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.


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

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

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

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

  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!

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

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

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