Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Daunting Task

1:30 a.m. **Turning into quite the night owl.

I'm up late working on the rewrite. I devoured this month's copies of The Writer and Writer's Digest, and I must admit, I have my work cut out for me. (Cliches are my downfall.) I feel my plot is good. I even think I've managed to draw believable characters. My writing is not up to par though --not to my standards and certainly not up to publishing standards. Cindy, you didn't expect it to be perfect right off the bat did you? I mean, honestly, did you think you could make it three hundred pages without one cliche. I can't figure out how to make that diacritical mark over the e in blogger. It is a diacritical mark, isn't it. At this hour I start second-guessing everything. I downloaded a cliche-checker, and I tell ya guys, my manuscript is rougher than a cob. LOL. Phrases I dash off with ease pop up in the checker--phrases like "as a matter of fact,""out of the woodwork," and "in over his head." Others aren't so obvious, like "caught off guard," and "in good hands." I never realized we ran them in the ground the way we do. But I should have known that The Writer would be right on target. I guess my back's against the wall. Guilty as charged. Well, to make a long story short, it goes without saying that it's easier said than done. My writing's green as grass. And I wonder, after all has been said and done, will it cut the mustard? If you take out all the cliches, I wonder if there will be anything left?
Time will tell.

6 comments:

Hattigrace said...

This is very interesting to me. I had just remarked to a client today how worn out I feel when spending time with a client who constantly talks in cliques. I feel like they are a wall that keeps her heart and soul protected and hidden. Consequently, the conversations feel surfacey and boring.

I never considered in writing that cliques would be something to avoid.

I admire your courage and tenacity to jump into this dream and task of creating a story. I pray the right words come surging through your fingers!

wrinkled weasel said...

I can sympathise with you. I look at my ms and think it was written by a ten year-old.

try reading, "Casablanca, or, the Cliches Are Having a Ball" by Umberto Eco, - go here

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR/eco.html

Annette Burkett said...

It's those cliches that make it feel so familiar. I know the standards for writing are not set for what I like to read, but I feel closer to the writer when I read something that sounds familiar to me.

Mike Goodwin said...

I kind of enjoy cliches in writing. I didn't know, however, that someone made a cliche checker. Cliches are like life. Everyone uses them, so I would think it would translate well into a book.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

I went to a writers seminar a few months back and Terry Esau (Surprise Me author) spoke. One of his hints--was to NOT use cliches. You are right to edit them out--according to all that I've read and heard. However, I totally agree with Mike--cliche's are a part of life!

Maybe you should write a chapter filled with cliches--you're good at it!

Diane

Karla said...

I always go to www.dictionary.com, look up "cliche." When it pops up my results, I highlight the word & copy & paste it into my own text. =) Works for me.