Cliches Are Someone Else’s Words

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I once had the honor of having one of my  manuscripts edited by a best selling, award winning author.  She was extremely picky in her critique of my writing because she was pushing me to the next level.One of the tips she shared was huge! And I’m sharing it with you.  Stay away from cliches when writing narrative

Cliches are someone else’s words. Your work should be your words only.

Example:
Cliche –

I felt a cold shiver run up and down my spine.

Making it my own –
The room was suddenly cold and I shivered.

Cliche –
My life was finally back on track.

Making it my own –
After months of turmoil, my life was finally beginning to make sense again.

Exception: Cliches are perfectly acceptable when you are writing dialogue, because people often speak in cliches. It’s when you’re writing narrative, that you must be mindful of using them.


YOUR TURN
Write your novel or biography using the cliches, just to get your thoughts on paper. Once your book is complete and you begin the editing process, highlight all of the cliches you used when writing your narrative and find another way to express yourself.


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