March 21st, 2018

Capture 'Cliche Play' Power

Margie Lawson

Clichés pop in a writer's mind as fast as lightning. They cover the bases. 

Clichés roll onto your page like gumballs rolling out of a gumball machine. They require no more thought than swatting a fly. They fit like a pair of old shoes. They sound right, look right, feel right as rain.

I get a bee in my bonnet and a burr under my saddle when I think about writers taking the easy road, using clichés to pave the way to lickety-split writing. Haste makes waste. 

Fourteen clichés in eight sentences. 

According to Donald Maass, clichés sprout up everywhere. Donald Maass has a sensitive cliché-meter. So do other agents. So do I.

 Clichés are sneaky. You may not catch them until a seventh or eleventh read. Or you may not catch them at all. Critique partners may catch overused or clichéd phrases and sentences you miss. It’s up to you to decide whether to keep, nix, twist, play, or rewrite fresh. I’m not saying writers need to nix every cliché and overused word pairing. I am saying it would be smart to nix or play with most of them, and see if there’s a stronger option.

Writing experts recommend avoiding clichés. Why?  

  1. They’re predictable. Not interesting.
  2. They invite the reader to skim, to disconnect from your story.
  3. They don’t deepen characterization or draw the reader deeper into the scene.
  4. They may cover up the power you could have had on the page.

This first example is from my Fab 30: Advanced Deep Editing course. Rayn Ellis had these two sentences in a chapter she posted for editing.

Soul Song, Rayn Ellis, Multi-Immersion Grad, Golden Heart Finalist

Another charismatic, handsome man had no place in her life.

Been there, done that.

My cliché meter pinged. I wrote this note:

Here’s an easy cliché twist that just popped into my brain.

Been there, failed that.

The overused carry-no-power line is gone. Now that line carries a WOW factor.

And it conveys THE TRUTH. Regarding men, she was a failure.

 Cliché twists can add interest and deepen characterization. Let’s check out some other examples. 

Esther Scott’s Grand Adventure, Megan Menard, Multi-Immersion Grad

  1. Before: Over her dead body.

After: Over her freshly-rehabbed body.

  1. Before: “Forget it. You’re slower than molasses.”

After: “Forget it. You’re slower than dial up internet.”

The cliché twists makes those sentences pop. Add a Hit of Humor

I Do Not, Rhay Christou, Multi-Immersion Grad

By mid-afternoon I was worth about as much as an overwound Timex. I’d taken a licking and wanted to stop ticking.

Rhay played off a commercial for Timex watches. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Using rhyming words makes it funny. What if they’d used a non-rhyming word in that commercial?

 -- Takes a beating and keeps on ticking.

Not funny. Never would have been in the commercial.

They used the rhetorical device: assonance, rhyming vowel sounds. Simple and powerful.

Soul Affinity, A.Y. Chao, Immersion Grad, Golden Heart Finalist

“Get her out here. Now.” Vandenberg’s voice exploded from the intercom, all pissy and pompous and panties-in-a-twist.

Deep Editing Analysis: 

That cliché was amplified with what I call a rhetorical device combo. She combined  two rhetorical devices, alliteration (pissy, pompous, panties) and polysyndeton (many ands with no punctuation), and she gave the sentence a compelling cadence too.

Campari Crimson, Traci Andrighetti, Immersion Grad, U.S.A. Today Bestseller

  1. My B Positive blood began to race. “O Positive can donate to B Positive. So there could be a link to the blood bank break-ins.
  2. Anthony flipped onto his back, splayed his legs, and snored like a drunk with severe allergies and sleep apnea.

Struck By Eros, Jenn Windrow, Multi-Immersion Grad

Angelo was short, chubby, and Puerto Rican. His clothes were louder than Tara’s laugh, and he wore more oil in his deep-black hair than flowed through the engine of my Mustang. They were a match made in tacky heaven.

Evil's Unlikely Assassin, Jenn Windrow, Multi-Immersion Grad

White granite floors. White granite walls. White granite pillars. All gleaming like a freshly polished fang.

Love how Jenn themed that cliché play. Smart.

Sharing Hunter, Julie Glover, Multi-Immersion Grad, Cruising Writers Grad, Golden Heart Finalist

  1. Before: The plan formed quickly.

After:    The perfect plan zip-lined into my brain.

  1. No Before, Just an After: I grinned and gave her a kiss-my-sass wink. 

The power of playing on rhyming words. Ass/sass. Fun!

