I was just reading a site about how to avoid cliche (themes, not phrases), and I am actually finding it extremely helpful. There are many things I have never thought about, and several that I am personally guilty of.
I found it excellent and informative. One of the authors major topics is all about authenticity; making sure that you are true to yourself and your ideas. It strongly suggests that writers should work hard to pull from their own imagination, and not from what others have done.
The author also talks about convenience, and I found this part particularly helpful. After all, why do people go for cliches when they know that they are, in fact, cliches? The answer is simple; because it is convenient. After all, you already have the entire outline for your story already lying right there in front of you, so why not? It makes it much easier. We get back into the problem of authenticity, though; how can you pull from your own imagination if you are using someone else’s outline? Simple answer, you can’t.
Toward the end the author also talks about how to eliminate melodrama. After all, the point of melodrama is to make something bigger than what it is. However, going too over the top makes things not very realistic. A very big problem.
I have to admit, in one way or another, I am guilty of each of these. I feel like reading this article will help me to become better at being more honest with myself and my characters, and hopefully following this advice with bring all of my stories to the next level.