The Cure For Predictable Plots And Other Clichés

It’s fine to go with a cliché at first – why not? It’s a good starting off point – but you need to rework, refine or reverse it.

  1. Rework it: How can you put a spin on it? Yes, she faints in his arms and expects to wake up in his bedroom. Instead, she wakes up in hospital. She didn’t swoon, but had a bad case of food poisoning! Use the cliché and then work in another surprise.
  2. Refine it: OK, so this one is a lot more subtle in its approach. Say your secretary is in love with her boss. It’s a big cliché but let’s keep it and refine. Maybe she’s unconsciously sabotaged all his dates, so he always reverts to being single and available. Next cliché – she undergoes a makeover to get him to notice her. What if the sexy makeover has another effect and gets a creepy guy in accounting to start stalking her?
  3. Reverse it: Can you change gender roles in a story? Maybe she is the lead detective, not your male character. Maybe he is a single dad who can’t find a date rather than the divorced female cliché.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

If you enjoyed this post, read