Ever worry that you’re being cliche and nothing you write is new? Yeah, me too. One thing I see in reviews is readers complaining that the book didn’t surprise them – nothing felt new or different than any other book in the genre. The book was cliche – as in overdone.
cliche = a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought; a stereotype or electrotype
I see this more so in YA fantasy of late (maybe because that’s what I’ve been reading more of). I’ll read a book that’s okay, but it did everything I expected it to. Character A was really a bad guy the whole time, Character B is really the heir to this over here, and Character C made a comeback at the end – it’s all been done.
So, if it has all been done, what can be done?
Tricky. True, every story has been written. But – not every story has been written by every author. Every author has their own spin.
How do you write a story without being cliche? Well, I don’t think you can. Everything has been done at some point, you’re just rearranging the events in a slightly different way, with slightly different characters, and in a slightly different world. It’s your personal style that will breath life into your work. That’s how two authors can write from the same story seed and get two very different stories.
My advice – write the stories that YOU enjoy. Write stories that you would like to read over and over again. If you don’t enjoy reading your own work, how can you ask anyone else to?
I think this idea of “being cliche” comes from the thoughts of new writers who believe they have to write the next bestseller from the get-go, that their first book needs to be the best book ever written, and it has to be the best thing RIGHT NOW.
Chill out, calm down, and relax – write your story and don’t rush.