1. AuthorsDream100
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    AuthorsDream100 New Member

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    How Do I Tell If My Idea Is To Cliche?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AuthorsDream100, Nov 16, 2013.

    I have an idea for a novel that has been poking me in the back of the brain for months now. I have developed a strong history and background for a story and am working on the main details of plot line but for the most part know where I'm going with it. I have pages filled with reference knowledge and ideas. Though there are some parts that I am not sure about. I'm having issue with the idea that they may be to cliche or overdone to even bother with. I would be willing to share the plot lines through private message if needed but at the moment am not comfortable with displaying my main plot and ideas yet. If you can help me, then please do.
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    We get that a lot around here,
    "My MC pours milk on his cornflakes - is that cliché?"
    "My hooker works from a street corner - is that cliché?"
    "My carpenter knocks in nails with a hammer - is that cliché?"

    I've been accused of using a cliché because my heroin addicted character shot up in a dingy squat. I would say carry on and who cares if someone thinks it's clichéd. As long as you write it well and it entertains go for it.
     
  3. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Hi, Em.

    Most members here will be quick tell you that there is nothing new under the sun. Not when it comes to completely original ideas at least. Everyone draws inspiration from different sources.

    Whether we/you think your idea is viable, that's not really the issue here. Can you deliver the idea in an entertaining, compelling way? Can you put your own spin or angle or it? That's what is important here.

    You may even find, as many do, that your story will start to evolve as you write, and that many of your initial ideas will be thrown out in favour of others that help to propel the story.

    Like @erebh says, don't get too hung up on originality. You are the writer, the choices you make during the process and your efforts, will make it your own.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    If you have to ask whether it is, then you probably already know the answer...yes, it probably is.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    @erebh is right. It is the type of question that has little value. A skilled writer can make any story line or idea good, and a bad one can botch the most brilliant concept. Just write the story you want to write and don't worry about this sort of thing.
     
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  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Echoing what most others have said - the idea may be cliché; the writing doesn't have to be.
     
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  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    For the record, I liked @erebh's dingy shooting gallery.

    There are very few new ideas. The Hunger Games takes from Greek mythology of Theseus and the Minotaur. Twilight was certainly not the first story with a forbidden and/or dangerous love theme.

    From what you've written here, it's time you started writing and see what you come up with. If your plot starts sounding cliché as you write it, change it up.

    Welcome to the forum. :)
     
  8. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Meh, whatever you do someone, somewhere will call it cliche' like @erebh's example about the heroin addict shooting up in a squat, my MC primarily shoots up in the bathroom of her house or the driver's seat of her car. Yeah, it's not the dirty heroin den, but someone has probably written an addict like that once before, therefore it is cliche'. Just write your book and do your best to write it entertainingly and the reader will barely notice the similarities to whatever is out there.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds to me as if you are simply hesitating - it can be a bit daunting to press yourself forward and actually put that idea down on paper (or the computerized equivalent) and see how it actually reads when you're done. But you'll never know until you try.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Cliché in itself is Cliché

    The most successful and engaging stories I have read or watched in films were simple ideas that had a story that was simple to follow. Notice how after Twilight all these vampire films came into the picture. Or even zombie films. People say they are Cliché because of the subject. It is all about how you tell the story and what separates it from the rest.

    I can write a short story around vampires, but add elements that would make it different from the competition. I can even write a story about life in high school and write about the typical things you see and witness that the masses have experienced. It is all about how to tell them to the audience.

    Some things that are Cliché are good, and some can be considered as overused. Just like usage of words; many many books I see the same line "he cupped his hands around her face". It is a cliché description, but it is a description that I can understand.
     
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  11. Impressions
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    Impressions New Member

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    when you're bothered with bad patters of yourself-repeated, change them. if its bothering you, it is most probably true-trust your instinct.
    for example, you said you've got all the points straightened up, but where's all the fun when you know all the game? perhaps you need to find a way to surprise yourself. write something without knowing what would happen if you trigger it.
    there are other ways to start writing something. but I agree with @EdFromNY , once you start it, you'll start pedaling, and after that, the movement will carry you forward, literally.
     
  12. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    I agree with Ed. You sound like you're using this as an excuse not to write. The difference between successful people and non-successful people, is that successful people just get on with it. The idea you have in your head, even the idea you've planned out, will change drastically as you start to write out the chapters. It's inevitable. Or at least, high likely.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ideas are not cliche. You may have seen the same storyline, any storyline, thousands of times, and yet fall helplessly in love with the latest interpretation.

    That's the key. Don't hate the idea, Just make sure you write it with sparkle and pizazz.
     
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  14. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    The Marvel superhero movies are all the same structurally, but people keep watching them because the little bits and pieces called "details" are different.
     
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  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's what i do for new writers full time, as a mentor... so if you want a neutral opinion, just click on my email address below...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
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  16. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    How many times a year do you think someone sells a story in which a person is being held back from success, and through the actions of an outsider is given a break? That's Cinderella.

    Stop thinking in terms of plot ideas. Yes, you need one, but what sells a story is writing that grabs the reader by the throat on page one and never lets go. If you keep your reader busy saying, "Oh my god, now what do we do?" they'll never notice the cliches.
     
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  17. Obscurum
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    Obscurum New Member

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    Look at my story. A giant monster attacks a city, leaves people infected? Does that not sound cliche? But i'll do my best to write this....
     

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