1. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Isn't everything a cliche...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by cazann34, Oct 3, 2012.

    If you were to look up the definition of cliche 0n Wikipedia , it will say; cliché or cliche (UK /ˈkliːʃeɪ/ or US /klɪˈʃeɪ/) is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

    My question: is everything today a cliched? Here we are in the 21st century where appartently everything has been 'done' before, in this world of the internet, where any concept can whizz round the world at 'light speed' and be duplicted a thousand times over by psydo- trendsetters, and fob it of as there own work.

    What is your opinion?
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Only if you let it be a cliche.
    When a writer looks at a sunset and can only surmise that's it beautiful or allows their
    characters to degenerate into types - bratty cheerleader, stuck up rich-kid, moody vampire.
    They're not stretching their imagination. They're grabbing at the easiest phrase they can come
    up with resulting in trite garbage.
    Cliches happen even in good writing - but they don't happen often. Why? cause the author
    is bringing a new visuals to the freshen up the ordinary.
    Every plot might've been written, but it's not the story so much that
    matters, but how it's told.
     
  3. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now for some reason, you've got me thinking about happy vampires. Maybe happy-clappy vampires. I had a quick google, but I didn't find anything.
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    It's definitely a shady subject. Pretty funny that this thread is up. Yesterday the head of the writing program I am in at University comes into the classroom and lectures on writing about places, and how you have to be original with your descriptions of place, because with a place comes the expected attributes and characteristics of a place, which equals cliches on place.

    So he reads us a piece on a barber shop, and the narrator starts reading a magazine, and some girl puts her hand up and says: "Sir, isn't the magazine thing a cliche about place?"

    To which he said: "There aren't any rules. No rules, at all."

    So pretty shady subject. What I would say is everything is a cliche, but there are definitely ways to be original and creative to the point where no one considers what you're writing to be cliche.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Actually, I'm working on a humorous vampire story - where the turned vampire is a total-klutz nerd. He
    still gets pimples and he's ugly! He's also making his 'turners' immortal life a living hell.
     
  6. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, given you said that maybe I shouldn't do the flash I was thinking off where a worn down cynic with a splitting hangover finds that at 7am in the morning he's got bl**dy vampires at the door again, smiling, dancing in the street, small vampire children giving him flowers, and of course they all say that the blood thing is all completely voluntary.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    No way, go for it! I'm still a ways off from finishing mine.
    And ours we'll be different anyway. Unless you call your vampire Ernie.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust
     
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  9. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    That's what I was saying, someone creates something unique and everyone sees it and copies it, making it a cliche - it has now been over done. Great example would a love sick vampire, I think 'Buffy' had it first, (Angel, vampire, in love with a vampire slayer) then we had 'Twilight' and countless other copy cats.

    We grab uniquesness and stretch it so thin that is looses it original punch.
     
  10. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    Cliches become cliches because they work in and of themselves. The problem arises when the audience sees what's coming due to the overuse of the cliche, thus rendering it less effective than its maximum potential.

    You can still use cliches, but the trick is to work them into the story in ways that catches the reader by surprise.

    Or, you can turn the cliche on its head and create something new. I once wrote a horror screenplay where I did not remove the use of cell phones, as many similar movies today have to do in order to properly function. Instead of falling back on the 'no signal' trope, I actually had one of my heroes call for help - and help actually arrived, albeit at the most inconvenient moment. This gave the story an sense of unpredictability that many people enjoyed.

    Just don't do what everybody else has done. Try something new. Find new ways to make an old cliche fresh and new again.
     
  11. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cheers. Part-written now.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The word cliche is the biggest cliche of all.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    has anyone ever done a vampire story dealing with the high risk of acquiring stds/hiv from ingesting strangers' blood?!
     
  14. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Googling HIV/Vampires shows that a lot of people have discussed this. There are also real vampire cults and it's said that HIV is a real risk for them. I didn't find a story on it however.
     
  15. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    This is why the teachers at school don't want you to use Wikipedia. People make labeled terms on it and are usually the ones who have no clue what they are creating/editing. Non-writers will never understand the whole scale of writing a story, i mean that in normal everyday terms. Sadly they are misinformed and not realizing how awesome we really are.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well, there you are... a whole new/original concept for aspiring vampire novelists!

    use it with my blessing, since i think the whole genre is blankety-bleep... ;)
     
  17. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I've come to truly despise the word "cliche". It is completely meaningless; a term people throw around without even thinking.
     
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  18. lixAxil
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    lixAxil Self-Proclaimed Senator of the RPG subforum. Contributor

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    Oh well, Cliche, or repeated stuff, or overused stuff, Call it the way you want. Will always exist. That doesn't stop one to create an original story.
    What makes an story original or good, is it the way it's developed, not just what it contains.
     
  19. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I am so guilty of that.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly.
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are STDs an issue for the undead? I suppose they are if the author wants them to be.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    while they may not be fatal to the immortal, the symptoms could certainly be bothersome, doncha think?... not to mention downright humorous, in the right writer's hands!
     
  23. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first thought was the possible humorous aspects, although they would need very careful handling -- HIV is anything but funny, but I've seen it handled well in comedy situations. Gary Trudeau did it well in Doonesbury, and a UK comic duo called Struck off and Die did it well too. It's the exception rather than the rule, though. It might be less of an issue if vampires kept ending up malarial -- even though malaria is at least as serious an issue, it's not as emotive in the English speaking world. I'm not sure which other STDs are also blood-borne; there might be some bathroom humour to be had in vampires having trouble passing water (as well as an in-joke for those who know their vampire lore), and just how insane would a vampire get after a few hundred years of syphilis?

    Hmm, this is certainly something I want to read, I'm not sure if I'm into the vampire genre enough to write it.
     

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