Clichés

5.26.2012
Dictionary.com defines clichés as "(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc." But I think we all know what clichés are. In fact, you probably already know everything in this post. But I'm continuously seeing reviews talking about how cliché the plot of the book is and how it should just stop being written, and I think people forget that just because something is a bad cliché in one book doesn't mean it's a bad cliché in another book.

The issue is whether or not we like them. There are hundreds of clichés in YA books, some of them enjoyable, some of them so annoying you just want to rip the book apart. When asked, my Twitter friends and some people on Facebook gave me some examples of what they think some of the most common clichés in YA are - whether they're ones that they liked or hated.

When it comes to main characters or narrators, someone said, "The humble girl. The girl that EVERY guy has a crush on and every girl hates. Also, this girl doesn't understand why everyone feels this way." And then went on to name Bella Swan as the perfect example. Paige thinks a common example is the brooding male. 

When it comes to plot, there seem to be a lot more clichés. Sophia from The Book Basement says, "Normal, innocent girl being 'inexplicably' drawn to a dark, hot guy. #GAG" I have to agree that this is probably one of the most common clichés that I've seen in YA. Let's be honest, this is the basis of 90% of paranormal books published these days. Another friend said, "Girl falls for a vampire or other supernatural beast and they have to fight for their lives to be together."

"Love triangles. And best friends falling in love." And then there was, "Nerd girl falls for bad boy." 

Point: There are hundreds of clichés in YA fiction. And everyone has different opinions on them. For instance, some people think love triangles can be amazing. I hate them in 99% of cases. Best friends falling in love is one of my favorite clichés, and I think when a girl falls for a supernatural beast and they have to fight to stay alive, it can make for a good story. Sometimes. Most clichés are like that, I think - sometimes they can make you gag and other times they can work perfectly. Because, yes, the way the author writes it makes a huge difference.

But I want to know what some of your favorite or least favorite clichés are. I want to see how many different opinions there are. 

~Zoey~ 
12 comments on "Clichés"
  1. I think, especially in a lot of general fiction, cliches happen because they're everywhere. One time, I got a comment about how my mean girl in my book was just a cliche and a stereotype.

    And I went, "exactly." She's a cliche because she's in every school in America.
    My least favorite is probably falling for the vampire or monster. What's hot about a guy wanting to drink your blood?
    Nothing, I'm squeamish.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura: I'll admit that sometimes I laugh at how cliche the mean girls in books seem sometimes, but you're right: they exist everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cliches are okay ONLY if there's a fresh prospective of it. But my favorite tend to be 'Girl loves boy even though she hates him' haha :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes! I love this. They can be annoying, but they can be good. It depends on how good the story is in general.

    And if someone wanted to write a book that didn't have ANY cliches of ANY KIND in it, I don't think they could ever get anything on the paper. There are enough books out there that there will ALWAYS be something similar to something else.

    Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post and I truly and wholeheartedly agree. My favorite cliche is best friends falling for each other. You don't see it often anymore but it is pure and sweet and I adore it 100%. The cliche that I hate the most is the new girl and the insta-love to the hot, popular boy or the nerdy/introvert that gets the popular boy, or the supernatural tendency thrown into the characters. That make them irresistible.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hate the every vampire is brooding, hot and tortured cliche.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gwen: I actually usually like those ones, too, but insta!love is almost never involved there. The relationships actually have time to develop.

    Mag: Exactly. Virtually everything has been done so far.

    Shortskie: You're right. It doesn't happen very much anymore. :( I wish it did.

    Kristin: OH MY GOSH YES.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Honestly, I think it's pretty impossible to NOT write some take on a cliche. And I agree with you, one of my personal favorites is best friend romances.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting post. I think it's true that most books are going to have cliches in them, but the mark of a good book, I think, is that it makes you forget that something is cliche, or puts a new perspective or spin on it. If the cliche is so bad that it's a dealbreaker, then you probably aren't doing it right.

    This goes 1000x more for character stereotypes. I'm definitely one of those people who wants to deck someone when I read about the "mean girl", because 99.9% of the time, she's just a nasty cardboard cutout there to make the heroine look better, and *that* whole dynamic has internalized misogyny up the who-ha. NGL, I judge a book harshly if it has a cardboard mean girl.

    Ahem, so anyway, yes! It's all in what you do with it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think it definitely depends on how well an author spins a cliche in their book. If done properly, then you don't even notice it is a cliche! And you're right, most books have cliches in them and that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, readers tend to like the same sort of thing in the books they go for... it only becomes problematic when it feels like you are reading the same thing over and over again and you'd rather not be. It's up to the author to prevent that from happening I guess. Great post, Zoey! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with Sam! It's all in how good they write. I'm like you though, I hate love triangles 99% of the time. Mainly when the lead waffles back and forth between two love interests. That's really where it annoys me.

    My biggest and most despised one though is instaluv. If the big bad L word rears its ugly head before the last 1/4 of the book, it makes me want to quit reading. I like the slow burn romances, especially if they start out with the two of them hating each other. I love those for some reason!

    Great topic :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Late in the game for commenting buuuut, I had to say something:
    Best friend romance is the most amazing and best cliche ever. I'm a total sucker for it. It just makes for the best chemistry and I feel has a lot more depth. But like anything else, it's all about how it's written.
    But still, I'm a total sucker for best friends falling in love. It makes my heart want to explode in joy.

    Also, hi unicorn. It's been awhile since we've talked.

