Writing is mining treasure, isn’t it? The sifting of options among all that language has to offer. In the process, leave the hollow expressions that lie buried from overkill to rest in peace. Settle on what’s attractive and weighty. Don’t clutter your collection with dry, ossified castoffs of nature that add nothing to your art.
If you’re writing about these things, you might wish to tread carefully:
Uh oh, yup: here come the tears. Or fluffy cotton. Sigh.
Please don’t pitter patter. Oh, please. If you’ll die unless you do, just patter.
*sputtttter* Eww. Wipe off.
Do you know how many caresses happen to be velvet just like yours?
Something “coursing through” veins (usually passion)
Driver caution: slippery road.
Whispers of love
*Cringe* I’ll refrain. Bad enough poor thing made my hit list.
This one’s forever Madonna’s: “Starlight, Starbright, first star I see tonight.” Doo roo roo, yeah baby.
It sits in the technical toolbox for a reason. So that we can use it. But more often than not it becomes an easy substitute for fuzzy thinking or an attempt to sound deep and contemplative. Let your words – the content – provoke thought. Go back and try removing these grand emotional markers. Go on. You should sound more crisp, better grounded.
The Holistic Wayfarer’s Lexicon of Clichés includes the exclamation point because it’s often overdone! The point in the punctuation is a drop of neon off the brush! I promise no one will miss your fuchsia, whether it’s your lips or a streak on your sneakers! In preparing to paint our first home to move into, my husband and I delighted in the thumb-sized square of a peach pink on the color palette. We got a tub of the shade from the store and left it in the room for the painter. He called to report the room finished. We hurried over. Opened the door. And screamed, “AAUUGGHH!” Suggesting itself on a swatch was one thing. Exploding on our walls was another. There was just no way. Husband whitewashed the room, then called me in to present a lovely peach pink trimming around the windows. As he was whiting out the eerie gaudiness, he discovered that just a touch of the color served as a lovely picture frame and brightened up the room.
Clichés are the balloons that had pepped up the party but in the week-old aftermath lie lifeless and embarrassed, asking for the dignity of disposal. They are the makeup that’s as obviously tired as the woman by the time she resigns the bar at four in the morning. I am not saying there is no more room in the literary world for cloud and tears. All right, I’m trying to be polite. But my Bible is right. There is nothing new under the sun. We all grow in the womb, cry at birth to cry in life, fear to love, love to laugh, wonder, hope, do not know, learn, believe, strive, sleep, sweat, dance and trip, paralyze, birth children and dreams, eat and forget to nourish ourself, and expire. But we want to say what is universal in our own way. Clichés dilute what could have been original, cogent writing.