Overused Writing Clichés

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Welcome! To a drinking game! Get your shot glasses ready!

For legal purposes, we are taking shots of water. :) So please keep your bladders in check and make sure you aren't too far away from a toilet. Also, if you are at the legal age and decide to drink, please don't blame me for any reckless decisions you make while intoxicated (e.g., passing out on the floor, vomiting, texting your ex, learning how to cartwheel -- actually, credit me for that if you become an Olympic Gymnastic God). If you are underage and choose to drink... I am not at all associated with it. Whatsoever. Okay? 

Okay, the police are gone. We're good to go. 

But seriously, when you read a lot, you start to pick out phrases that are really common in stories. We've all had that one character who... takes the breath they didn't know they were holding. We all know that one character who says something and instantly wishes they hadn't. 

And, to be honest, I'm not usually bothered by these! You shouldn't scream and panic if your character does 'look like they've seen a ghost' because, hey, there is a reason they are clichés. It's because we, as humans, do these actions. We shrug, we forget to breathe, we regret what we say. It's normal! So there is no shame!

However! You must be careful not to overuse certain expressions within your story too many times. 

For example, I read a chapter once, maybe about 5,000 words. And as I'm trying to review this story, in this single chapter, the protagonist smiled... like... 24 times. I'm not exaggerating, I just looked up the review. And by the end, I was like, holy hell, I love your positivity but at this point, I can just assume you're smiling! You don't need to keep telling me! 

So just read carefully as you write to make sure you aren't overusing phrases!

However, here are some phrases that you have to be extra careful of. Why? Because people use them more than I use my bank savings to buy scarves to eventually mummify myself in scarves so I can look colourful and stylish--

Wait. I'm getting distracted. 

Anyways, so I've decided it's time to do a drinking game and go through some of the overused writing clichés that you can 100% use, but be extra wary of overusing!


- I awake to my alarm clock [or some variation]. 

- It was a dark and stormy night. 

- Avoid like the plague. 

- They blinked. 

- Their stomach lurched. 

- They ran their hand through their hair [take two shots if it's the love interest]

- They released the breath they didn't know they were holding. 

- Their breath hitched. 

- Their heart was caught in their throat. 

- Their throat caught [seriously why do we all give our characters breathing problems].

- Thick as thieves.

- A perfect storm. 

- In the nick of time.

- Red with anger/fury. 

- White as snow. 

- Green with envy. 

- Stubborn as a mule. 

- Hot as hell. 

- Dark as night. [ok I feel like I've used this, but even looking at it, I'm like... PLEASE even my neighbour's pet snail's shoebox is more creative]

 - Bright as the sun. 

- Uphill battle. 

- Little did I know. 

- Orbs. [If you know, you know.]

- Raven/Ebony hair. [I actually prefer these over seeing 'Noirette']

- Tongues fought for dominance. 

- Comfortable silence. 

- He drawled/smirked, but only take a shot here if it's a bad boy. 

- Coursed through my veins. 

- Rushed through my blood. 

- Cold shoulder. 

- Tongue explored their mouth. 

- Searing/burning kiss [y'aLL you're not supposed to get second degree BURNS from making out with someone]. 

- They captured their lips. 

- Chocolate-coloured hair/eyes/skin. 

- Coffee-coloured hair/eyes/skin.

- They felt like they were being ripped apart/in half. 

- Lip pecking. [Okay, this one is my fault because when I was a kid and first read this, I imagined like... someone kissing someone the same way a woodpecker pecks a tree]

- Each and every. 

- On thin ice. 

- Now, more than ever...

- Raised brow. Lifted brow. 

- Suddenly. 

- Tried not to stare. 

- Penetrating gaze. 

- Cheeks turned/burned red. 

- Defined jaw and/or cheekbones so sharp they could cut through [insert something to be cut through]

- Defined jaw and/or cheekbones so sharp they could cut through [insert something to be cut through]

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Okay. I'm sure there is more, but I've suddenly gone blank. Feel free to suggest more and I'll be sure to add them in! 

I forgot what the next chapter is, but when I remember... I'll remember. That reminds me! If you have anything you want me to talk about, let me know! I love taking requests. 

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