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  1. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    How to avoid cliche love story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Peper Shaker, Nov 10, 2016.

    Hey there, new here :) Nice to meet you.

    My characters are pretty well established, they're both complex and in growth process right now (aren't we all?)

    Anyway, I'm stuck here and I've been wrecking my brain trying to come up with a solution for this problem. She likes to be alone, and is oblivious to his interest, also developing a mental illness. He has a platonic interest in her, from afar, but his family life is the way causing insecurities and inability to talk to her. This is where I'm at right now. I want them to meet in a suprising way, and develop a bond that would help them overcome their obstacles in a subtle yet plot twisting way, and I think I've been able to accomplish that, from drafts I've written these past few days.

    My problem is, exactly that this sounds like an overdone cliche. I want to delete it all and start over.

    Thoughts?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Nice to meet you!

    I don't know if this helps, but I think the most original plots are the ones were the author didn't care if it came out as a cliche.

    I understand your desire to write something new very well, but I'd suggest to throw caution to the wind and write whatever is on your heart. Cliche or not. Then it will always be original as it couldn't have come from anyone else :)
     
  3. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    It does help, thank you. I might just continue and see where it leads me. If I realize it wasn't what I wanted I'll just start over :D

    Thank you.
     
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  4. G. Anderson

    G. Anderson Active Member

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    Glad I could help! I hope I will get to read the story one day :)
     
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  5. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you write of two characters who are both realistic, whom you know inside and out, a cliché plotline won't actually matter. It's only an obvious cliché if it's predictible and shallow. You can almost call any love story a cliché of one sort or another. Male meets female. Attraction develops. Problems ensue. Problems are overcome (or not.) They get together (or not.)

    It's the how and the who that really matter. Make us care a great deal about those two things and you will win.

    Here's a little trick, though. If you feel some element of your plot is really an obvious cliché, you can have your characters notice it and joke about it. After all, these kinds of situations do arise, even though they are something you've heard of before a million times. If you can allow your characters to notice and remark on coincidence, for example, it seems to make the coincidence more acceptable. (Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.) Ditto a cliché.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  6. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    That's actually very good advice, turn it into a casual occurrence in the story. Thank you :)
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    You shouldn't overdo it, though. And definitely don't use coincidence or cliché to resolve your story issues. That will really annoy your readership.
     
  8. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    No, of course. My idea is simple really, take two characters that see each other but never actually met, get them together and let it turn into a an unsolved love story. I wrote lots of things but always stayed away from love stories, not a big fan. Thought it would be fulcral for my MC, though. And would definitely make the novel more interesting... Lets see. Like I said, if I dislike it I can always go back :)

    Thank you, though.
     
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  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    If you don't want it to be cliche, I wouldn't have your female MC be so oblivious to this guy's interest. Regardless of how she feels about him at first, show us, the readers, how this affects her. This could be an opportunity to be quite original with that. I think most people are aware when someone is interested in them, and showing readers how she handles this will tell us a lot about this character, both characters really.

    But if you are writing something you feel might be cliche, avoid any cliche phrases. A fresh spin on a tiered plot can still turn out to be a good story.
     
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  10. tristan.n

    tristan.n Active Member

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    I don't think the idea itself sounds cliched. It sounds similar to the love interest situation I have in my story. The way you've written it will be a big factor in how overdone it sounds, however. So far I would read it. :)
     
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  11. Ebenezer Lux

    Ebenezer Lux Member

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    I believe that clichés exist for a reason. There's an element of reliability to them, and often readers are on the lookout for the familiar. Your job as a writer is to balance a healthy amount of clichés with original material. Relationships are very unique but very trophy as well. Add something quirky to your characters or plot to offset the tropes.
     
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  12. ToDandy

    ToDandy Senior Member

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    In my screenwriting class, we had to read a book that had an interesting point of view.

    "The first idea you have for a scene, throw it out."

    Our first ideas have a tendency to be derivative, that's why they come to us so quick. They used this as an example.

    You are writing a meet cute scene for a romantic comedy. How do they meet? If the answer is bumping into one another in the office or a crowded street as they both reach down to pick up the spilled items...you've just created boring derivative trash. Now, say instead you pick a unique location (a boys bathroom). Maybe the girl got drunk, and walked into the wrong bathroom to throw up and meets her romantic interest. This is more unique and has more life.
     
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  13. H L McCullock

    H L McCullock New Member

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    I think sometimes it is sometimes nice to read a new take on a love story or a relationship so I understand why you are keen to avoid predictable scenes or clichés. If characters get together in an unusual way, or if it ends up being quite tragic, it can be a refreshing change from the heaps of romance lit out there. But equally, there is something quite satisfying about picking up a book and having a strong inclination about what is going to happen. That these two characters are going to fall in love beautifully and we are going to be left fulfilled and happy, just like them. Does that make sense? All that matters is that it is believable and relatable. I don't think it matters if it's full of clichés. I hope this helps. I am basically parroting what has been said above, really.
     
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  14. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Exactly what I think, I don't want to write the male character too good of a person, I want there to be conflict inside of him because of her mental illness. It's all a bed of roses until it isn't, kind of thing.

    I'm not worried about the cliche anymore though, spent all day writing a draft and seems to be on the way, the block is over :D
     
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  15. Tebrim

    Tebrim Member

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    I agree with this because (myself included) as we are writing we become super obsessed with making something that is completely new and original however I think the WAY in which something is done is considerably more important. So even if there is a cliche plot line, if it is done well and the characters carry it making it a believable and organic outcome I feel ( or hope? ) the reader would perceive it as the logical growth of the characters rather than an overused cliche that causes them to sigh haah.
     
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  16. Peper Shaker

    Peper Shaker Member

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    Thank you for all your input, guys. I've written the first part and I managed to avoid cliches. Hurray for me. Lets see if I can continue the trend :D:D
     

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