Writing & Editing: Find & Eliminate Cheesy Cliches

Eliminating cheesy cliches is easier said than done. We writers are busy as bees trying to write our stories, and words cannot express how easy it is to close up shop at the end of the day and ignore the overused cliches that bring our readers to the depths of despair and cause them untold agony. Is your prose full of so many cliches that words cannot express it’s cheesiness? Better late than never! Use the find/replace function in Microsoft Word to search and destroy cliches, and soon you will find that they are few and far betweenLast but not least, don’t let cliches dampen your spirits. If you follow these steps, you can find each and every one and repair your shattered dreams and make other writers green with envy.

That being said, do I need to explain why you should avoid cliches in your writing?

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, “The Writing Process: Find & Eliminate Stupid Words“, I’m working on editing a paranormal thriller novel, and I figured I would share some of the things I’m looking for in this week’s blog posts. Yesterday, I posted my working prologue before any of these edits. At the end of the week, I will post the prologue after the edits.

Today’s editing directive: seek out and eliminate cliches.

Here is a list of cliches I have gathered from several sources:

  • Acid Test
  • As luck would have it
  • Better late than never
  • Bitter end
  • Busy as a bee
  • Depths of despair
  • Easier said than done
  • Festive occasion
  • Few and far between
  • Finer things in life
  • Green with envy
  • Last but not least
  • Mother Nature
  • Needless to say
  • Rich and varied experience
  • Ripe old age
  • Sadder but wiser
  • Slow but sure
  • Untold agony
  • Words cannot express
  • Each and every one
  • Shattered dreams
  • Seemed like eternity
  • World turned upside down
  • At the end of the day
  • To make a long story short
  • I can’t wrap my hands around it
  • All his might
  • Dampened his spirits
  • That being said
  • Copious notes

Leave a comment and let me know what others I missed. I’m sure there are several more out there!

Fantasy novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston speaks to children, teens, and adults about writing and the process of getting published. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. Find out more about The Elysian Chronicles at www.elysianchronicles.com.

About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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