Category Archives: Cliches

Getting Jiggy with the Nitty Gritty, or, Improving Your Sentences

As writers we spend most of our time torn between needing to write and needing to market what we’ve written. Then, when we’re writing, our focus is often on improving our characters or the big picture story and characters’ arcs. … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 25 Comments

Describing Your Character: How To Make Each Detail Count

Describing a character’s physical appearance is a tough job. Most writers either really get into it and share every dimple, curl, and laugh line, or they sprinkle in just a few details so readers can make up the rest. No … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Empathy, Motivation, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 15 Comments

Lesser-Known Character Archetypes

One of the biggest pitfalls for writers is falling into cliché, and some of the biggest clichés happen with our characters. While the common archetypes work and are typically necessary, there are others that can be utilized to add interest, uniqueness, … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches | 17 Comments

How to Write Vivid Character Descriptions: Be Invisible!

One of the most difficult areas of description is when it comes to showing the appearance of a protagonist, especially when writing in first person POV. We need readers to “see” our protagonist, but how do we deliver description that … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Experiments, Guest Post, Point of View, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 37 Comments

Writing Emotion: Does Your Hero Shrug, Smile & Frown Too Much?

Crutch gestures can sometimes get in the way of good writing.  They come in all shapes and sizes–maybe an eye roll, a clenched stomach, curled fists or shrugs–cues we writers tend to overuse while trying to convey what our character … Continue reading

Posted in Character Wound, Cliches, Description, Emotion, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 49 Comments

The Writer’s Bane: Describing a Character’s Physical Appearance

I’m going to be totally honest here. There is little I detest more than trying to describe how my character looks. The reasons are numerous. I think it sounds boring. It slows the story. It reads like a list or … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Pacing, Show Don't Tell, Writing Lessons | 50 Comments

Seven Deadly Sins for Novel Writing: Sin V

Sin # 5: Flat Wordsmithing We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘The writing is flat.’ The question is, what does that really mean? Flat writing is where the prose lies dead on the page. Descriptions, characters and stakes are conveyed in … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Grammar, Seven Writing Sins | 19 Comments

The Seven Deadly Sins for Novel Writing Part IV

Sin# 4: Plot Snafus Your plot is the meat and direction of the novel. Even the most compelling characters lie flat on the page without something to do. For some, plotting comes as natural as breathing, and for others it … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Editing Tips, Pacing, Seven Writing Sins | 28 Comments

Seven Deadly Sins of Novel Writing, Part II

Sin # 2: Counterfeit Characters The most brilliant plot is nothing without the right characters. The writer’s job is to create unique, emotionally charged characters that are strong enough to drive the story. The characters we choose can make or … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Seven Writing Sins | 25 Comments

Clichés…Safe To Use?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Clichés being a bane to writers, so I thought I’d stroll over to the other side of the literary fence and look at when it’s actually okay to use them. Yes, you … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches, Description | 19 Comments