All is Bright, Andrea Grigg, Immersion Grad

  1. I could eat a horse, a stable, and the rest of the barn.
  2. Or maybe I’ve had this emotional baggage for so long it’s sick of riding the carousel.
  3. He gives me a long look and I freak out on the inside in case he’s found me out. But he shakes his head and like a lucky fish, I’m off the hook and back in the river. 

Fresh writing carries power.

CEO for Hire, Lisa Wells, Multi-Immersion Grad

  1. It had been a while since Isabella had locked stilettos with someone, but this chic's four-inch Louboutins were about to become hell-scraping flats.
  2. "I'm telling you, Grandma Patti, the guy thinks he's a nine-day wonder, but he's really just a nine-day blunder. There is no way he's my soul mate. You need to recheck your algorithm." 
  3. The air whooshed out of her lungs when she read his reply. Pardon my emoji, but I think I love you.

The Curse of Tenth Grave, Darynda Jones, Multi-Immersion Grad, NYT Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller

 “It breaks my heart that you don’t remember me. Not bad. Not like a complete break. More like a hairline fracture.”

The way Darynda amplified that cliché makes me laugh every time.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave, Darynda Jones, Multi-Immersion Grad, NYT Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller

Darynda and I worked on Ninth Grave in her first Immersion class. I remember our late night editing. Working with Darynda and her characters is always crazy-fun.

The Set Up:  Cookie spilled coffee on a customer and started dabbing at his crotch.

Before:  When she came to her senses and realized where her hand was, she…

After:  When she realized she had her hand on his erector set, she stilled, stood, and stammered.

Deep Editing Analysis: We avoided a cliché and added specificity (erector set) that included a big time hit of humor with the play on words. Darynda loaded the last part of the sentence with alliteration.

Why use rhetorical devices like alliteration and assonance and polysyndeton? Because they often make the cadence compelling. Because the repetition, the rhyming vowel sounds, and the rhythm add power. Because they make writing sound award-winning cool.

Margie grads may have noticed I used polysyndeton in the first sentence of that paragraph. They probably noticed I used alliteration in the third sentence. They should have noticed the last three sentences of that paragraph created anaphora.

I encourage writers to take a long moment and give cliché-busting their best effort. 

Rome wasn't built in a day. There's no time like the present to go all out and push harder. Time flies when you're having fun. And cliché-busting is more fun than falling off a log. 

I shared a few more clichés, and I also shared my truth.

I hope you all find your clichés and overused word pairings. I hope you consider nixing or twisting or rewriting to add interest and power.

Kudos to the Immersion grads cited in the blog. Impressive writing!

As always – a big THANK YOU to the WITS gals for inviting me to guest blog.

THANK YOU ALL for dropping by the blog.

Please post a comment or share a ‘Hi Margie!’

Post something -- and you have two chances to be a winner.

You could win a Lecture Packet from me, or an online class from Lawson Writer’s Academy.

Lawson Writer's Academy – April Courses

  1. Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More

Instructor: Becky Rawnsley, Teaching Margie Lawson’s course  

  1. Story Structure Safari

Instructor: Lisa Miller

  1. Taking a Book from Good to Sold

 Instructor: Shirley Jump

  1. Author Power on Pinterest

Instructor: Lana Pattinson

  1. Write Better Faster  

Instructor: Becca Syme

  1. Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat

Instructor: Suzanne Purvis

  1. Navigating the Tightrope Between Historical Fact and Historical Fiction 

Instructor: Anne Mateer

Post a comment. Let me know you’re here.

I’ll draw names for the TWO WINNERS Thursday night, at 9PM Mountain Time, and post them on the blog.

If we have over 100 people post comments, I’ll triple the drawings.

That’s right. TRIPLE.

We’ll have SIX WINNERS!

Ha! Surprised you. Right?

Like this bog? Give it a social media boost, and you’ll boost your chance to win!

Okay, your turn! Share a cliche twist with us!

 *     *     *     *     *

Margie Lawson —editor and international presenter – teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners.

She’s presented over 120 full day master classes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France, as well as taught multi-day intensives on cruises in the Caribbean.

