S35E8 – When the Cliché is Too Cliché

If you’ve been listening long enough, you’ve heard us tell you that clichés are a good thing. When applied correctly, they can help provide a framework for a character and even your plot as a whole. However, there is a fine line to tread between using these known elements to begin building your story, and using them to the point where it is just cliché.

The most egregious use of a bad framework for a character is to use the Mary Sue trope. That’s when the main character is, in the eyes of the reader, too perfect. A Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) fulfills the fantasies of the author, but usually feel bland and unrealistic. This isn’t the only trope or cliché that can be a problem. The list is much longer than we have time to cover. But there are things you can look for in order to spot a trope used incorrectly.

First aired September 26, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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