We all know that cliches make for bad writing, but why are they so problematic? Why do we feel almost outraged when we read one? And when are cliches not a problem?
In order to discuss what makes a good sentence, we need some shared vocabulary to discuss the function of different words. You may have learned your prepositions from your adjectives at school, but subsequently you may have forgotten which is which. Or, if you’re like me, maybe you never learned the difference between an adverb and a conjunction.
A recent poll revealed that among respondents over fifty, ‘publish a novel’ has displaced ‘have an extra-marital affair’ as the most cited ambition. Perhaps so many people aspire to write because all you need to get started is a pen and paper or something to type on. But there are a few other things that might help you along the way.
‘Beginning writers,’ says Tom Bailey, ‘must read (note that I mean must, a word I have studiously avoided throughout this book – reading is the one thing all writers do!).’ But what should you read? This video introduces some reading suggestions for writers. Below the video you’ll find a link to a big list of some of anglophonic fiction’s big names.