To learn about Margie’s 5-day Immersion Master Classes (in 2018, in Phoenix, Denver, San Jose area, Dallas, Yosemite, Los Angeles (2), Atlanta, and in Sydney, Melbourne, Bellbrae, and Coolangatta, Australia), Cruising Writers cruises, full day and weekend workshops, keynote speeches, online courses through Lawson Writer’s Academy, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit: www.margielawson.com

123 responses to “Capture 'Cliche Play' Power”

  1. Lakota Grace says:

    It's a bog, it's a pane, it's the ho magiwwicuddie. 🙂

  2. christopherlentzauthor says:

    Hey, Margie, I was just polishing a first-kiss scene (from my heroine's POV) and this was on the page: My veins pulsed with honey and hot sauce.

  3. Rick George says:

    Great examples--thanks!

  4. Jayna says:

    All great examples! Glad I opened my email today LOL. Will tuck these away for further study.

  5. margay1122 says:

    I love the "slower than dial up internet" - that is classic!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Margay --

      I know! I remember that S-L-O-W dial up internet. I could knit a row on an afghan before I got connected. Sheesh!

      Brilliant writing.

  6. Lea Storry says:

    Great minds think alike - cliche! However, I also wrote about cliches this week: Family Lines blog. These aren’t your kids clichés: http://bit.ly/2FLDRmR #storiesmatter

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Lea --

      Great mind-sync!

      Thanks for sharing the link. I'll check it out.

      Hope to meet you sometime!

  7. lrtrovi says:

    Fun, funky, fantastic. Loved the examples!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Irtrovi

      Always great to cyber-see you.

      Love your cadence-crescendo of alliteration.

      Fun -- one syllable

      Funky -- two syllables

      Fantastic -- three syllables

      You used the rhetorical device asyndeton too. No AND.

      You could have written:

      Fun, funky, and fantastic.

      But you knew it sounded cooler to skip that AND.

      Kudos to you!

  8. Loved this post, and the power of the tried and true and never tired rhetorical devices. One of my favorite books to nerd out on is Martha Kolln's Rhetorical Grammar. Thanks for sharing!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Amy --

      Ah... Thanks! I'm all about being strategic with style and structure on the page. And rhetorical devices provide a never ending playground of power.

      Let me know if you're attending RWA National this summer. I'd love to get together.

  9. Fantastic post, as always, Margie! I've always loved how Darynda turns a phrase throughout her Charley Davidson series. (I just have to avoid eating or drinking while reading her books—it doesn't turn out well once I start laughing!) 😀

  10. vgfoster says:

    Your posts are packed with positively powerful word patterns. 😉

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Vanessa!

      Ha! Love your alliteration and your cadence.

      Can't wait to work with you for another week at the West Texas Writers Academy. See you in June!

  11. Shelley Cummings says:

    This makes me want to run home and start revising! It’s like playing with psychological word puzzles that give the reader a neurological massage! LOVE this! Plan to print and keep near while revising!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Shelley --

      Glad my blog motivated you to revise.

      Keep in mind, there are soooo many other topics in my online courses that would help you make your writing stronger too.

      Just had to slip that in. If you don't know what you're missing, you keep missing it. 🙂

  12. renobarb says:

    great examples! I need to go on a cliche-hunt.

  13. Laura Drake says:

    I LOVE cliche twists! To me, they're 'author play'! This is from my July release, The Last True Cowboy (Nellybelle is a reeeeeally old truck that just threw a rod.)

    I hear it before I see it. Quad Reynolds’ truck materializes through the heat-haze off the blacktop. It’s almost as ancient at Nellybelle (may she rust in peace).

    At twenty-nine, my biological clock has stopped ticking—it’s tap dancing on my ovaries.

    later:

    My biological clock bongs a funeral dirge.

    I won't go on, but know that I could! Love that Cliche-twist trick, Margie - one of the MANY you've taught me over the years!

  14. Faith says:

    I edit for several Margie devotees, and I've been itching to ask you, do you put idioms in the same class as cliches? Yeah, a lot of idioms--maybe even most of them--ARE cliches, but my take is that not all are, and occasionally messing with an idiom can cause confusion, not surprise or delight.

    Usually the changes I see are verb or pronoun changes, nothing sexy and new. What's the solution in that case? Finding a different, fresher way to say it, sure. But will my editing fingers fall off permanently if I *occasionally* recommend just letting the idiom do its job? Especially in dialogue, when the speaker isn't a Margie grad.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Faith --

      You get to stop itching!

