Clichés are not great for storytelling. In fact, they are the enemy. Usually, writers are trained to avoid using clichéd phrases and words in sentences. What many don’t realise is that these clichés can also affect storytelling techniques and not in a good way. Clichés are storytelling devices that many writers use again and again without having to stretch their creative abilities. What follows below are some of the worst storytelling clichés that writers must stop using.
Broadcasting an upcoming plot twist
Many writers think that giving a hint of what is to come is the ultimate way of giving a character who’s been sitting around with nothing to do a little weight. It is sometimes known as the ‘little did he/she know’ principle of storytelling. While in some cases it might help readers look forward to what’s coming next, no one wants to know that there will be a plot twist before the actual plot twist. In some cases, it kills the readers' anticipation to keep reading.
Too many inside jokes
Just because you watched The Big Lebowski doesn’t mean that the reader will care much. There are a few things that will stop one cold in a story and such include belaboured referencing and inside jokes. It’s good that you watch cool stuff and that you are funny. But if one has to lose count of the number of times you reference something, then you can rest assured that you are alienating your readers.
Blaming bad behaviour on bad parenting
In storytelling and in real world, justifying bad behaviour is always going to be a challenge. But when it comes to fiction, the issues of many characters can be traced back to physical or sexual abuse by parental units. And while this happens in real life, making parents into monsters to explain a character’s bad behaviour is way too easy. Of course, it is sometimes deeply affecting but in most cases, it is scarier if one turns out to be a dick even with a great upbringing.
He/she is the chosen one
Making your hero to be more than just special because they have been chosen by a greater force isn’t the only way o make a character interesting. In fact it’s become too common such that it’s just plain boring. And if the character is the only one who can solve a certain problem, it doesn’t mean that they are heroes. It just makes them coerced because of their fate as dictated by the higher force.