I mentioned this in an earlier post, and I may be assuming things, but every writer doesn’t want to be cliche. I tend to worry a lot about this because I am a romance writer primarily, and those are often formulaic and cliche.
Sometimes I read cliche romance writing on a website called Wattpad, and I enjoy it. It has to be written relatively grammar and spelling error free, but sometimes I just don’t want to think. I want to get lost in a story and come out feeling giddy and happy and hopeful. And the thing is: cliche stories can do that.
Yeah, we might know the ending. But the most important part of the writing is not the plot, in my opinion. It is the way the author can make you feel.
If an author has a predictable plot, such as boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy marries girl, most times that is what a romance reader wants. To see the couple end up together. Predictable, right? Cliche, too.
But if that is what the reader expects, deviating from that formula could cost you readers if you don’t end it right.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if your plot is cliche and predictable, as most romances are, as long as your writing can allow the reader to get lost in your story, care about the characters, and feel what the characters feel, that is what matters. Your readers will more likely remember how your book made them feel rather than all of the plot twists and turns in your book. And I’m talking long-term. Years.
It doesn’t have to be perfect writing. Not the best writing you’ve ever written. It can be mediocre. As long as it elicits strong feelings in the reader, even dislike or hate, and allows the reader be absorbed in the story, it has done it’s job.
So don’t worry about being cliche. As the book of Ecclesiastes said “There is nothing new under the sun”. This was said a long time ago. All the story ideas have already been told, but not in the exact way you will tell them. You put a new twist on a plot, so even if it is cliche, sometimes that’s what the readers want.
I know I’ve enjoyed many a cliche book. Entertaining people and making them feel strongly about your book and characters is all that matters.
Good luck to all of my fellow writers out there, and I hope this has helped some of you to have the courage to write that story inside of you!