      Like you said, idioms are cliches. Twisting or playing with idioms wouldn't work if the other character was from another country, and didn't understand the idiom. That's the only time I can think of where it would be confusing.

      From my blog:

      I’m not saying writers need to nix every cliché and overused word pairing. I am saying it would be smart to nix or play with most of them, and see if there’s a stronger option.

      Regarding using cliches or idioms in dialogue, we've still read them before. They're still not interesting. They're still not fresh.

      But if you keep a cliche or idiom, your editing fingers won't fall off. 🙂

      Thanks for posting!

  15. carrienichols says:

    Love the cliche busting & twisting!

  16. jayjhicks says:

    Hi Margie. I did recognise your magic dust in that second para of the Deep Edit Analysis! I’m not a grad of anything yet, but after sitting in a conference and paying deep attention to your presentation (such a formal word for a mind bending experience), I learned in a few hours a new way of seeing. I’m already applying that little taster to my writing and it sings when I do. Thank you. X Jay

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Jay!

      I'm sooooo glad I met you at the Omega Conference in Sydney. And I'm excited that I get to work with you in Immersion on the Gold Coast in October!

  17. Immersion grads always dazzle with their word play. Waves at Margie and Jenn Windrow. Love you, ladies of letters that march to a different tune.

  18. Andrea Grigg says:

    Cliche twists are so much fun! Here's a bunch from the back of my brain 😉
    1. Now you see it, now you wish you hadn't
    2. Not my farm, not my bovines
    3. Plenty more suits in the city
    Thanks for always encouraging me to write fresh, Margie!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Immersion-Grad Andrea --

      I love the back of your brain, and the front of your brain too.

      This one made me laugh! Not my farm, not my bovines. LOVE IT!

      Can't wait to work with you in Immersion at your house on the Gold Coast!

  19. Hi, Margie! I'm so excited to be attending your Immersion Graduation class in September! Already booked my airfare!! Peggy

  20. Julie Glover says:

    Ah, so much fun! I loved the examples, especially Jenn Windrow's. I still remember writing those lines you shared from me while at Immersion! So much fun to twist a cliche and make it your character's own voice. Thanks, Margie!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Multi-Immersion and Multi-Cruise Grad Julie!

      Always soooo fun working with you and your characters!

      Are you coming to RWA National? Hope so. Don't want to go a whole year without seeing you.

      If you're skipping RWA National, I could see you in Houston, right before my December cruise for Cruising Writers. 🙂

  21. Lisa Wells says:

    Hi Margie. Thanks for including examples from my current work in progress. I love cliche twists.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Multi-Immersion Grad Lisa Wells --

      You're a cliche twist wizard!

      You know I love your stories and your writing. It's deep-editing strong!

  22. Jenny Hansen says:

    I always love these - Julie, Laura and Darynda rock the cliche' twists! They tend to be really hard for me...I don't know why. This one still needs work, but here's my twist.

    Here's a before:

    "This six foot four ex-con had a face like my Aunt Gladys, who was not a pretty woman.."

    After:

    "This six foot four ex-con reminded me of my Aunt Gladys, whose face was like a bad blend of pitbull and pug.."

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion Grad Jenny!

      Ha! Love your cliche play. Fresh writing. And you know I'm always impressed with a fresh character description. Kudos to you!

  23. Michelle says:

    Hello Margie! Great post. I do love a good clichy twist 😉😘

  24. Ani says:

    Great topic

  25. Bonnie says:

    Hello Margie.
    I love your posts. They always have great examples.
    *hugs*

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Bonnie!

      Ah... Thanks for reading the blog! Hope I get to see you this year, or next!

  26. Marin McGinnis says:

    I love these blog posts! Morsels of Margie magic.

  27. littlemissw says:

    Love this post. As always, priceless advice.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Littlemissw

      I know your smile from WITS, but I don't think I've seen you registered for one of my online courses. I share dozens and dozens of deep editing goodies.

      Just wanted you to know. In case you didn't.

      And -- I have another DOZEN piece to share. I have a DOZEN Immersion grads who are finalists for the RITA and Golden Heart this year. Six finalists in each category.

      Yay! I'm so proud of those uber-talented deep editing masters!

  28. Merissa Racine says:

    Thank you for this post. I always do better with actual examples!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Merissa --

      I always teach with lots of examples.

      My course (and lecture packets) are loaded with examples, teaching points, and explanations. Everything is explained. And all those examples make learning easy, and fun!

