Writer’s Sword

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Clichès

Every genre has that plot point that is over used or the character type that doesn’t need to be used again. Some of the plot points could be an airport scene when Person A chases after Person B to admit their love before Person B departs or when Person A is caught kissing Person C by Person B and says “they kissed me first!” As for characteristics we have the “fuckboy” or “badboy” turned good by our average “goodgirl.”

-Plot Clichès-

1) HIGHSCHOOL ROMANCE: The badboy/girl decides to “play a game” and ends up falling in love with the goodgirl/boy.

2) ROMANCE: Character one gets offered a job. Falls in love with their billionaire boss.

3) OFFICE: Main female is in rivalry with other female(s).

4) MEDIEVAL: Main character is the runaway of a powerful kingdom.

5) MEDIEVAL: Main character is meant to be the savior of a magical realm they previously didn’t believe in.

6) WEREWOLF: Main character’s mate is Alpha of the “strongest pack” and extremely possessive. Main character hates them and does everything to provoke them.

7) VAMPIRE: Main character is some sort of human slave to vampires. A rich/powerful vampire buys them. They fall in love despite the human’s protest.

8) FANTASY: Hero wins, villain is most likely killed but may also be turned good* by the hero(es).

9) DARK FANTASY: Hero loses, most likely in death, and the villain is more than successful.*

Good* The villain may “turn good” in the middle or near the end. But, having that be a lie and the villain goes for the kill or whatever it was they’ve been trying to do, is a little less used. It’s still used within stories, but do it right, and all will fine.

Successful* This whole clichè isn’t as used as others, but still is— it’s a dark fantasy after all, it needs death. However, it’s the way writer uses it, as with most clichès, that make it have the same punch despite being written over and over again.

-Character Clichès-

1) HIGHSCHOOL: The badboy/girl is the quarterback or head cheerleader.

2) HIGHSCHOOL: The badboy/girl says they’re not gay. Becomes gay for the goodboy/girl.

3) HIGHSCHOOL: Head cheerleader is a bitch

4) ROMANCE: Main character is quiet, reserved, and hates themselves. Describes themselves as pretty.

5) MEDIEVAL: Main character goes against tradition.

6) MEDIEVAL: Has dead parent(s), which they haven’t moved on from.

7) WEREWOLF: Main character always hates the idea of having a mate. No reason at all. Just doesn’t want someone to love them or be loved by.

8) VAMPIRE: The main character/slave and vampire are both “severely scarred.” Most likely: Their parents were killed.

-Description Clichès-

1) EYES: Blue, green or gold are most used. Most common eye colors are shades of brown, hazel, or even black. Most common recessive is blue or blue-gray, but that does not mean everyone has it.

2) Don’t use “sparkling [colored] orbs” to describe eyes. Try to be unique, please.

3) HAIR: Blond(e), red or brown are most used. Try having hair being dyed, bleached or black.

4) SKIN: Describing people as deathly white isn’t exactly uncommon. Try doing different ethnics... and for the love of whatever is above, DO NOT follow all of the racial sterotypes a lot of writers do. Just because a character is Latino, Mexican or Spanish (from Spain, not the language), does not mean they’ll have a sombreo and a taco at all times.

5) If a character hates themselves, don’t have them describe themselves. Don’t let them stare into a mirror too long, don’t have them show much skin. Trust me, insecure people will not describe themselves kindly. In fact, many will simply look at a trash can and say, “Ha. Me.” and be serious. If not that, they will only describe their flaws. Ex. My face is too round, my eyes are too big, my nose is too wide, the bags under my eyes are too dark, and so on.

-How To Avoid/Change Clichès-

Obviously I didn’t hit every clichè, but this page will constantly have add ons. Here’s how to avoid/change the ones previously listed.

-Plot/Scenes-

1) BADBOY/GIRL GAME: Don’t let them fall in love. Don’t even let them be friends by the end. Build up so much tension, then destory it like Godzilla.

2) JOB ROMANCE: If for some reason you decide to have main character fall in love with their boss, fire them. Make your main character have to start from the bottom when the boss realizes how horny their assistant is.

3) OFFICE: Not all office jobs will have rivalry. Most people who work in one place will put up with eachother, whether it’s forced or not.

4) MEDIEVAL: Main character is a runaway? No. Have them exiled for treason or sentenced to death (namely hanging). Don’t tell the story of a runaway, tell the story of a daring or hopeless outlaw.

5) MEDIEVAL: Savior of a magical realm they thought was fake? No. Let the main character be built upon folklore and mythology. Let them be insane with belief.

-Characters-

1) BADBOY/GIRL: Badboy/girls of a highschool are typically the smokers, druggies, sex addicts or a combination of all of it. Rarely are they the sporty ones.

2) GAYNESS: You don’t need a gay love story to make it better. Just write a damn romance. Sexuality shouldn’t be forced, simply let it happen. Of course, you can have a gay romance, but maybe start with them being acesexual (doesn’t have a sexuality/isn’t sexuality attracted to anyone).

3) CHEERLEADER(S): Head cheerleader is bitch? Unneeded. Do you even need a cheerleader to begin with?

4) RESERVED MAIN CHARACTER: Keep them that way. Don’t let them confront their crush or lover about their feelings. If anything, let the main character friendzone the love interest in fear of rejection.

5) GOING AGAINST TRADITION: Let the main character instead follow tradition. Have a friend or lover be the one to go against it. Tell the friend’s story through the eyes of the other. If your main character is going against tradition, don’t give them reason.

6) MEDIEVAL PARENT DEATH: Let them move on almost too fast from the death of their parents (if/when it happens).

-Descriptions-

1) Read how other people have set up their characters. Find the average. Go opposite.

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