(M-W’s Word of the Day: Megillah-a long, involved story or account)
Hello, fellow procrastinators! Today is Sunday and I haven’t started a lick of homework, but that’s okay, because I have (most of) Monday to finish it, thanks to our misplaced celebration of Christopher Columbus.
The other day, someone on Wattpad messaged me asking me to read their story. I didn't mind-I'm always happy to read someone's story (on my own time, mind you-if you start pushing me to read it, you can forget it), and I'm always looking for something to read. It's a win-win situation. But the problem with this book was, it was completely unrealistic. Almost every plot element was not only unrealistic, but also cliche. I was thinking, "If you're not going to write anything original, don't even bother writing!" Maybe that's a little mean, but I'm sick of reading the same story under different titles (and even those aren't particularly original). If I wanted to do that, I would have read the same book multiple times.
See, the thing about cliches is that they're good for the first few times they're used. Who doesn't want to read about the cheerleader who fell in love with the computer nerd against all the social barriers? I mean, how cute is that? But after that, it starts to get less cute. Then it gets dull...and then it's just annoying. I begin to start picking out all the flaws in the story line-I mean, what are the odds that every cheerleader on the squad is blonde? And that not a single one is in any AP courses?-and after that, I start to hate it even more.
The sad thing is that people sometimes choose to write about cliches just because it's "easier to get noticed." "Why not cater to the crowd?" some people reason as they write the first chapter of "The Bad Boy Stole My [insert random article of clothing here]." "Maybe more people will read it."
So since I'm acting all high and mighty about cliches, I'll share what I do to avoid being cliche: I take the cliche and change. I turn it inside out, I flip it on its head...whatever you like to call it. Either way, here's how I do it.
Step 1-I look at the cliche parts of the cliche. Why is it cliche, exactly?
(The cliche parts of the classic tutoring the football player story is that the football player is always stupid, the tutor is always nerdy but extremely attractive, and she's always madly in love with the football player.)
Step 2-I reverse some of these parts of the cliche, so that it's basically the opposite.
(The football play tutors the nerd. The nerd isn't actually a nerd.)
Step 3-I throw in some emotional motivation for the characters.
(The football player wants volunteer hours because he doesn't think the football scholarship he was hoping for would work out in his favor. The girl is failing a class, but too stubborn to ask for help because she's not used to struggling in school. Neither of them have crushes on each other to begin with.)
Then-voila! Flipped cliche that I'm itching to write down on paper.
Would you guys use this method? Are cliches annoying to you, too? Comment below!
Until then, I have a late English assignment that I have to do NOW, or else I'll forget.
And speaking of English, I'm starting a second blog for my English research project (which is, naturally, about young adult novels). It'll basically be the bowdlerized version of this blog, but if you're interested in checking it out, here's the (temporary) link. http://temporaryurlforenglish.weebly.com/