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Post Reply How do you avoid cliches when writing?
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21 / M / Canada eh
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Posted 12/10/15
Add a twist.

If life gives you lemons, punch life in the face because lemons are worth jack shit in the real world.
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Kazamatsuri
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Posted 12/10/15
Its up to the writer if he/she don't care about the fact that its a cliché then it doesn't matter to me.
A cliché or two doesn't matter the overall story is what matters.
Posted 12/10/15
I rather embrace them.
Posted 12/10/15

DudeItsMark wrote:

Add a twist.

If life gives you lemons, punch life in the face because lemons are worth jack shit in the real world.


We do not need more Shyamalans in the world.
Posted 12/10/15
If you don't want to write cliches, explore outside the conventions/rules of writing.

http://www.crunchyroll.com/demian/episode-1-demian-573260 This anime is unique, because the story basically starts out at the climax, instead of having an intro first.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 12/10/15 , edited 12/10/15

DudeItsMark wrote:

Add a twist.

If life gives you lemons, punch life in the face because lemons are worth jack shit in the real world.




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24 / M / florida
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Posted 12/10/15
Write the paper as if you are not yourself, but instead a very factual machine who is writing a paper for humans.
ask yourself, would humans find this paper entertaining while still factual?
and remind yourself
I must avoid using cliche's, whatever would i do if the humans found themselves unable to understand it.
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22 / M / New York, USA
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Posted 12/11/15 , edited 12/11/15
From what I know, pretty much any story will always be at least slightly derived from previous works. The best way to be original, in my opinion, is not to completely avoid established tropes or cliches but instead to try to twist them in original ways.

Also, when writing characters, the best way to avoid cliched characterization, at least in my experience, is to start with thinking about how the behave in or react to various events in the story, rather than starting with any character archetype when figuring out their personalities (pretty much, don't start with "this character is a tsundere", as this will probably lead to exaggeration of those traits on your part). They can still end up fitting into an archetype, but it is better to avoid having that entirely define their personality. This has worked for me in the past, it may work for others as well.
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28 / M / Winnipeg
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Posted 12/11/15 , edited 12/11/15
1. If it's dialogue, find another way to say it.

You KNOW when something is cliche because you've read/heard it your whole life, so you have two options: you can have the character say it anyway, because people actually talk in cliches and it might sound more casual and realistic, or basically find a "synonym sentence" that means the same thing. What does, "Man, it's raining cats and dogs out there!" really mean? What are they actually saying? That the person is surprised by the heavy rainfall. But so what? What is this character worried about? Get into their head. Are they at a friend's house and worried about their basement flooding? Okay. Then say something that means that. Show their emotion. Give a better understanding of their psychological state or something. Don't just say it's raining hard -- who cares?

2. Don't just do the opposite of the cliche.

"Hey, how about instead of a knight saving a princess from a dragon, a princess saves a captive knight!" No. Stop. Think harder than that. How about the knight goes to fight the dragon and then...fails. Dies. And then the remaining story is from the dragon's perspective, and the princess actually fell in love with the dragon due to Stockholm Syndrome and blah blah blah -- just go crazy. But even that would be a START. A rough first draft of a first draft. Now take that idea, and find twists and turns in there, and you might end up somewhere no one -- not even you -- expect. Which brings me to my last point...

3. Think like a crazy person.

Do stuff that doesn't make sense, and then ask yourself questions until it DOES make sense.
"Kill the main character off in the first fight scene, like two chapters in." Well, I can't do that -- he's the main character. "What if he's not actually the main character, and the readers just think he is?" Well, no, I want him to be my main character. "Okay, then why would the readers think he's dead?" Maybe because the characters do? "But why would they think that?" Because they see it happen? "Well, how big of an injury is it? Like getting his head chopped off?" No, that's too much. "Why? What if there was some way he came back?"

And that's where you can start being creative. Challenge and question yourself. Argue with yourself. Just doing what you expect is what everyone is going to expect, and it's probably been done before. Even that line of thinking above could lead to a character like SPAWN, so you'd be forced to do something different than that, and different than than, and on and on and on... And maybe you do end up with something similar to Spawn, or a brain in a robot, or whatever you did with that dead main character, but you can put your own spin on it and steer the story somewhere exciting.

Just get away from your first thought. Your first thought SUCKS. Then make it something you enjoy writing. You might not want to write about the ridiculous character or scenario you reach -- so keep going and tweaking and revising until you invent people and worlds that you do.
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28 / M / Winnipeg
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Posted 12/11/15 , edited 12/11/15
P.S. (Kill la Kill spoilers to follow)
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20 / M / Bundaberg, Queens...
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Posted 12/11/15
Cliches are some of the best things imo
Posted 12/11/15
don't write, you're welcome
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