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Young Writers Society
Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:22 am
Trust me. I hate cliche plots just as much as you do. We all want to come up with plots that are completely new to the world and haven't been seen before. Unfortunetly, due to the length that writing has been around for, that's pretty darn hard to do. Cliches have popped up everywhere, and it can be tough to avoid them.
So, what exactly is it that makes your plot seem boring and unoriginal? Is it the characters? The plot? The specific little elements?
What if I were to tell you that it was NONE OF THEM.
Well, not none of them, per se, it's more like all of them in comination with one another.
Let's look at the clasic, most cliches plot ever: Handsom, noble prince saves helpless princess form evil, brainless, and overconfident dragon. Ugh.
Now, why is this cliche? One, because a 5 year old could come up with that. Two, the combination of the elements in the story. The hero is ALWAYS noble and male, and the victim is ALWAYS helpless and female, and the villian is ALWAYS overconfident.
However, it's OK for somebody to be a drama queen and helpless. It's OK for somebody to be noble as long as they aren't Mary Sues/Gary Stews. It's OK for a person to be overconfident.
What makes this cliche is that we always see the person with one role in the storyline with a certain characteristic, and one scenario always has a certain problem happen.
Take a family who is on a pleasent cruise, heading through the bermuda triangle, where the weather is just a bit rough, but they're having a great time. Gee, I wonder what happens? A storm hits and they sink.
Now, how do you make this original? A psychic takes over and forces the people on board to serve him. Don't see that every day!
So anything can be used originally, but use them in combinations where they don't end up predictable and boring.
Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:20 am
I actually prefer the cliche plot + original characters combination...I'd much rather read about interesting people on an old adventure than flat people on a spiced-up adventure.
"My pet, I've been to the devil, and he's a very dull fellow. I won't go there again, even for you..."
Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book.
— Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
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