Using Sayings/Clichés in Creative Writing

Updated: Feb 9

A day late and a dollar short. Sorry, but I’ve been a busy, busy bee.

Full of sayings today am I? Why yes. Which is what I thought I would write about today. Sayings, clichés... We all know them and likely use more than one daily. Which is perfectly fine and sometimes all in fun. But as writers, we should avoid using them in our work.

Why? you ask. Well, according to the experts, it tells your reader you weren’t creative enough to come up with a saying of your own. But more to the point, a unique saying, something all yours, will not only show the reader just how creative you truly are, but will also enhance your character, making him or her more real. And that’s something that will make not only your character stand out, but you as well.

Be conscious, however, of whose head you’re in when coming up with this clever line. Whether it’s dialogue, inner voice, or narrative that brings to mind a saying such as it’s raining cats and dogs or when it rains it pours, don’t rack your brain trying to come up with something you might say or think, but what your character would say or think. For instance, if he or she is a farmer, it might be raining pigs and chickens. Then again, maybe your character is a professional ballplayer who’s just been released from the team, after which his girlfriend kicked him to the curb, and now he’s wrecked his car and just got handed a ticket for careless driving as he’s being lifted into the ambulance. In a case such as this, your character might be thinking: When it rains it pours baseballs on your head at a hundred miles an hour.

Lame, I know, but hey, give me a break; I spent less than thirty seconds coming up with that one.

#sayings #cliches