Wednesday, 1 April 2009

THE WAR ON...CLICHÉ

Much more useful than the one on terror.

See how many hackneyed phrases and tired, worn out words you can find in the passage below. I make it twenty. (Plus a heinous untruth in the last sentence.) That’s twenty more than you should have in your entire novel.

Warning: you may require a bucket nearby.

Smoke coiled into the crisp autumnal air, the rooks wheeling high above the cottage. Inside, the log fire flickered as Jack sunk deep into the gnarled leather of his favourite chair. At the end of the day, he mused, the sun goes down and the world would carry on regardless. Life, his especially, was what one made it; you choose either a bed of roses or a bitter pill. Toby, his faithful friend, nestled against the old man’s feet, a salient reminder that love conquered all. His wife had flown the nest, but at least out of sight meant out of mind. He picked up his Dan Brown novel and settled in for an evening of unadulterated pleasure.

Anyone want to add some gems of their own…

5 comments:

Tania Hershman said...

I'm sorry, I didn't get past "Smoke coiled into the crisp..." and then I had to leave. And find a bucket. Pain. This causes me pain.

Thanks.

TOM J VOWLER said...

You're just jealous, Tania, cos you can't write such awful prose.

CathM said...

Lol, Tania... I treated it like a primary school WordSearch task... I spotted 19 phrases in about 5 secs...

Barb said...

That seriously hurts Tom, you are a bad man.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Oh that is just wonderful writing. Stop the clocks, slam the doors, decapitate the budgie. Give the writer an Orange, and a Booker and a Whitbread. All at once. Dropped from a great height.