Monday, August 13, 2012

Think Fresh Cliché Quiz


I’m going to visit something I’m not supposed to. Clichés. I'm going to throw in some stereotypes too. Instead of avoiding them (in our writing), let’s welcome them into our heads for a moment just so we know what not to use (or at least for a little fun). The easiest place to use these offenders is when giving physical description. Picture a tech geek character. Do you see . . . a male . . . with glasses? If you visualize/anticipate the word or phrase that comes next, it's time to trash it and think fresh. Let them flow in your first draft but try to catch and replace them later.
See how many of these you can get:
1. Birds of a feather . . .
2. He's as big as . . .
3. Eyes as deep as . . .
4. His muscles . . .
5. Time . . .
6. Clumsy as . . .
7. Her skin/eyes/hair was as black/dark as . . .
8. His/her touch was as cold as . . .
9. The best is . . .
10. I'm trying to get you to think outside . . .

Answers:
1. flock together. (Hence the photo, taken at Santa Cruz, CA)
2. a refrigerator. Or an ox/elephant.
3. pools.
4. rippled.
5. waits for no man, stood still, froze.
6. an ox.
7. night.
8. ice.
9. yet to come.
10. the box.

Seen any common or crazy ones in a book recently?

4 comments:

Rachelle said...

Yep, I've seen several in books lately and I've said some of them lately too. :)

Renae W. Mackley said...

Saying them can be forgotten, but once they're in print . . .

Liesel K Hill said...

Unfortunately, I think I've seen all of those in books before, though nothing specific or recent comes to mind. The one argument I have FOR cliches, though, is in dialogue. Of course, you should only use them sparingly, but people use cliches when speaking so often that I think a few figures of speech are actually great character builders. After all, what are cuss words except age-old cliches! (Also to be used VERY sparingly.) :D

Renae W. Mackley said...

There's always an exception to the rule, Liesel, and you pointed out a good one. Thanks.