What is so bad about a cliché?
I see the comment sometimes in critiques — “This is a cliché.” Some people say it so much that pointing out a cliché has become a cliché. Is that like the pot calling the kettle black?
My first response is usually, “So what?” I guess I don’t get why people get all in a tizzy about it, especially if it’s in dialogue. People do still use clichés when they speak, don’t they? Or is it just us older people who are stuck in our ways.
So what is a cliché?
A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought, a stereotype or electrotype.
It sounds bad, right? Or is it? I think originality can be overemphasized in some literary circles over telling a good story. The best storytellers know and use every trick in the book. Old or new expression, does it really matter as long as you tell a good story? After all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, right?
Maybe it’s because I live in the south. We like our clichés down here, and they’re as numerous as fleas on a hound dog. It’s part of the vernacular. Telling a southerner to stop using clichés, is like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. You might as well be talking to a fence post.
So my advice is don’t get your knickers in a twist over clichés. Just go with the flow and enjoy the story. The occasional cliché won’t hurt anything (unlike this post).
Oh well, it is what it is.