We use clichés when we talk. Why should we be surprised when they worm their way into our writing? Surprised or not, when you start the process of self-editing your work you best underline those little gems and prepare them for annihilation via repeated backspace smashing. If the cliché is located in the intro of your book, you can assume any literary agent worth their weight in shattered hopes and dreams will put your work down and move on to the next prospect.
Don’t take my word for it. Here are some direct quotes from the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents 2016 (written by Chuck Sambuchino).
“Anything cliché such as ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ will turn me off. I hate when a narrator or author addresses the reader (i.e., ‘Gentle reader’).” (Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary)
“1) Squinting into the sunlight with…
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