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The Troubles with Clichés…

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One of the latest tunes I have listened from Weird Al is a parody of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way,’ only with the exception that he re-titled the work ‘Perform this Way.’ Though I think this is one of the best songs I have heard in a while, the reason for its success is mostly for these revealing lines: “I’m so completely original; my new look is all the rage.…There’s nothing too embarrassing; I’ll honestly do anything.…Hope you won’t think it’s cliché…baby, I perform this way.” In light of listening to this and watching the video, there is more to be said about someone’s style of writing, especially with the novel’s storyline and synopsis.

Almost every time I read a synopsis written by an ‘independent’ author, I swear that I will always find a cliché in either a paragraph or sentence. Sometimes the lines become so familiar, I often want to ask the author about originality and copyright infringes. While I try to assume the best intentions of the author even though it’s painful to point this problem out, these issues are important nonetheless. Phrases like ‘good night, don’t let the _________ bite’, ‘Happily Ever After’ or ‘Hearts of Gold’ are honestly tacky and unoriginal, especially when they are peppered on the outside of the book. One does not need an education in ‘rocket science’ to realize that these will make readers weary from the novel itself.

If you really want to captivate readers into the niche market that you setup as a writer, you need to make your work ‘shine, shimmer, and sparkle’ above the rest. Achieving this ability does not come from making glossy covers, fancy author photos, good formatting etc. While these standards are necessary for a professional image, you are not doing the reader much of a favor when the novel’s exterior goes through the bells and whistles without examining the storyline on the inside. The only thing you’ve created for yourself is nothing more than a whitewashed tomb.



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