Of Cliches and Writing Prompts

I recently scanned a list of 681 clichés a writer should never use use. Absolutely passé, we’re told. No longer can you upset the apple cart, keep all your eggs in one basket, or bark up the wrong tree.

Woe is me! I LIKE some of those old expressions; they said so much in so few words. Replacing them is going to be a challenge.

As we toss out the old folk wisdom, I suppose our next expressions — and we will want them — will come mainly from screenwriters and witty sit-coms. And phrases will get old faster; some of the lines we heard back in the 70s are already considered clichés.

Anyway, “too many irons in the fire” isn’t on the list yet, so I can say that I’ve added another iron to my fire, another pot to bubble merrily on my hearth.

Pexels – Pixabay

Or how about, “I’m growing another succulent in my bowl”?

Succulents.katerina zhang
KaterinaZhang- Pixabay

Starting tomorrow, December 1st, I’ll be supplying the prompt word over at Ragtag Daily Prompt every Sunday morning. I hope you will all to pop over and check out what prompt I’ve come up with. 🙂

You’re all welcome to join in: write a response to the prompt, post it, and add your link to the comments.

8 thoughts on “Of Cliches and Writing Prompts

  1. Who made this list of phrases we’re not supposed to use? 🙂 Whose rules are these? Often, writers are at their (our) best when they (we) break so called rules. Just my thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose the list comes from modern editors — expressions they don’t want to see in manuscripts. If we want to have our writing accepted by traditional publishers, we do have to pay some attention to the rules. But bloggers can do as they wish. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That makes sense. I’m sure there are expressions they’re tired of seeing. And to be creative and original are always good things. I agree with you in that there are expressions that are well used or even at times overused, because they fit so well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing the link to the old sayings because I am curious now – will go there next.
    And I just used “yeah – that’s the ticket” and could not believe how easily it came out.
    I feel like the expressions and sayings are a mixed bag / they can be good but too often some readers have no clue as to what they mean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, language is constantly evolving and there are archaic metaphors that make no sense in our day. “Bringing home the bacon” and “Chewing the fat” meant something to the great-grandparents; today we “earn big bucks” and “have a gabfest.” Who knows what will come up next?

      However, I don’t think we should “throw the baby out with the bath water.” Some idiomatic bits of wisdom —like “a stitch in time saves nine” — say in a few words what it would take a whole paragraph to explain. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahah – and this post was a hoot!
        and maybe we can have the “best of both worlds” if we use these idioms and phrases mindfully – and a little more often than “once in a blue moon” – but not “over the top” either –
        and each writer “can hit the nail on the head” if they just listen to their muse and not overthink it – haha

        Liked by 1 person

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment.

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.