Clichés. I like 'em dammit.
My book WRECKED has a few reviews that say the story is “cliché” or some of the characters are or whatever. It's obviously a downgrade in these people's minds. But why?
We all went to high school. Or those of us who weren't home-schooled did. Did you all have the popular kids at your school? The jocks? The nerds? The druggies? Those aggravating cliques? If you think you were missing one of these groups I've mentioned, I have news for you: You were probably a member of that group. 🙂
I write stories to mimic real life. It's how I make them believable. It's how I create a world where a reader feels connected to it and gets so involved it's hard to put the book down and stop the story. How could I possibly do that if I removed every cliché character or scenario from my stories? And I would also say that while a character, like Sarah Peterson in WRECKED, might seem like the cliché snobbish rich girl, it's clear after getting to know her in the story that she's ever so much more than that as a person.
And that's the point, really: to show that under the cliché, under the stereotype, there's a real, unique, individual under there who in certain ways will defy the norm and the standard, just like humans always do. That's the beauty in reading a book like that. At least, that's my goal when I write one.
So those of you readers who think a cliché in a book is a bad idea, I challenge you to take a scene or character I've written and change it, alter it so it's not cliché, and present it to my readers as a “better” version. I wager that we'll all prefer the original, because the world is full of clichés, and we like to get lost in books that take things we know and turn them on their axis, even if just a bit.