1. stubeard
    Offline

    stubeard Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    England

    A new way of writing something clichéd

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by stubeard, Aug 15, 2010.

    Hey everyone. It's probably because I'm tired but I'm having trouble thinking of a new way of describing a very short period of time having gone by, with nothing happening in it, especially when the time goes quicker than expected.

    At the moment, I have: "Soon enough [they finished whatever task it was]."
    Another option is: "Before long [they finished whatever task it was]."

    I just don't like those options. Anyone got any other ideas about how to say this without sounding so clichéd?
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    acceptable cliches:

    in no time at all
    in the blink of an eye
    before they knew it
    quick as a wink

    less cliched:

    little time seemed to have passed before they...
    in hours that seemed like minutes, they...
    before they realized it, they were done...

    see if you can't come up with some on your own, so you won't be writing by committee...
     
  3. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    The task was completed quickly/at speed/without difficulty/quicker than expected

    They worked speedily completing the task in double quick time.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    What tone do you want? Folksy? Humorous? Slightly lewd? Whimsical? Literal and precise? Wry?

    Think what kinds of images you associate with a rapid finish in the tokne you decide upon. Stretch your imagination.

    Quicker'n a chipmunk's chirp.

    Faster than a hooker's blow job.

    Faster than (manager's name) believed possible.

    Faster than bad chili from bowl to bowl.
     
  5. Peerie Pict
    Offline

    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Scotland
    "In a matter of minutes...."

    "Moments later...."
     
  6. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    THAT's a line for a MasterCard commercial ... PRICELESS!
     
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,725
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    "Boom! Done!"
    "They were done in time to nip down to the pub and get a couple of pints of Guinness down before the boss checked on them."
    "They were done almost before they started."
    "They were done in thirty microseconds." (That was actually something my dad said a lot: "I'll be there in thirty microseconds!")
     
  8. 0---TY---0
    Offline

    0---TY---0 Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In my house :)
    You could just skip the bit of stating the task was finished by simply going to the end. Something similar to:

    "Alright, let's get to work!" Such'n'such said as they placed their hands on the counter, sleeves rolled up neatly.

    JoeSchmo smiled back at them, glancing down at the task before them.

    (Here, you can maybe go from chapter to chapter, or state something about the environment, or just observe one of the character's feelings, you have a good selection.)

    "Ahh, finally done! That felt like it took ages!" JoeSchmo breathed, falling backward into a nearby chair.

    ------

    Basically, you can pull something of a time lapse. The classic looking at the clock in a classroom bit you see on television. Or a music montage. Except that you draw the reader's eye away from what the two characters are doing, and pull it to something else. Then, you imply that while you were looking at this other thing, they were completing the task, and you simply just jump to the finished product.

    This could or could not be what your looking for, but I find it to be pretty effective.

    If this isn't exactly what you're looking for, I find everyone else has some good ideas. XD I personally like "Quick as a Wink" it just makes me chuckle for some reason.

    ~TY
     

Share This Page