Cliches to Steer Clear of In Your Writing

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Miranda B

Think Outside the BoxI’ve got a bee in my bonnet that I think you need to know about. Cliches, phrases that were fresh as a daisy in their heyday, cause web content to read like a last-ditch effort. As a web content provider, you need to generate content that is fresh and creative. Don’t let cliches, slippery as an eel, storm through your writing like a bull in a China shop. Think outside the box and create daring phrases that provide your readers with an original way to envision your ideas.

Make the Most of Metaphors

Metaphors are analogies used in writing that offer comparisons to unrelated objects. This type of phrase does not use the words “like” or “as” when comparing a pair of things; those phrases are similes. Many metaphors are a far cry from being original. A word to the wise, the use of cliches, which are as American as apple pie, only muddle your writing. Yet for many writers who work on tight deadlines, in the eleventh hour they tend to take a blast from the past, sprinkling their work with more cliches than a lion’s share . S pend a little time cutting out the cliches if you want to stimulate your readers’ interest.

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

Editors see writing that depends on cliches as lazy or thoughtless writing. As a result, writers penning such crass content can see their paycheck dwindling. If you want to make hay while the sun shines , look for cliches in your writing. Unsure if your favorite phrases are cliches? Start by considering if you have ever heard the phrase before. Does your neighbor say it quite frequently, or did you read it in a science fiction novel? If you’ve lost track of the number of times you’ve heard a phrase, then most likely you are writing with a cliché. Slash that sucker out of your content as if it were a thistle in a field of wheat. Create a phrase that offers a fresh metaphor, and you’ll have yourself some high quality verbiage.

Gilding the Lily

Is there a time and a place for a cliché? Of course there is. Like a fox in a henhouse, cliches, if used appropriately, can give content bite. Say you want to create a character that will knock your socks off with his wit. Use cliches to add life and humor through characterization. Also, if you think that a cliché will not be too obvious in your content, feel free to give it a home. Just don’t let your hair down and go for broke . Less is more in the case of cliches.

A final tip for dealing with cliches: if you are struggling with a phrase, search for it on the Internet. If the phrase appears more than once on the first page of search results, you my friend may have yourself a cliche. And now you know what to do with it.

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


Small army of writers. Big platform in the cloud.

WriterAccess is the fastest-growing content sourcing platform that makes it easy to find writers, place orders and manage the workflow, all powered by advanced tools that become your GPS for content marketing. Sign up for a risk-free offer here.

Click here to request a demonstration of our platform.
You can also call 617-227-8800 or email info@writeraccess.com

Click here to become a writer for WriterAccess.

  • Categories