To cliché or not to cliché, (that is the cliché).


A wise person once said: “Avoid clichés like the plague.” A sentiment I have generally always been able to get on board with. However, how many times have you read through your novel manuscript to find that in order to avoid a cliché you end up performing literary acrobatics that simply don’t flow and feel utterly laboured.

I’m currently reading a really nicely written book called The State of Me by Nasim Marie Jafry, a semi-autobiographical novel about a young woman living with M.E. While reading, I came across a line that made me smile:

There is nothing wrong with clichés: clichés come on life and life is real. When Ivan told me he was going to India, MY HEART FROZE.

It’s a great line, and challenged my literary snobbery. So, where do you sit on clichés?


  1. Like all advice on writing, and rules generally, it’s made to be broken. It’s knowing you are breaking the rule but can see no other option, or it’s the best description possible and it fits your writing.

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