We’re going to start this off with a Don’t.
DON’T WRITE IN CLICHES!
We’re all guilty of it. It’s a habit we need to nip in the bud (cliche). Try to avoid phrases that are overly used. There are so many of these that have been raped and pillaged so badly that their original meanings are now lost and gone forever (cliche). The list of these phrases that editors hate to see goes on and on (cliche) and I could never describe it to you down to the last detail (cliche), however, I can advise you that, with very few exceptions, cliches are something you want to avoid like the plague (cliche).
The only use of cliche I can personally justify is during dialogue. If you write a character that would use these cliches in his or her speech, then he or she would obviously say what he or she is comfortable with. HOWEVER, you can work around them. Quite easily I’m finding. I’ve found a few of them in my first draft of my manuscript and have done quite well at weeding them out (cliche) and replacing them with “fresh” phrases instead. It helps give your book the “voice” that it needs if the things you write are from your own head.
I hope that you see how many cliches I managed to use in just this one short post and notice how easy it is to write them into your own work. Now, what I want you to do is see how easy it is to NOT write them into your work. I think you will find that it changes the entire flow of your manuscript and makes it much more enjoyable.
For a more in depth piece on this week’s Don’t, please click here. There is also a very EXTENSIVE list of cliches included on that page.