SEPTEMBER
NEW ADULT ROMANCE


09-23 Getting to Know Leah Hammond, author of RISKY LIES

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Favorite Modified Clichés



Do I have a favorite cliché?  Nu-uh, no way.  Editors and critique partners have zapped the cliché right out of my bag of tricks--uh, almost zapped.

Still, those clichés we try to avoid became clichés for a reason, thus the meaning must be a universal concept our novels need. So if we need 'em in the romance genre, how do you turn the cliché on its nose? (You didn't expect me to say "on its ear," did u?) 


Here are some clichés and my modification:
Happily ever after…

Semi-content in the here-and-now; at least until the opening pages of the sequel.

The ugly stepsister…
The misunderstood damsel who didn't have the parental guidance of the so-called heroine's mom.  In other words... The woman who makes your whiny heroine look good.

The sensitive man…
The man every woman is convinced she wants before she meets the bad boy.

The bad boy…
A slightly misguided sensitive man with a better abs and less fashion sense. We romance writers have mislabeled this dude because bad boy sounds oh so much better than stubborn sensitive man.  Real bad boys are in prison, belong to the mafia, or work on Wall Street.

Boy meets girl…
He friended her on Facebook.

Their eyes met across the crowded room...
{First--your editor is going to heave at the mention of body parts doing human things, so we'll change this to: "their gazes met..."  Second, how big is this room?}
Anyway, here’s the change:
He spotted her because she was the tallest woman in the place that violated numerous fire codes.

His kiss made her weak in the knees
Come on, girl. Go to a Pilates class.

Awakened by a kiss…
A man who doesn't understand the importance of the snooze button.

Crazy in love…
The sex is really good.

A forever kind of love…
The sex is really, really good.

Tall, Dark, and Handsome…
Uh... Uh-oh. No improvement comes to mind.  Maybe I do have a favorite cliché after all.

How about you?  Do you have a new take on an overused cliché?

5 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Robin! Very fun post to read. I'm still struggling with this topic so I appreciate your take on it along with Paty Jager and Kris Tualla. Hopefully I will have a new take on overused cliches before Friday! lol

Sarah Raplee said...

Fun post, Robin! You've hit on a couple I've used myself.

How about "tingled all the way to her toes." Does anyone really respond sexually to a kiss in their toes? Personally, I'm more likely to be tingling in my woman parts.

Sarah Raplee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lori Waters said...

When I do first round edits I find I'm the Cliche' Queen. Old habits die hard. lol Great post Robin.

Ashantay said...

Love your rewritten cliches! I agree with "tall, dark and handsome" - there are some descriptions that can't be improved upon!