  29. rosetyper9 says:

    Wonderful blog post as usual! <3 I love reading all the examples!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Rosetyper9

      Thank you!

      I'm pasting what I just wrote above, here. It fits!

      I always teach with lots of examples.

      My course (and lecture packets) are loaded with examples, teaching points, and explanations. Everything is explained. And all those examples make learning easy, and fun!

  30. Anne Belen says:

    Oh Margie, I have missed your mind so much. 🙂 Been a while since I’ve done a course with you, and this blog post reminds me to get off my egg-warmer and get after it!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Anne!

      It's been waaaaaaaaay too long since I've seen you and played in your words.

      Ha -- egg-warmer. FRESH!

      I'd love to work with you in another Immersion Master Class. How about coming to Denver? September 9 - 13? Advanced Immersion. MAYBE?

  31. Hi, Margie--I'm always glad to see more examples and analyses from you. I haven't tried the cliche twist in my own books. I'll start looking for places to use them. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. Fae Rowen says:

    I avoid cliches like the plague. (Laura is a great "cliche alert" crit partner!) But I remember the twist idea and I like it, particularly for the book I'm working on now. Thanks for the timely lesson. You're the best!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Multi-Immersion Grad Fae!

      Love that Laura has a sensitive cliche meter too!

      I cannot wait to work with you in another Immersion in July. It will be an amazing class!

  33. jeanne kern says:

    Margie's blogs are always fun and informative. Thanks, Margie.

  34. Sigh. My to-be-read list always grows after one of Margie's posts. Usually a great thing, but I'm trying to create a tunnel-vision situation here where I write more and get led to the dark side less. Saving these for later. Thanks!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Cruising Writers Grad Rachel!

      Good for you! Write first. Use reading as your REWARD for meeting your writing goals.

      Smart plan! And I know you're SMART!

      MISS YOU! Hope to see you this year, or next!

  35. Judy Rogers says:

    Margie loved your sessions at the OMEGA conference in Sydney last year. Just finished an online course with Becky. So good!
    Strange shapes, strange letters, strange words —writhed and coiled on the walls like worms escaping a fisherman’s hook. Dancing lights fought for freedom above her head. Freedom from years of waiting in silent bondage. Waiting for the chosen one to release the prophecy. The lights arced in the air like a show of the northern aurora.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Omega Conference Connection Judy!

      I remember you and your smile. Love that picture I took of you sitting on the couch about midnight. It shares so much emotion.

      Love, love, love your paragraph. Strong writing!

  36. This was wonderful, Margie--delicious "food for thought." Somewhere in my memoir manuscript, I know I have a better busted cliche than the one I'll provide, but I can't "put my finger on it" at the moment. Rather than "peel back like an onion" (referencing a doctor's cavalier delivery of a diagnosis for my son) -- I had to peel back the other words like soggy bread to hear the meat of the sentence.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Karen --

      Thanks for sharing an example. Smart writing.

      I'm playing in your words. A few baby tweaks popped into my mind. So -- I'll share.

      Here's your sentence:

      I had to peel back the other words like soggy bread to hear the meat of the sentence.

      I had to peel back his words like soggy bread to hear the meat of his message.

      I like MESSAGE. Seems to carry more truth, more power.

      Plus we get the alliterative play of meat and message. Always fun.

      I hope you don't mind that I shared my tweaks!

  37. Winona Cross says:

    Good morning. Loved the post, but it is much too early for me to think of a fancy cliche. All I really want is that first cup of coffee, sweet and light.

  38. Darynda says:

    I love this! Cliches are brutal. They sneak into everything I write. It’s hard to be aware of every one but I’m trying to become more sensitive to them. I’ve realized how often I use them even in everyday conversation. But thanks to you, Miss Margie, I’m getting better at catching them early on. YOU ROCK.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to 2-time Immersion-Grad Darynda --

      Yay you!

      You know your stories and writing impress me. Clearly they impress LOTS of other people too.

      CONGRATULATIONS on being a RITA finalist!

  39. M. Lee Scott says:

    Awesome article, Margie! I love cliche-twists!

    Before: eye-catching look

    After: guy-catching look

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello M. Lee Scott --

      You just WOWED me!

      Before: eye-catching look

      After: guy-catching look

      Love your cliche twist. Kudos to you!

      Thanks soooo much for posting.

  40. Barb Heintz says:

    I still have so much to learn from you.

