I am not a fan of writing cliches, acually, I am a huge fan but I am not always tolerant of them.
The basic bad boy who turns his life around thanks to naive little pretty girl who think she is ugly.
Of course they have the techy (or sassy) best friend who is constantly by their side.
They are cliches because they work. We see the princess ready to leave her dull and unappreciative world behind and we wiggle in our seats. We see the handsome warrior who could kill with a single touch bow down to a common women.
“Love is a fickle thing” , we sigh into our drink cups. Clutching our books closer to our face.
There is still a problem with them.
Cliches allow readers to a greater understanding of where the story might be going. Rarely do we get stories that pan out a different way. YAs usually end with the girl getting with the outcast. The only times she ends up with the guy who “socially acceptable” is when the other ends up being a villian or is a tool.
The young boy who is trying to avenge his family will manage to do so but it will always come at a cost. His mentor or a family member will die within the first few books, maybe even the first few chapters. He may end up with a love interest but rarely will they stay together.
So I always know what story I am getting when I start to read. I know how it will end even if I do not know all the details that will lead to that point.
As I said before, cliche are considered such because they are overused but because they also work. There are only so many ways a story can go and patterns are really hard to deviate from. Yet, many readers and publishing companies expect writers to always be original no matter what. If they are not then there is a good chance their book will not be accepted.
Should we celebrate that fact?
I do not think so.
I despise cliches but I also love them. I am comforted by the fact that I can see the ending a mile away. Because I live for the journey. I live for those moments where the author gives me something I was not expecting. Like a book in which the sick person truly does die at the end.
Or a story where the boy was not able to avenge his family.
A story where the couple breaks up at the end
Or maybe one where, dispite the odds stacked against them, the villian is the one who wins.
I love those moments of uncertainty and I love those moments of clarity.
I guess it is the weirdo in me.