Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Feature | 0 comments

Clichés will be the death of all new writers whether we realize it or not. Did you know that “about face” is a cliché? We use countless phrases that are overused in our work without realizing it every time we write. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as long as you don’t use too many. The arrangement of the surrounding phrases can complement the cliché nicely too.

Next time you’re reading, pay attention to all the phrases used and how they’re used. Does the placement of the phrase work for the piece or is it just cheesy? Is cheesy the intent of the placement? Would you write in the phrase differently? How?

Here is a fun exercise that will help you learn to use and not use these overused phrases.

Write whatever you want using as many clichés as you can. Then rewrite what you’ve written by replacing every single cliché with a phrase that isn’t a cliché. I’d love to know how these turn out! Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Avoid it like the plague
  • Dead as a doornail
  • Take the tiger by the tail
  • At the crack of dawn
  • Avoid it like the plague
  • rack of dawn
  • Low hanging fruit
  • Bend over backwards
  • Heads up
  • I beg to differ
  • Rub salt in the wound
  • If only walls could talk
  • The pot calling the kettle black
  • Drop a dime
  • Think outside the box
  • All that jazz
  • God Speed
  • Can it!
  • An arm and a leg
  • Get out of Dodge
  • Thick as thieves
  • Baby blues
  • But at the end of the day
  • To cry wolf
  • Plenty of fish in the sea
  • You’ve got to crawl before you can walk
  • Even money
  • Hang in there
  • Cry me a river
  • Grasping at straws
  • Do or die
  • There is no “i” in “team”
  • Every dog has its day
  • My brain is fried
  • Like a kid in a candy store
  • All bent out of shape


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