This got me thinking about cliches, and which ones I'd like to avoid. Some cliches are okay--beloved, even--but others I could do without. Here's a list of a few:
- The orphaned hero -- Sometimes the parents should be alive, darn it! The orphaned hero does make the reader feel sorry for the character, I suppose. (examples: Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Spiderman)
- Talking animals -- I can live with this one, though I don't know if I'd use it myself. (examples: Smaug, Charlotte, Aslan)
- The chosen one -- I get tired of prophecy telling people what to do. I want the character to choose to be awesome, not have it chosen for him/her! (examples: Harry Potter, Rand al'Thor, Shea Ohmsford)
- The villain who's evil for evil's sake -- Give them some good back story, I say! (examples of great villains: Voldemort, Zuko, Saruman)
- The wise, bearded wizard -- I like this one, but it is used a lot. (examples: Gandalf, Dumbledore, Merlin)
- Enchanted swords -- Ah, the good old sword that can save the world... (examples: The Sword of Shannara, The Sword of Truth, The Blue Sword)
- Good vs. Evil -- Sometimes it's not all black and white.
- Alternate worlds -- There has to be a really interesting spin on it for me to read another story about a kid falling into another dimension. (examples: Narnia, Wrinkle in Time, The Sword Bearer)
- Ugly evil faction -- Evil can be pretty, you know! (examples: orcs, trolls, Voldemort's minions...)
- The large, often fuzzy, friend -- Okay, who doesn't like this one? (examples: Hagrid, Chewbacca, Fezzik)
This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!