I love a good cliche as much as the next writer.
I know. It’s one of the first rules of writing not to use cliches. But sometimes I can’t help it. They’re just so right (dare I say right as rain?). And in many ways they’re simple and effective. People know what they mean straight away, so there’s no messy exposition or explanation. You can just throw out the cliche and get on with things.
Okay, so I’m not quite as lazy a writer as that. I do get the reasons for why we shouldn’t rely on cliches. That’s why when I use a cliche, I do try to spin it around in some way, or find a different angle on it. In some ways, that’s the funnest part of throwing cliches into my work.
One cliche that comes to mind when I think about how they can be refigured and reworked is that old staple about lemons and lemonade – something like “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Now as it happens, I quite like lemons. If life gives me lemons, I’m actually not going to be so upset about it. And there’s certainly much more I can do than just make lemonade (not that I do like lemonade, but that’s a whole other blog post).
One of my favourite ways to use lemons is to squeeze the juice onto fish. Yum! That tangy lemon juice, mixed in with the flavour of tender fresh fish. Seems pretty good from where I’m standing (or sitting, if I’m about to have dinner). So this is where I’m thinking that if life gives me lemons, the first thing I’m going to want to do is find some fish I can squeeze it onto. And of course, the best way to get some really fresh fish is to go out and catch it yourself (or in my case, to skedaddle to the fish shop as early as I can to purchase something fresh off the boat – never been much of a fisherman to tell you the truth).
So I guess that pretty much sums up my attitude to cliches (and lemons). As far as I’m concerned, they’re not something to be avoided (like the plague – haha), but something to be played with and mixed up and muddled up anyway I can.
So have a great week, and if any of those cliches cross your path, have a bit of fun with them. I know I will.
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