Category Archives: Cliches

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 | 36 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 | 49 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

Clichés…The Poisoned Apple of Description

It’s been awhile since my last cliché post, so I thought I’d look at the temptation aspect of clichés, and why writers are drawn to using them when faced with tough description choices. The way I see it, there are … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

What Agents Hate

There’s a wonderful article up at Writer’s Digest outlining specific turn-offs agents have regarding the oh-so-important first chapter. This is a MUST READ, so scurry on over and take a look! What Agents Hate

Posted in Agents, Characters, Cliches, Description, Editing Tips | 4 Comments

A Final Character Cliché…the Mentor

Gandalf. Merlin. Yoda. All great characters, all mentors that fit the ‘wise old man’ (er, Yoda) Mentor archetype. In fact, the wise old man is so well known for fantasy, it’s almost pointless for me to discuss the cliché when … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Cliches | 12 Comments