Tag Archives | writing cliches

Rising above cliche.

To a certain degree we all have cliches in our writing and our storylines.  The books that rise above the cliche have incredible writing, humor, heart, three dimensional characters, and fresh perspective.

Lately in YA, I’ve seen and read complaints on Goodreads about certain trends:


  • the love triangle (made popular by Twilight and continued with Hunger Games)
  • the hot paranormal bad boy 
  • the girl who falls in love (after this creature has hurt or intends to hurt her)


  • The controlling fortressed city surrounded by people who live in hovels. (Okay, I didn’t see this complaint on Goodreads but I don’t know how many more books I can read that are like this. I love coming across a dystopian that is unique.)

Do you think these concepts have become cliche? I believe these genres will continue to be popular but the ones that rise above will have to offer something new. Personally, I read in both genres and if the writing is excellent with terrific characters, I can look past the cliche. But, some of them, I’ve put down half way through. They are just too similar. Nothing new is offered.

Side note: As a parent, I’m not worried about teen girls learning the wrong thing about love from these books. It’s fiction. And teen girls are smart enough to know the difference. Every aspect of media whether it be books, movies, or advertising promotes an unrealistic view of love. I’d be more concerned with advertising than fiction.

But I do believe YA contemporary is on the rise. Readers want something different.

Not to pick on just paranormal and dystopian because there are cliche plots and characters in all genres. How do you rise above the cliche in your storyline while sticking to elements of your genre? Have you read any books that do this effectively?

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