Hi Lidy, Thanks so much for hosting me today.
I hope readers will leave a comment below because I will add each commenter to a drawing for a free PDF copy of my cozy mystery, Deadly Undertaking. DEADLINE? Sunday, July 30th.
Today I attack my nemesis—using clichés in my writing. They are annoying for readers and a thorn in the side for editors too.
Writing and Removing Clichés by J.Q. Rose
For some reason clichés are not approved by editors when checking my stories. I don’t know why. It makes writing as easy as pie. These familiar expressions are as good as gold when it comes to taking a short cut in your storytelling.
Instead of writing a paragraph about how bad the storm is, I can just say the rain is coming down in buckets. The reader knows exactly how bad that is. However, after sending this in to the editor, the phrase will appear red-lined in the manuscript and a comment will show up in the margin gently reminding me that is a cliché. But seriously, if you have to describe how hot the weather is in a story, why can’t you say it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? That really does explain the heat factor!
When push comes to shove, a cliché is the way to go for me. For instance, when the coroner arrives at the death scene, why can’t he say the victim kicked the bucket? That’s so much more colorful than saying he’s dead.
It makes me madder than a wet hen when I realize I have used clichés in my writing. For Pete’s sake, I know the editors won’t let me use them, so I try to be conscious about it when I write and re-visit the chapters.
When I was writing my cozy mystery, Deadly Undertaking, I combed through every word, every paragraph, every page trying to ferret out the clichés. Still and all, once in awhile a cliché is missed and once they’re out there, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. To tell you the truth, I don’t always recognize them. So I submit the manuscript for editing on a wing and a prayer that I have caught every cliché and I won’t have the editor tearing her hair out when she reads it.
There’s no time like the present to change and recognize clichés in my writing. How about you? I plan to be as sharp as a tack when putting words down on paper so I can make it easier for my editor and me to get through the manuscript.
I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I am vowing to do better on using clichés. Just notice how much I’ve improved already!
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A handsome detective, a shadow man, and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
Back of the Book:
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies around when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!
Deadly Undertaking is available now in eBook and paperback.
About Janet :
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking and Dangerous Sanctuary and a December release, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband, Gardener Ted spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at