The number one complaint a writer will receive with his or her novel is having too many clichés. They are quite destructive to your novel, are considered lazy, and can give away plots and endings. And a reader doesn’t want to read a book they’ve read 100 times before. If you spot any of the following clichés in your novel, or draft, remove them or be prepared for a lot of eye rolling.

Doing the opposite of a few chosen clichés could benefit your story. Try to think of ways to turn them around. This will give your story a fresh twist and surprise your readers.


Cliche: A character being torn between two love interest.

Twist: Your protagonist is one of said love interests and must fight for centre of affection.

– A character being torn between two love interest
– A character falling in love with someone that will solve all of his or her problem
– Love at first sight
– A character describing themselves in the mirror
– Blaming bad behaviour on bad parenting
– Veiling a message in a dream
– The perfect guy falling for the boring girl
– Losing a plot as the romance takes over
– Attraction based on physical appearance
– Zero plot besides romance
– The prophecy of a chosen world
– A medieval European world
– Governments must be monarchies
– A complete lack of science in a fantasy realm
– A supernatural law enforcement protenganist
– The depressed supernatural bad boy
– The use of vampires and werewolves
– The chosen one
– A female protagonist who thinks she is ugly
– A female who is pretty but doesn’t realise it
– Humans not being aware of the fantasy world
– Rejecting the supernatural
– Instant love between two individuals
– Damsel in distress
– Men who are 100 years old falling in love with younger women
– Your title is a single verb
– No close female friendships
– Female protagonist having no close female friendships
– B*chy blonde cheerleader
– Mr. Tall, dark, and perfect
– Royalty realisation
– Undiscovered powers
– The hopeless orphan
– Trilogies
– A teenager filled with teen angst
– The strong female character who is actually a jerk
– The brooding bad boy
– Superpowers that are learned too quickly
– Parents just don’t understand
– Two people who don’t realise they’re in love
– The quirky best friend
– Characters having a one night stand only to discover that the one night stand is his or her new boss
– The million dollar bad boy
– Elderly folks saying things that are inappropriate
– Chasing someone to stop them from attending their wedding or catching a plane
Public declaration of love
– Big tragic secrets or tragic illness
– The characters having rare eye colour
– The bad boy actually has a good heart
– Beginning the novel with waking up in the morning
– Having the only coffee place as Starbucks
– Giving really unique names to your characters
– An ex is always an ex because they had cheated
– Constantly eating with no health consequences
– Avoiding real world problems
– The average looking well-to do guy who has a secret crush on the girl
– The main characters being immune to danger
– The embarrassing best friend
– The popular crowd is nasty




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