Writing Wednesday: Cliché

Basically, I’m writing something about book clichés and would like to pick your brains (because mine’s is a bit squishy).

Which writing clichés set your teeth on edge? Love triangles? Bad boys? Fat girls losing weight? I’m particularly looking for YA books, but happy to hear about any, cos I’m nosy.

My top one is the main character describing themselves looking in a mirror. Drives. Me. Nuts. (Which doesn’t mean I haven’t written it myself, you know…)

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19 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Cliché

  1. A boring, vanilla MC whose best friend has more charisma in one toenail that poor little Mary Sue herself. Yet somehow we’re supposed to be perfectly happy that the storyline focuses on the former rather than the latter (who usually gets ditched as soon as Hot Bad Boy appears on the scene anyway).

    1. I know just what you mean, Cat, although I have a bit of a problem with whole “Mary Sue” thing. Don’t know how the reader would know the character was the author unless the reader knew the author personally, you know?

  2. When a girl/woman (more common in women’s books than YA, I find) goes on about her fat thighs/big stomach etc etc. Even more boring when it turns out she’s a size 12 or smaller. YAWN. I also hate the mirror description thing.

  3. Chalk ‘n’ cheese twins. The younger being the prettier, less bossy, more likeable one.

  4. Well the first YA one that springs to mind is the girl falling for the brooding distant vampire… but then there’s also bad boys who just need a good girl to straighten them out. Also, the mirror description and the littering of brand names / descriptions throughout a book (labels here and there fine, but when e.g . loads of sentences contain 5 or more brands it just gets tedious).

  5. Yup, agree with the mirror thing. Also the *obvious* love/hate interest right at the start when you just KNOW they’re going to end up together. So tedious hanging around waiting for the predictable snog.
    And ‘funky parents’ (although I am one myself).

      1. ah…. no. In fact I embraced them like my own…. siblings…. extended family…… putting spade away now.

    1. Isn’t it? Every now and then I go typewriter mad on etsy and ebay. Haven’t actually bought one yet, mind.

      1. I bought a portable typewriter on ebay. A teal-coloured 1970s Imperial that had never been used. I really enjoy using it but it seems a little strange not to have a ‘delete’ key. Plus cutting and pasting means exactly that 😉

    1. You mean my favourite YA author, Meg Cabot?! 😉 Which books are you thinking of in particular? I don’t think The Princess Diaries are cliched…

      1. pa ha ! I knew you might get irked by this comment, but she IS cliched…. I’ve only read one, Avalon and it was LITTERED with cliches…. really….! (I still really liked it, though).

  6. Avalon High, Debs. And there’s no point just reading that one – it’s the Princess Diaries you need to read! Anyway, no use just telling me it’s cliched, I need examples! 😉

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