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  1. Kata_Misashi

    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    Too Cliche?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kata_Misashi, Feb 9, 2016.

    Short sweet and to the point; is it cliché to have one of the main characters of the story to be 'drawn' to a place out of a... 'gut feeling'?

    I don't know... Im having some writers block and this is kind of what I came up with ~_~;;;
     
  2. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ugggh. If I could remove one word from the dictionary, it would be cliche.

    People have become so worried about if this is a cliche or if that is a cliche. So much so that they may change their entire story because they don't want a cliche! They get stuck on this one idea, this one spot, because they are worried about how other people might see it.

    Well, stop it.

    Cliches are cliches for a reason! They've been tried and tested, and they work. Prophecies, the Chosen One, gut feelings... People like to read about that stuff. So they're honed in on, written about, and written about again, until it becomes so popular that it's seen everywhere. That's how they become cliches.

    So first, I would suggest you stop worrying about what is cliche and what isn't. Write your story the way you want and let beta readers tell you what doesn't work for them. By worrying about this, that, or the other thing, you're crippling yourself before you even start walking. Get it written first. Worry about the changes later.

    Second, I think if it fits in with your story, do it! Lots of people get gut instincts and follow them. I know I have. I've even read stories of cops who follow their instincts and end up catching a criminal. Some people say it's because we're unconsciously picking up on cues that our active brain doesn't register. So I think if it's the kind of thing your character would react to, do it. However, if he's the kind of person who is all about facts and figures and numbers and proof, someone like that wouldn't follow their gut instinct. So making a character like that follow their instinct doesn't make sense, unless it's part of their story to learn to trust themselves more.
     
  3. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's what my fantasy protagonist is doing. She's drawn to a specific place because of a childhood memory she had long ago associated with the place. Being drawn to certain places because of reasons only we understand (even on a subconscious level) is perfectly normal. :D Write on, Kata.
     
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  4. ddavidv

    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Stephen King wrote a little book that was moderately successful that used that exact premise. You may have heard of it. The Stand.

    Worry less about the idea and more about how to make it yours.
     
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  5. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For me as a reader, this would get an eye roll. It's not that it's cliché, it's that it's too convenient and, apologies, lazy. Like when a character is told to do something in a dream... yawn.

    I would find a way for your protagonist to go to this place for a reason. A proper reason, not a gut feeling.
     
  6. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    I don't look at it in terms of cliche, but rather in terms of convenience. If the plot is at a point where it can no longer progress, and a "gut feeling" allows the plot to continue, it's too obvious you as the author are the source of that gut feeling. Just because your characters are your puppets doesn't mean the readers should see the strings. Instead, consider in-universe reasons why the main character would go there.
     
  7. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Good point. A 'gut feeling' is OK if used in moderation and in a logical fashion. A 'gut feeling' like "I remember this place from my childhood..." or "Yeah, there was this thing that I know I was supposed to be doing that I've been putting off..." and we have had hints before on what's what is cool.

    If this character never demonstrated any connection between him/herself and whatever the 'gut feeling' is about in any way, then it could come off as a big convenience. Like, "Oh look! A guy that I conveniently know that I never once hinted at before! I'll be darned!"
     
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  8. Kata_Misashi

    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    Well, I mean... what my characters gut feeling is is based off of a 'power' she has... not to spoil anything but...

    She looking for something and the 'thing' basically has the same power she does and she... 'feels it'... ya know? I'm just not trying to spoil that...
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see it as a problem if there's a reason that is eventually at least somewhat explained. And it would probably be best to refrain from making the feeling too fluffy and flowery. In Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder, the "feeling" starts out happy and rhapsodic and then slowly leads to things that simply can't be coincidence, and that freak the protagonist out.
     
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  10. ChicagoDave

    ChicagoDave Member

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    It would never work...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then I absolutely say go for it. It isn't cheating -- it's logical. They have the same power and are sort of "drawn" towards each other. The reader may not like it right away, but it'll be explained later. I say keep it!
     
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  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

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    Regarding 'gut feeling'.

    True story: I was once home, playing on the computer even though I should have learned. Halfway through the afternoon I got this 'gut feeling', getting stronger and stronger. I ignored it, thinking I was just beating myself up because of not learning. Still it got stronger, until I finally shut the computer down and sat wondering. I tried to take up a book to learn, because I still thought it was guilt. Could not learn. In the end, I just sat there and waited for this feeling to subside, tried to think if there was anything which I should be doing right this minute and which I just had forgotten. Came up with nothing.
    Then I got a call from hospital. My friend (a sports climber) had fallen and gotten both his arms broken. Seemed that this feeling started up right when he fell.

    So much for 'gut feeling'.
     
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