    • We all do, Barb. We all do.

      • Margie Lawson says:

        Darynda --

        We all keep learning and growing and stretching our brains. I keep developing more deep editing tips and techniques and checklists. I've come up with lots more since the Immersion at your house in 2016!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Barb!

      You're only done one Immersion class. 🙂

      Did you see Darynda's reply to you? And she's an NYT Bestseller!

      You're probably still assimilating what you learned in September!

  41. J Paulette Forshey says:

    I suffer from the Cliches problem though I try to kick them out! This is a great article! Thanks!

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Paulette --

      Glad you're using your cliche meter!

      Thanks so much for the shares on Facebook. I appreciate you.

  42. Wonderful words to write by, Margie!!! You brought laughter to my morning and a deep need to edit my WIP, so off I go stomping the pedals, er clicking the keys.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Christine!

      Ah -- Thank you.

      You made me laugh too!

      Looking forward to working with you in your second Immersion in September!

  43. Gretchen Carlson says:

    Margie: You turn dull cliches into rowdy monkeys that demand attention.
    (I can't wait to meet you in April in Colorado Springs!)

    Cliche: I remember it like yesterday.
    New: The memory smelled sharper than Mother's perfume.

  44. L.D. Rose says:

    Always love your posts, Margie. So much fun! 😀 I've been dying to take one of your classes, so thank you for the opportunity! <3

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello L.D. Rose --

      Thank you!

      But -- this blog is a teensy sliver of what I teach in one lecture. Most of my online courses have 250 - 350 pages of lectures. All loaded with examples and teaching points and explanations.

      Now you know. 🙂

    • Margie Lawson says:

      L.D. Rose --

      Oh -- I bet you meant the opportunity to WIN an online course.

      Duh. Sorry...

  45. Great post! I wish I had an example to share off the top of my head but I can say my writing has improved greatly since our class.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Amanda!

      I'm sure your writing is deep editing strong!

      Hope I get to see you again sometime this year. Or maybe next spring!

  46. Thanks, Margie! You were the one who taught me to play with clichés! I need to do another immersion to learn even more from you.

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hugs to Immersion-Grad Traci!

      I love your examples!

      Yes! Your next Immersion could be in Colorado. Or Italy. 🙂

  47. dholcomb1 says:

    Every time I try to write a clever variation, it just sounds stupid. But, I will watch what I write with regard to cliches.

    denise

  48. Rayn Ellis says:

    Always great when you suggest things to fix up my crappy writing! Smooches! And, so loved reading such amazing writing by your super fab author examples! Great Blog!

  49. Hi there! Every time I write or edit I do find a cliche somewhere. I generally try not to use them so if I see them I tend to nix them though I think I have come up with a couple recently that seem more fresh to me.
    My character in this one is a Nymph and I'm writing generally about myths:
    To say she hadn’t had a real man in a while was a mythical understatement.
    Thanks for the chance to win

  50. I always love reading everyone's cliche twists. It's a hard skill to master, but so rewarding when it happens. I'm getting there... maybe... 😉

    • Margie Lawson says:

      Hello Erin --

      Some people like Lisa Wells and Andrea Grigg can just sit down and make up a bunch of cliche twists.

      Other writers require more time to twist a cliche. They usually have to reject a bunch of ideas until the right one hits.

      But the reward for both is awesome.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  51. Gia Murphy says:

    As always, wonderful advice.

  52. Margie Lawson says:

    HELLO EVERYONE!

    Thank you all for dropping by WITS and reading my blog!

    Love all this energy and talent.

    We have 117 total comments. But half of them are mine.

    Since I wasn't clear about wanting 100 comments from blog guests (which is what I meant, but didn't type), we'll have six winners.

    SIX WINNERS!

    These three people won a lecture packet from me:

    .......1. JAYNA

    .......2. IRTROVI

    .......3. PAULETTE FORSHEY

    These three people won an online course from Lawson Writer's Academy:

    .......1. RACHEL LAUDERDALE

    .......2. JUDY ROGERS

    .......3. M. LEE SCOTT

    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SIX WINNERS!

    Please email me through my website. Thank you!

    And -- a BIG THANK YOU to the brilliant WITS gals again!

    I'M GUEST BLOGGING FOR WITS AGAIN ON APRIL 18!

    See you all then!

    If you have questions about lecture packets or online courses, please contact me through my website. Thank you!

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