    ReplyDelete

5.26.2012

Clichés

Dictionary.com defines clichés as "(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc." But I think we all know what clichés are. In fact, you probably already know everything in this post. But I'm continuously seeing reviews talking about how cliché the plot of the book is and how it should just stop being written, and I think people forget that just because something is a bad cliché in one book doesn't mean it's a bad cliché in another book.

The issue is whether or not we like them. There are hundreds of clichés in YA books, some of them enjoyable, some of them so annoying you just want to rip the book apart. When asked, my Twitter friends and some people on Facebook gave me some examples of what they think some of the most common clichés in YA are - whether they're ones that they liked or hated.

When it comes to main characters or narrators, someone said, "The humble girl. The girl that EVERY guy has a crush on and every girl hates. Also, this girl doesn't understand why everyone feels this way." And then went on to name Bella Swan as the perfect example. Paige thinks a common example is the brooding male. 

When it comes to plot, there seem to be a lot more clichés. Sophia from The Book Basement says, "Normal, innocent girl being 'inexplicably' drawn to a dark, hot guy. #GAG" I have to agree that this is probably one of the most common clichés that I've seen in YA. Let's be honest, this is the basis of 90% of paranormal books published these days. Another friend said, "Girl falls for a vampire or other supernatural beast and they have to fight for their lives to be together."

"Love triangles. And best friends falling in love." And then there was, "Nerd girl falls for bad boy." 

Point: There are hundreds of clichés in YA fiction. And everyone has different opinions on them. For instance, some people think love triangles can be amazing. I hate them in 99% of cases. Best friends falling in love is one of my favorite clichés, and I think when a girl falls for a supernatural beast and they have to fight to stay alive, it can make for a good story. Sometimes. Most clichés are like that, I think - sometimes they can make you gag and other times they can work perfectly. Because, yes, the way the author writes it makes a huge difference.

But I want to know what some of your favorite or least favorite clichés are. I want to see how many different opinions there are. 

~Zoey~ 

12 comments:

  1. I think, especially in a lot of general fiction, cliches happen because they're everywhere. One time, I got a comment about how my mean girl in my book was just a cliche and a stereotype.

    And I went, "exactly." She's a cliche because she's in every school in America.
    My least favorite is probably falling for the vampire or monster. What's hot about a guy wanting to drink your blood?
    Nothing, I'm squeamish.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura: I'll admit that sometimes I laugh at how cliche the mean girls in books seem sometimes, but you're right: they exist everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cliches are okay ONLY if there's a fresh prospective of it. But my favorite tend to be 'Girl loves boy even though she hates him' haha :P

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes! I love this. They can be annoying, but they can be good. It depends on how good the story is in general.

    And if someone wanted to write a book that didn't have ANY cliches of ANY KIND in it, I don't think they could ever get anything on the paper. There are enough books out there that there will ALWAYS be something similar to something else.

    Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful post and I truly and wholeheartedly agree. My favorite cliche is best friends falling for each other. You don't see it often anymore but it is pure and sweet and I adore it 100%. The cliche that I hate the most is the new girl and the insta-love to the hot, popular boy or the nerdy/introvert that gets the popular boy, or the supernatural tendency thrown into the characters. That make them irresistible.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hate the every vampire is brooding, hot and tortured cliche.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gwen: I actually usually like those ones, too, but insta!love is almost never involved there. The relationships actually have time to develop.

    Mag: Exactly. Virtually everything has been done so far.

    Shortskie: You're right. It doesn't happen very much anymore. :( I wish it did.

    Kristin: OH MY GOSH YES.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Honestly, I think it's pretty impossible to NOT write some take on a cliche. And I agree with you, one of my personal favorites is best friend romances.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting post. I think it's true that most books are going to have cliches in them, but the mark of a good book, I think, is that it makes you forget that something is cliche, or puts a new perspective or spin on it. If the cliche is so bad that it's a dealbreaker, then you probably aren't doing it right.

    This goes 1000x more for character stereotypes. I'm definitely one of those people who wants to deck someone when I read about the "mean girl", because 99.9% of the time, she's just a nasty cardboard cutout there to make the heroine look better, and *that* whole dynamic has internalized misogyny up the who-ha. NGL, I judge a book harshly if it has a cardboard mean girl.

    Ahem, so anyway, yes! It's all in what you do with it :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think it definitely depends on how well an author spins a cliche in their book. If done properly, then you don't even notice it is a cliche! And you're right, most books have cliches in them and that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, readers tend to like the same sort of thing in the books they go for... it only becomes problematic when it feels like you are reading the same thing over and over again and you'd rather not be. It's up to the author to prevent that from happening I guess. Great post, Zoey! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with Sam! It's all in how good they write. I'm like you though, I hate love triangles 99% of the time. Mainly when the lead waffles back and forth between two love interests. That's really where it annoys me.

    My biggest and most despised one though is instaluv. If the big bad L word rears its ugly head before the last 1/4 of the book, it makes me want to quit reading. I like the slow burn romances, especially if they start out with the two of them hating each other. I love those for some reason!

    Great topic :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Late in the game for commenting buuuut, I had to say something:
    Best friend romance is the most amazing and best cliche ever. I'm a total sucker for it. It just makes for the best chemistry and I feel has a lot more depth. But like anything else, it's all about how it's written.
    But still, I'm a total sucker for best friends falling in love. It makes my heart want to explode in joy.

    Also, hi unicorn. It's been awhile since we've talked.

    ReplyDelete