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Young Writers Society
Cliche or Classic?
Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:21 pm
I have just finished a novel, no names. Where a reviewer called boy meets girl, they fall in love a cliche. I was then severly disappointed when the two main characters did, in fact,
fall in love.
There is a whole genre based on romance and on the theme girl meets boy and they fall in love. This is a classic theme not a cliche.
A classic theme becomes a cliche when it is improperly executed.
What do you think?
Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:28 am
*Moved to Writing Tips.*
Moderator Emeritus (frozen in carbonite.)
Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:37 am
I think that there is definitely a difference between a classic and a cliche. How many stories can you think of where there's a princess and a prince? Probably tons. How many stories can you think of where the prince saves the princess? Probably tons. How many stories can you think of where the insanely handsome prince saves the dashingly beautiful princess, whom is in some sort of peril? Again, probably tons. That's because these types of tales date all the way back to the renaissance.
This is how I would define it:
Classic-- A story based on a theme desirable to the time period it takes place in, that ends with a timeless message (meaning it can be told again and again through different stories).
Cliche-- A story which focuses on
desirable for the time period it takes place in, that ends with a rather predictable ending.
Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:30 pm
If the dashing prince who saves the supermodel princess, turns out to be running from his power hungry brother is it still a cliche?
Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:32 am
Cliches were all obviously good at one point, otherwise they wouldn't be considered overused now.
I think everyone has their own version of cliche. When I think of cliche, I don't think of classic fairy tails. I think of vampire romances. I mean, look at Twilight (not that I've read the books, which I haven't). Back in the beginning, it was an original idea. Good, I guess. But now that every other YA author is writing about them, the idea ain't so cool anymore. It's a cliche now. So is the whole "chosen one" deal. Think Harry Potter. It's like when one special, low-end kid was chosen as part of a prophecy. It's pretty overused at this point. But Harry Potter, back in the day, was almost revolutionary, in my opinion.
There are certain elements that make a good, entertaining story that will basically always be present in literature. In my opinion, these are the "classic" stories, and most of them are present in the Bible, in their own way. A whole bunch of stories/movies can be compared to the story of Jesus, for example. Like "Cool Hand Luke" and somewhat "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest." In both of those, a strong central character unites all the weaker characters, and later dies for them.
I think that, alternately, when people go out of their way to make a piece of writing
cliche, it kind of ruins it.
This may have made absolutely no sense on account of me being incredibly sick and unable to concentrate.
stay gold, ponyboy
Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:26 am
That really does make sense. That's what I've been trying to say, but I have incredibly failed while you have done a great job. There are themes that, in my opinion, will never really by tired out or overused like the one you listed above. I, however, believe that even the cliches of today like vampires can be twisted into something so completely different that it's no longer a cliche.
I hope you get better, Lena
Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:45 pm
I don't think that is cliche if the idea of the story is original. If the story is basically following the plot of every other romance book, then it turna a little cliche.
I think that is classic. Just make it your own story.
To stay away from chiches, make sure the plot is original. Have some unexpected twists, or maybe have a different kind of romance than normal.
Ignore people who tell you if it's chiche if you think that it's original. It's whether or not you like it and think it's different that really counts.
The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
— Samuel Butler
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