Breaking Free from Clichés: A Guide for New Writers

cliches new writers should avoid

As a new writer, it’s natural to draw inspiration from the stories and tropes that have captivated readers for generations. However, it’s essential to be aware of the common clichés that can weaken your writing and make it predictable. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most overused clichés that new writers tend to rely on and provide guidance on how to break free from them. By infusing your writing with freshness and originality, you can engage readers and make a lasting impression.

  1. Love at First Sight: The trope of love at first sight has been prevalent in literature for centuries. While it can be enticing, relying too heavily on this cliché can diminish the depth and authenticity of romantic relationships in your writing. Instead, focus on building genuine connections between characters, allowing their love to develop gradually and organically, capturing the complexities of real relationships.
  2. The Chosen One: The concept of a chosen protagonist destined to save the world has been a popular trope in fantasy and adventure genres. However, using this cliché without a fresh twist can make your story predictable. Consider subverting expectations by creating characters who rise to the occasion through their actions and choices rather than relying solely on fate or prophecy.
  3. The Magical MacGuffin: The quest for a mystical artifact or object with immense power is a cliché that can be found in various genres. While a well-executed MacGuffin can drive a compelling plot, relying solely on this device without deeper exploration or unique twists can make your story feel formulaic. Instead, focus on character development and intricate storytelling to create a more engaging narrative.
  4. The Hero’s Journey: The Hero’s Journey, popularized by Joseph Campbell, is a widely used narrative structure that follows a hero’s transformative journey. While this archetype can provide a solid foundation, relying too heavily on its predictable stages can lead to a lack of originality. Challenge yourself to explore alternative narrative structures or modify the Hero’s Journey to create a fresh and surprising storytelling experience.
  5. The Wise Old Mentor: The wise mentor guiding the inexperienced hero is a classic trope found in many stories. While mentor characters can be valuable, relying on the same archetype without adding depth or uniqueness can result in predictable storytelling. Consider giving your mentor character flaws, complex motivations, or unexpected traits to breathe new life into this trope and create more compelling relationships.
  6. The Twist Ending: Twist endings can be thrilling when executed well, but overusing this device can make your writing formulaic. Constantly relying on shocking plot twists can diminish their impact and make your readers anticipate them. Instead, focus on creating well-rounded characters, layered conflicts, and thought-provoking themes that engage readers on a deeper level.

New writer, it’s important to be aware of the clichés that can hinder the originality and impact of your work. By recognizing and avoiding common tropes like love at first sight, the chosen one, magical MacGuffins, the Hero’s Journey, the wise old mentor, and twist endings, you can breathe new life into your storytelling. Embrace creativity, explore unique perspectives, and challenge conventional narratives to captivate readers with fresh and memorable stories that stand out from the crowd.