1. Clichés are used out of
weariness, uncertainty, or hesitancy: they are an easy escape for writers.
2. They make writing dull: they never
stir the attention of the audience.
3. They force laziness on the part of
both writers and readers; they make reading passive and leave the audience with
nothing to remember.
4. They lead readers to assume the
writer hasn't worked hard to engage their attention
Tight as a drum, sound as a
Deep dark secrets, tried and
How to Avoid Clichés:
1. When a phrase comes to you
automatically, or that you can readily identify as a cliché, try to
think of other words to express your thoughts.
Instead of saying cool as a
cucumber, use a phrase of your own like: cool as Waterville, Maine on a
late October day.
Be original and let the reader feel, not
2. Make sure you clearly understand
every expression you use.
Dead as a doornail--what is a
doornail, and why is it dead?
Why not use: dead as the frog in the
dissecting pan? It is more interesting and much easier for the audience to
grasp the image of death.
3. There's no rule saying that metaphors
are necessary. If you are stumped, change the phrase to ordinary language.
Instead of saying: He worked like a
horse, why not just say that he worked hard. It conveys the same message,
without boring the reader.