In every creative writing class that I took in my time at college, my professor told me to steer clear to cliches. Of course, this is good advice. Cliches are overused and water down otherwise good pieces of literature of poetic works. If I’m reading or proofreading something for a friend and I come across a cliche, I cringe and circle it with red pen. Cliches are not something readers want to find when reading what you’ve written. Sometimes I wonder where cliches came from, who first said them, and when they became hackneyed. I suppose the millionth time a poet used the image of a red rose to symbolize his love, someone somewhere slammed down his collection of poetry and cursed his name and thus, it became a cliche.
At the Write Anything blog, their Fiction Friday Challenge for the 22nd of September involved the cliche “drown your sorrows.” Readers’ challenge was to include that cliche in their story. This got me thinking of a prompt idea for today’s post! Your challenge this week is to write a story involving a well-known cliche in a way that is unexpected. Essentially, to write toward this challenge, you should seek to make a cliche unique and interesting in a new way that hasn’t yet been seen.
Here is a list of cliches to get you started:
- absence makes the heart grow fonder
- bad blood
- cool as a cucumber
- right up your alley
- wet behind the ears
Take these cliches and see what you can come up with that’s new and interesting!
— Jet Fuel Editor, Mary Egan