Friday, September 3, 2010
Few months back, a writing friend I had befriended on one of the social networking sites sent me few pages of her story. She just wanted my feedback. The more writer friends I am making, the more politically correct I am getting. I hate to criticize someone’s work as I detest ruffling feathers, or, bruising egos. I would hate it if someone criticized my work.
Her writing was riddled with clichés. She is a veteran writer probably writing even before I was born. I will not talk of the clichés infesting her work, but I will give you few examples of clichés that can me modified.
I always feel there are better ways of saying things. Instead of saying “the color of her dress was as green as grass” we can always say “ her dress was the color of freshly watered grass.” This description instantly creates an image of swaying grass with drops of water clinging to it.
Another cliché that really irks me is “her eyes were blue as the sky,” we can say this in a different way “her eyes were the color of a cloudless summer sky.” There is an instant visual of an endless blue sky devoid of clouds.
A cliché I detest is “ her hair was as black as the night.” There is always a better description, we just have to exercise our creative cells. Isn’t the description “ her hair was dark as sin, her hair was the color of melted dark chocolate, her hair was the color of a cold winter’s night,” way better.
“Far from the madding crowd,” is a cliché I have come across several times. Isn't “far from the dust and pollution of the city,” or “ far from city noises,” a slightly better way of describing the same thing?
The stereotypical clichés should actually be cremated. Cliches should be given a royal burial. There is no place for them in a good piece of writing. Cliches are responsible for pieces of writing that come under the heading of ‘ Bad Writing.’
As writers we are supposed to see the unusual in the usual stuff, to see a thing differently is our forte. And to describe it in an unusual way is what we specialize in. Our descriptions conjure vivid images in our readers’ minds. They literally transport them to other and different worlds. It’s our moral duty towards our readers to give them different descriptions.
Is there any cliché you particularly detest? Is there another and better way of describing it? We all would love to read about the clichés you abhor.