Classic-Castle.com


The source for all your LEGO Castle needs!

What cliché’s do you dislike?

Discussion of Castle Themed stories

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Redav » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:34 pm

Albatross_Viking wrote:To take classics like Tolkien's work as examples, his stories include multiple parts that would IMO be seen as clichés if published today, but shouldn't really be regarded as such since they were (I assume) written before they turned into as normal a sight as they are today.

I once read a review or complaint on a LotR book where they whinged about how it contained all the typical clichés and wasn't original :lol:
Redav
Foot Soldier
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:42 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Ferretclaw » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:52 am

Yep, i read one review that was ranting on about how Tolkien stole everything from jk rowling. Got really annoyed by this.
"All that is gold does not glitter..." ~LOTR
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98506221@N08/
Mocpages: http://mocpages.com/home.php/103548
Image
User avatar
Ferretclaw
Artisan
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Karalora » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:55 am

Well, she sure didn't steal from him! I mean, by her own admission, she doesn't even read fantasy! :tasty:
Karalora
Journeyman
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby richardanthonyc » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:11 am

Ferretclaw wrote:Yep, i read one review that was ranting on about how Tolkien stole everything from jk rowling. Got really annoyed by this.


I have read that before... those people must surely be trolling??
SIlent enim leges inter arma

Image
User avatar
richardanthonyc
Archer
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:10 pm
Location: The Windy West Of Hibernia

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Ferretclaw » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:33 pm

Hope so. Otherwise these people must be the kind of people who make large statements before looking into them :/
"All that is gold does not glitter..." ~LOTR
My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98506221@N08/
Mocpages: http://mocpages.com/home.php/103548
Image
User avatar
Ferretclaw
Artisan
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:46 pm

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Sir Bragallot » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:50 pm

Some people are actually that stupid.

What I dislike is a perfect hero, who is always right, never fails, is the best at everything without even having to try... I'd rather have a flawed hero who you are worried for will take the wrong decision, who sometimes messes up so that you're happier when he succeeds, you know... I try to pay attention to this in my own writing (link) as well.
User avatar
Sir Bragallot
Artisan
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:47 pm

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby mpoh98 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:14 pm

I agree with Karalora, it is somewhat like lego building. For me, it is a little bit harder though.
Image
Image
Mocpages, Flickr, Brickshelf
Philippians 4:13
User avatar
mpoh98
Master
 
Posts: 1756
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:33 am
Location: Lenfald of Roawia

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:22 pm

Sir Bragallot wrote:What I dislike is a perfect hero, who is always right, never fails, is the best at everything without even having to try.
Sounds like a certain blonde grinning Loreesi we all know ;)

(just kidding, Mark!)

I think the consensus is that it's pretty difficult not to incorporate any cliches at all, simply because enough books have been written that just about everything has been done and re-done 100 times already. Not to mention that a lot of common cliches actually make for pretty enjoyable writing/reading/plot lines, etc.
Image Image
Plastics make it possible! (BrickLink) - - - My Flickr Stream
Courage, Honor, Loyalty! For Garheim!
User avatar
AK_Brickster
Visconte des Paysans de Gong
 
Posts: 3218
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Mushing through the Great Driftplains of Garheim

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Maedhros » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:50 pm

I don't really believe in clichés, at all. As has been stated, most of the features of a story will have been done by someone at some point before. You might change the gimmicks and details but there are only so many plot hooks and story seeds. And this has always been the case, more or less. In the highly acclaimed (uhm, overrated IMO) ancient Greek Drama everyone already knew the story of each and every play, still they kept writing them, since it was all about the presentation - "how can I make Oidipous come to life, what little twist to this story can I come up with?"

