrop on a conversation between the book's main character Pastor Christine and her Nosey Neighbor. Find us here at Sandra's blog.
|12||Foxes and One Hound|
|20||Books We Love Insider|
|23||Janet Lane Walters|
Wishing you a Happy New Year 2017!!
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Happy New Year!
I am laughing while reading your article because I feel the same way. No cliches has made return to my manuscript so I can do away with anything that even sounds like a cliche.
All the best for 2017.
I think cliches work in dialog--because people talk the way they talk, and if you're writing from a character's perspective (who's particularly fond of cliches), by all means... However, how many times have you watched a movie and rolled your eyes at a phrase you've heard a kagillion times? I think the key is refreshing the language. Create your own cliches (aka metaphors) that bring to life exactly what you're saying and the emotion behind it. Maybe it's pouring buckets, but maybe (based on the mood) God has decided to flood the earth anew? I have one line about the "heaven's jugular being severed" to illustrate the same concept. (Granted, that's a horror story, so the mood fits.) Yeah, it can be a pain, but I really think it's worth stretching to discover a new and amazing phrase.
Hi Pat, Cliches are sneaky. They just pop in uninvited and sit there waiting for you to find them. Happy New Year 2017 to you too!!
Hi Crystal, I've always wanted to create a character who talks in cliches. It would be funny, but perhaps too much for a reader? I loved this line-- the key is refreshing the language. Create your own cliches (aka metaphors). Rewriting a cliche is a challenge, but looks like you are meeting and beating the challenge. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Very helpful.
Hi Anna, giggling. Thanks.
Much worse than clichés are the struggling similes that don't know when to quit: She was as bright as a shiny new penny hit by rays of early morning sunshine billowing through the opened window allowing in the first fresh air of springtime. . . or something.
Happy New Year, and thanks for the day's best chuckle.
You made me smile. I love cliches and I think they get a bad rap, but hey, I get it. In a first draft, they can help retain the feeling you are trying to capture, so I guess we could use them as holding places for our originality. Congrats with the tour.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Happy New year. I think sometimes if a character comes from a place where cliches are acceptable, then they should be allowed. The Sookie Stackhouse series comes to mind. Thank you for your great post.
Like anything else, if they aren't overdone, why not.
Things are pretty lively with the pastor at my place today:)
I'm from Texas. We speak in clichés. Nothing gets your point across better, especially if it's one you haven't heard before. Too many of them, however, make you (grind your teeth with frustration?) I have heard they are acceptable in dialog, and that makes sense. To me there's nothing more colorful than a character who uses them...or irritating, depending on the point you're trying to make.
Gail, I agree and love your example!! Glad you got a chuckle.
HI Juneta, Loved this line in your comment about cliches-- so I guess we could use them as holding places for our originality. Glad you're smiling. Thank you.
Hi Erika, I do believe this a time and place for chliches too. Thank you for stopping by.
Hey Sandra, Yes wherever Pastor Christine goes, "liveliness" follows! Thanks for hosting me today!!
Susan, I know what you mean. Cliches are naturals in conversation--good or bad. I love hearing those "down home" idioms in various parts of the country.
In my opinion some cliches are fine. It depends where you place them and how often.
Laughed all through your post. Guess you'd better drop those cliches like a hot potato.
You can use cliches, just keep them in the dialog. As for the narrative, like every other rule, once you get used to weeding them out it'll get easier. Good luck!
Hi Lynda. That's a good way to say it Thanks.
Diane, now it's my turn to laugh. Thanks for the giggle.
Thanks, Lexa. I need all the luck I can get!!
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