Writing and Removing Clichés by J.Q. Rose


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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400x600 Rose-DeadlyUndertaking-PayloadzDeadly Undertaking


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.

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Books We Love http://bookswelove.com/authors/rose-j-q/


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

J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Facebook http://facebook.com/jqroseauthor

Google+ google.com/+JQRose

J. Q. Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4


J.Q. Rose YouTube videoshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGrcJEb3jPlxa-lXAWVROg/videos


  1. I point out a cliche only if it’s so much of a cliche that it doesn’t read well with the story. Otherwise, I’ll let it slide. Cliches happen. There’s probably cliches in my stories, and I’m okay with that. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This was a fun post — a ray of sunshine that brightened my day (how are my cliches?). Seriously, I think cliches are a writer’s enemy, although they are easy and comfortable. Being creative means working for those similes and metaphors, and using words as tools to build worlds for our readers. Good post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Editors are on the lookout for cliches (or lots of things really, that are “weak” writing) but I don’t think most readers notice unless it’s eyerollingly bad and can be seen a mile off. I don’t anyway.
    I think you can probably get away with them more in speech though, if it’s a quirk of the character, say.
    [Now I have the urge to try to write a decent (not necessarily good, but readable) story that’s nothing more than an exchange of cliches between two characters. What have you gotten me into???]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Alex, I snickered when you said you were going to write a story with cliches between two characters. That would be a hoot. Let me know when you get it finished!! I agree that sometimes in dialog reveals the character’s personality with the right cliche for them or cliches. Good luck with that readable story!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,
    I do my best to use descriptions instead of cliches in my first draft. It slows me down because there are times when I have to look for a word that expresses what I want to say. Still, even with my trying to catch cliches in the first draft, I still miss some.

    Wishing you all the best with your upcoming book launch.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

    Liked by 1 person

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