Myself I am really tired of people complaining about clichés. What it's most often really about is actually a not so well thought out story, hurriedly and lazily told. Don't be afrid to use things that have been done before, but do it your own way - and do it with style ;)
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
- Augustinus Hipponensis
User avatar
Maedhros
Knight Templar
Knight Templar
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: The dark forests of Sweden

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Karalora » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:59 pm

A cliché isn't merely something that's been done before, but something that's been done so many times before, deviating little each time, that it's become predictable and hence boring. (And every cliché has fans of its own who never get sick of it, so make of that what you will.) The object isn't to be 100% original, which is impossible anyway, but to use old ideas in new ways and surprise your readers. There is no such thing as an unsalvageable idea.
Karalora
Journeyman
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Andared of Lenfald » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:41 am

Cliches come up frequently in writing for a very good reason. They work.

Even if a story has been used a hundred times before, if an author can give it a different setting, throw in some drama/tension, and bring it all together in a meaningful and valid way, then we love it. We might not be able to say exactly why, but we do. There's some mystical or possibly even romantic quality about it that satisfies us.
It's easy, when we're looking at stories and writing styles in an analytical fashion, to look down our noses at cliches with all the snobbery and pompous superiority that we can muster. After all, we simply know that if we were writing this story, we would be imaginative, resourceful, and clever with our plot. Our readers would chafe at the thought of reading those bland, stereotypical works once they saw what real writing should look like.

But I'll bet you dollars to dimes that there are plenty of books and movies that each of us enjoy -and in some cases, if we're being honest, love- that are littered with cliches and stereotypes. Some stories do a better job than others in masking the cliches underneath layers of plot and fine detail, so that by the time all is said and done, you can barely even recognize that there is a cliche. But if you dig deep enough, you'll find them.

Which brings me back to my original point. Why is it, if certain plot elements are so overused that you can hardly think of a single fictional book or movie that doesn't contain one or more of them, that we like to read or use cliches? I propose that the reason is simple. Human nature.
That's somewhat of a broad, undefined category, but there it is. I lack the prose necessary to put it any other way. I believe that there is something in all of us that loves a happy ending. We can push it down, stomp our feet in opposition, and scream and shout until we are red in the face, but we all have it. We like to read, or see people win at something, because somehow we connect, or associate ourselves with them. It may start, or even remain as something that is only on the subconscious level, but it is there nonetheless.
Here's an example: If you are a male American (although to be honest, this hardly applies to only Americans), the odds are pretty good that you have a favorite sports team. Maybe it's football, baseball, basketball, or the loatheable sport we call soccer ( :wink: ), but you probably have at least one. Why?
Is it because you like the sport and just happened to decide to root for this team? Well if you like the sport, then don't you think it would be much more fun (and less costly, probably) to actually play the game? Why should you be interested in watching other people play it?
People would laugh you out of their houses if you went around asking them if they wanted to go with you to watch other people play Monopoly. Is it because this team represents your state? Well that doesn't make any sense because whether the team is from your state or not, there's no guarantee that they have anything in common with you, other than the fact that they live somewhat within the same vicinity. Furthermore, if the team in question is at a professional (or at this point, even collegiate) level, then I would say there is a good chance that more than half of the team is not from your state. So why on earth do you care whether or not they win or lose?

Because somehow, in some way, they represent you.

When your team wins, they aren't the only ones who are winning. You are winning with them. If your team gets "cheated" out of a game because of a bad call by an official, it wasn't just the team that was hurt, you were hurt. We love to see the underdog win, or watch the team that we are pulling for stage a comeback victory in the final seconds of the game. Because as we watch their hopes and goals being fulfilled, we imagine that we are fulfilling our own goals. We are right there with the runner who is on the last mile of the marathon (okay, for some of us, maybe just the last hundred feet :tasty: ) or the football player fighting his way into the endzone. When they overcome adversity, we overcome it too. Deep down we all want to be "winners".

