Clichés are words and phrases that have been used so often they have ceased to have much impact. When they were first written they may have been original and colourful but overuse has guaranteed that they are now anything but.

If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you should forget the clichés and come up with something more original but if you need some convincing read on.

Clichés are part of our everyday speech

We may not always realise it but clichés do slip into our everyday speech. When we’re nervous we say we have butterflies in our stomach. When the weather is cold we say our hands are as cold as ice. When things go pear-shaped our hearts sink. When we are in a situation we don’t feel comfortable with we are like a fish out of water. When we have to choose between two equally unwelcome or unpleasant options we say we are between a rock and a hard place

Clichés should not be part of writing

Even if you can get away with clichés when speaking, in writing you should try to avoid them like the plague (that’s a cliché by the way).  You may find it easier to keep the words flowing in a first draft by including some worn-out phrases (itself a worn-out phrase), but once you have finished, be ruthless and change them to something a bit more creative and original.

Clichés can be annoying

Writing full of clichés is predictable and can be annoying for the reader and so in their interest you should at least try to keep them to a minimum.  Writing is a creative process and so simply resorting to hackneyed and overused phrases can be seen as a lazy substitute for fresh and original thinking and writing.

Use your own words

Whatever genre you want to write in, only you can tell your story so why not tell it in your own words rather than the words of someone else.

Clichés – why you should avoid them like the plague

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