Walcott Gibs may have said it best when he said, “Our writers are full of clichés just as old barns are full of bats. There is obviously no rule about this, except that anything you suspect of being a cliché undoubtedly is one and had better be removed.”
One of the hardest parts about clichés is we use them so often it is difficult to know we are doing it. A good rule of thumb – err . . . I mean a good way to know if you are doing this is if it feels corny or wrong, it probably is.
Change it and don’t regret it. Maybe you are the type who has a difficult time finding them yourself, or you are worried you didn’t catch them all. A good pre-reader can help and so can using an online program like Cliché finder. There are a few different ones to chose from but the one I use is here >> All you have to do is upload your query, manuscript, or letter into the box and it will find your clichés.
Once you find them you may find it difficult to come up with a reasonable fix. Your first option is to think about what your cliché is saying. Unless you are playing basket ball or tennis, “The ball’s in your court,” is a cliché. What you are most likely trying to say is “It is time for you to make your next move” or “You make the decision.” If you can figure it out, great! If not, you are not doomed to spend the rest of eternity being a cliché monster! I promise!
Go here >> It is a website that has a long list of clichés. You can either find it in the list or type it in a search. Once you find the cliché you were using it will give you alternative ways to use it.
Your writing is better! Your agent or publisher will love you and you are well on your way 😉
May your clichés be few and your story ideas be plenty!