it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

  • Mood:

cliches, and why they are good.

No, really, sometimes they are. Not often. And not used scattershot. But if one wishes to get something across to an audience quickly and efficiently, one well-placed well-chosen cliche can save a metric butt-ton of exposition.

For example, say one needed a device that stops time. It doesn't matter to the plot what the device is; just that it stops time. There's no misdirection; the reader is meant to know as soon as it shows up what it does. It's not meant to have any cool value; it just needs to perform this one specific plot-related function.

If one just caves to cliche and makes it a pocket watch, already, think of all the paper one could save. (bad guy pulls watch out of pocket; clicks stem; time stops. no explanation needed. yay! trees saved!)

...of course, 95% of the time, after one presents this clever justification to one's self, one will realize that one was, in fact, just justifying laziness.

But the other 5% of the time, it works really well. ;-)
Tags: writing craft wank

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