And Now Debbie Nance . . .


For better or worse, I’m on the team. Yay! I’ll be blogging on Fridays now.

Did you notice the clichés in my first sentence? Clichés often come easily to my mind when writing. Case in point, I used the better or worse cliché a few days ago in an email, which is okay for an email or a first draft but something to consider deleting in revision.

Today, instead of deleting the clichés, I’ll just blog about them. 🙂

Rick Walton was once asked about using clichés in picture books, he wrote: “Common is not the same as cliché. Frequently cliché phrases are long-lived idioms. They are not a lot of the normal phrasing we use every day. For me, a word or phrase is cliché if it feels cliché. If you use too much poetic language it can draw attention to itself and distract from the story. So if it’s a common word or phrase, don’t worry. If we couldn’t use common words or phrases, we would be in trouble.”


What do you think of clichés in writing fiction? Can/do you use them in dialogue?


Do you find you repeat the same phrases when you write? How do you lose those favorite phrases?

When revising, do you have a words or phrases you want to avoid? Want to share your list?

See you next week!


1 Comment

Filed under Voice, writing process

One response to “And Now Debbie Nance . . .

  1. sueburton

    Love Walton’s distinction between common and cliché. Cliché stuff draws attention to the author, away from the story. Same with the oft repeated.

    Hey, look! I didn’t use the words “that, look, or actually” up there! (Actually I used that, but then I revised.)



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s