This, I believe, is why we like cliches. We never tire of seeing the hero win, even if it is in an extremely typical, or common manner, because we never tire of seeing ourselves win. Because of this, it is my opinion that we should do away with the thought process that all cliches are evil and to be avoided at all cost. Write the way you want to write, and say things the way you want to say them. Don't worry about conforming to some sort of system. Embrace cliches, if they are useful towards telling the story that you want to tell. It's all too easy for a writer to stumble over his words because he is so set against not using cliches that he ends up writing something that is (albeit original) terribly clumsy, forced, and unnatural. When, in fact, he could have saved himself plenty of trouble by simply using a cliche, and telling it in his own way.
Readers appreciate honesty, and they can tell when you are not being genuine. If you write something that does not sound like something you would say (and believe me you can tell when you are the reader), you lose the reader's interest and trust, which will take a lot of work to get back. On the other hand, if you can take a cliche (which most of us are fond of anyway), modify it some, give your own spin on it, and do it in a way that fits into the story so well that it is impossible to imagine the story without it, the reader will admire the simplicity of it, and in turn, admire you.

Don't go against cliches or stereotypes just to be different. Tell your story the way you want it to be told, and the rest will fall into place. You probably won't make a masterpiece. Your story may even have numerous flaws in it. But it will be yours.
User avatar
Andared of Lenfald
Foot Soldier
 
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:09 pm
Location: The forests of Lenfald

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Sir Erathor » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:07 am

Loathable sport you call soccer?!
I would totally agree with you there Andared, I think there are certain things that we just like to see or read, and that's why these 'cliches' keep popping up in stories :)
For the Glory of Loreos!
Flickr|MOCpages|The Brick Tavern
Image Image
User avatar
Sir Erathor
Man-At-Arms
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 4:25 pm
Location: Glorious Loreos

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Karalora » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:10 pm

I draw a distinction between a cliche on the one hand, and a trope or convention on the other. The latter is just the language of storytelling, and ties into both what humans universally find satisfying and what individuals and cultures find acceptable. The former, as I said a few posts ago, is what happens when a trope or convention gets used so often and with so little variation that it becomes utterly predictable and is no longer entertaining. Ironically, this often happens when an enterprising writer uses some of those universally satisfying tropes and gives them a twist so new and unexpected that the entire genre is changed...and then a bunch of less enterprising, less creative, and lazier writers copy the first one wholesale, not bothering to add their own twists and surprises. About half the fantasy novels I've ventured to read are just Lord of the Rings with the serial numbers filed off, which does not make for an interesting reading experience.
Karalora
Journeyman
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: San Fernando Valley, CA

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby Gavin of Lockwood » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:17 am

Andared of Lenfald wrote:Cliches come up frequently in writing for a very good reason. They work.

Even if a story has been used a hundred times before, if an author can give it a different setting, throw in some drama/tension, and bring it all together in a meaningful and valid way, then we love it. We might not be able to say exactly why, but we do. There's some mystical or possibly even romantic quality about it that satisfies us.
It's easy, when we're looking at stories and writing styles in an analytical fashion, to look down our noses at cliches with all the snobbery and pompous superiority that we can muster. After all, we simply know that if we were writing this story, we would be imaginative, resourceful, and clever with our plot. Our readers would chafe at the thought of reading those bland, stereotypical works once they saw what real writing should look like.

But I'll bet you dollars to dimes that there are plenty of books and movies that each of us enjoy -and in some cases, if we're being honest, love- that are littered with cliches and stereotypes. Some stories do a better job than others in masking the cliches underneath layers of plot and fine detail, so that by the time all is said and done, you can barely even recognize that there is a cliche. But if you dig deep enough, you'll find them.

