Avoiding Cliché Plots

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I don’t necessarily think it’s about avoiding cliché plots. A cliché is a cliché precisely because people can relate to it. People recognize it right away. One of the reasons why romance novels are so popular is because they work around the different clichés available out there. Sometimes they even combine several clichés into one novel.

Writing doesn’t necessarily have to be about avoiding clichés. It can be about how you can make a certain plot line work for the story. Since I’m not a plotter, I don’t usually think about avoiding clichés. I write for the joy that writing brings me. During the creative process, I avoid thinking too much about the technical stuff. I just let the story flow according to which character I’m listening to at the time. The technical stuff comes in during the editing.

Some say all the types of stories have already been written. There’s very little true originality in this world. When you’re writing a romance, it’s always the boy meets girl or girl meets boy situation. Or boy meets boy or girl meets girl. You know when you’re reading a novel with romantic elements, someone is meeting someone and they fall in love. This can be seen as cliché, but it still works because everyone can relate, so why avoid it?

Who said clichés are a bad thing? A part of what makes writing creative is how clichés are made to seem new or at least original to the story. As a writer, I go with what the story calls for. I don’t think about the clichés. Editing plays a big part in fixing the clichés, but it doesn’t necessarily take them away. Even Nobel Prize winning novels have at least one cliché in them—it’s just that the writer was creative enough to work the story around the cliché, sometimes even masking it.

I think if you write what you would love to read, you’ll find other people who will enjoy reading what you have written. It’s not about avoiding clichés. It’s about embracing them and making them your own. If you’re really enjoying what you’re reading, you don’t notice the clichés until after the fact or even not at all.

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