Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Laughing My Pants Off


When was the last time you laughed your pants off?

Speaking for myself, I never laugh my pants off. My pants stay put. But I do laugh until every cell in my body dances a ticklish dance.

You get my meaning. What was a strong visual, now overused, has become a cliché. Cross that one out and think anew.

My excellent editor for The Voice of Thunder crossed out a few of these worn visuals, and rather than come up with replacements, she wrote ‘CLICHÉ’ in the margins. Of all the revision tasks I discovered that replacing a cliché with a fresh custom-thought was my favorite.

One such was the sentence- “You could cut the tension with a knife.” A strong image that has long lost its edge, (pun intended, and another cliché) and in the case of the voice of thunder, it was a pivotal sentence.
What did I change it to? You’ll have to read the book. Or maybe I should say- Please (PLEASE) read the book.
And whether you read the book or not, re-thinking worn-out expressions is the best gift I’ll leave you with today.
Because replacing these is too much fun to miss. While re-working clichés, I laughed so hard my earrings fell off.

8 comments:

  1. You'd think tweaking cliches would be as easy as whipped cream, but it's harder than it seems!

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  2. LOL, I love the way you reworked that cliche. Laughed so hard your earrings fell off is SO MUCH BETTER!

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  3. Love your rewrite. And now I'll be looking for that passage full of tension when I read the book.

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  4. I'll be looking for that special phrase in your book:)

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  5. Cliches jump off the page at me when I am writing and I try so hard not to use them. My husband makes fun of me because it takes me so long to write my blog posts (he is a very fast writer, and good, too...so annoying). So much of it is me trying to think of a better way to say something...a way it hasn't been said before. But sometimes I just get tired and hit, "publish." Thank goodness our books go through a more rigorous process!

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  6. I like reworking cliches, too. It's so much fun to come up with totally bizarre ways of looking at things. :-)

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  7. Oh, cliches, why do we use them? I like coming up with my own catchy phrases. :)

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  8. I agree that reworking cliches is a fun aspect of rewriting.

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