Which brings me back to my original point. Why is it, if certain plot elements are so overused that you can hardly think of a single fictional book or movie that doesn't contain one or more of them, that we like to read or use cliches? I propose that the reason is simple. Human nature.
That's somewhat of a broad, undefined category, but there it is. I lack the prose necessary to put it any other way. I believe that there is something in all of us that loves a happy ending. We can push it down, stomp our feet in opposition, and scream and shout until we are red in the face, but we all have it. We like to read, or see people win at something, because somehow we connect, or associate ourselves with them. It may start, or even remain as something that is only on the subconscious level, but it is there nonetheless.
Here's an example: If you are a male American (although to be honest, this hardly applies to only Americans), the odds are pretty good that you have a favorite sports team. Maybe it's football, baseball, basketball, or the loatheable sport we call soccer ( :wink: ), but you probably have at least one. Why?
Is it because you like the sport and just happened to decide to root for this team? Well if you like the sport, then don't you think it would be much more fun (and less costly, probably) to actually play the game? Why should you be interested in watching other people play it?
People would laugh you out of their houses if you went around asking them if they wanted to go with you to watch other people play Monopoly. Is it because this team represents your state? Well that doesn't make any sense because whether the team is from your state or not, there's no guarantee that they have anything in common with you, other than the fact that they live somewhat within the same vicinity. Furthermore, if the team in question is at a professional (or at this point, even collegiate) level, then I would say there is a good chance that more than half of the team is not from your state. So why on earth do you care whether or not they win or lose?

Because somehow, in some way, they represent you.

When your team wins, they aren't the only ones who are winning. You are winning with them. If your team gets "cheated" out of a game because of a bad call by an official, it wasn't just the team that was hurt, you were hurt. We love to see the underdog win, or watch the team that we are pulling for stage a comeback victory in the final seconds of the game. Because as we watch their hopes and goals being fulfilled, we imagine that we are fulfilling our own goals. We are right there with the runner who is on the last mile of the marathon (okay, for some of us, maybe just the last hundred feet :tasty: ) or the football player fighting his way into the endzone. When they overcome adversity, we overcome it too. Deep down we all want to be "winners".

This, I believe, is why we like cliches. We never tire of seeing the hero win, even if it is in an extremely typical, or common manner, because we never tire of seeing ourselves win. Because of this, it is my opinion that we should do away with the thought process that all cliches are evil and to be avoided at all cost. Write the way you want to write, and say things the way you want to say them. Don't worry about conforming to some sort of system. Embrace cliches, if they are useful towards telling the story that you want to tell. It's all too easy for a writer to stumble over his words because he is so set against not using cliches that he ends up writing something that is (albeit original) terribly clumsy, forced, and unnatural. When, in fact, he could have saved himself plenty of trouble by simply using a cliche, and telling it in his own way.
Readers appreciate honesty, and they can tell when you are not being genuine. If you write something that does not sound like something you would say (and believe me you can tell when you are the reader), you lose the reader's interest and trust, which will take a lot of work to get back. On the other hand, if you can take a cliche (which most of us are fond of anyway), modify it some, give your own spin on it, and do it in a way that fits into the story so well that it is impossible to imagine the story without it, the reader will admire the simplicity of it, and in turn, admire you.

Don't go against cliches or stereotypes just to be different. Tell your story the way you want it to be told, and the rest will fall into place. You probably won't make a masterpiece. Your story may even have numerous flaws in it. But it will be yours.


I agree, I don't like some clichés, but hey! I keep coming back to them! Why? Because of what Andared said. It's human nature.
ImageImage
-Omnibus pro Deo.
My Flickr
User avatar
Gavin of Lockwood
Archer
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:21 pm
Location: Here one day, gone the next.

Re: What cliché’s do you dislike?

Postby OverLoad » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:08 am

Karalora wrote:About half the fantasy novels I've ventured to read are just Lord of the Rings with the serial numbers filed off, which does not make for an interesting reading experience.


Such as the acclaimed The Sword of Shannara, which despite some interesting ideas (the post apocalyptic backstory, origin of the races), is cookie cutter Tolkien. However, I saw an interesting commentary on why such novels are successful. If they are just Lord of the Rings in a different form, why do people enjoy them? Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey has this to say on the aforementioned Sword;

"What The Sword of Shannara seems to show is that many readers had developed the taste ... for heroic fantasy so strongly that if they could not get the real thing they would take any substitute, no matter how diluted."


This mostly just confirms what others have said about cliches producing a good story, but I thought it was an interesting point nonetheless.
User avatar
OverLoad
Steward
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:34 am
Location: Windfall Island

PreviousNext

Return to Stories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Troy and 1 guest