First of all let me say, that I am a Viking fan through and through. I bleed purple from September through February and cheer for anyone who plays the Green Bay Packers!
But have you ever heard football interviews with coaches and players, or better yet the commentators? Take a peak at this clip:
Writers can learn something from NFL Football Lingo! NEVER USE CLICHES!
How do you know that you are using a cliche?
Five Tips Writers Can Learn From NFL Lingo On Identifying Cliches:
1. Cliches are often used to tell not show the story.
Example: She was down on her luck.
If you already showed us in the story that she is out of food and got laid off from her job, we already know this. If you are using this cliche to avoid showing us as your character stares into an empty fridge, then flopping down in a kitchen chair staring at a pink slip, you miss an opportunity to make the story come alive.
2. Cliches often state the obvious.
For example: It wasn’t as if tomorrow could come any sooner.
Really? I never knew that before.
3. Cliches are used to ramp up tension instead of originality.
For Example: Time was running out.
If I was paid a dollar for every time I’ve read this line, I’d be rich! Be more original to build the time element in your story.
For example: If she didn’t make it to the bank by five o’clock, the bomb would go off. Then nothing could piece her future back together.
4. Cliches build confusing visual imagery.
For Example: Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
HUH? We no longer throw out bathwater. And why would you throw out a baby? I know this is an idiom, but we often use these nonsensical ones that don’t make all that much sense. I don’t want my readers to visualize that while they are in the middle of my story.
What are some of the craziest cliches you’ve heard?