Recently, I read a book crock full of clichés and understood why we’ve been told to find new ways to say old things. A handful over all is not bad, but when you find one to two per chapter you begin to wonder if the author was under a deadline and couldn’t think of new descriptions.
Let me give you some examples. In the nick of time. In the blink of an eye. A tough nut to crack. Too close for comfort. Easy as pie. Higher than a kite. Payback is hell.
Those are obvious clichés. Some that aren’t as obvious. When her hand touched his, a tingling sensation shot up her arm (I’m guilty of that one and promised myself not to use again). He had washboard/six pack/eight pack abs (I do admit I still like that one for obvious reasons, but a guy can still be sexy without them). The slight knot/crook in his nose was from a fight in his younger days. He moved across the room like a panther/tiger/cat. Her laugh sounded like angels singing/running brook/tinkling bells (that one always scared me - think about it). She was known as the Ice Queen/Iron Maiden/Cold B*tch.
Another cliché I’ve seen in romantic suspense the past couple years is the heroine is a late night radio personality. I understand the purpose, but, please people, be original. Of course, the guy is usually the detective. That’s okay only because there are dozens of detectives in large cities and they have a reason to be involved in the murders, but there is really only a handful of radio personalities and they need to stay out of it.
What are some clichés that ring your bell in the wrong sort of way?