Harlequin REFRESH Writing Challenge: Replace the cliche

On Tuesday we wrote about freshening your narrative voice by eliminating clichés. Easier said than done! Sometimes a cliché seems to express what you want to say perfectly. So how do replace the perfect words with more perfect ones? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s my character’s motivation?

                   “Her mouth formed a perfect O.” She was surprised. Why? What else might be going through her mind, and how might she react?

  • Am I “telling” instead of “showing”?

                   “Her mouth formed a perfect O” = she was surprised. How might you engage the reader more deeply with the heroine’s feelings in the scene?

  • How do real people act?

                  “Her mouth formed a perfect O.” What do people do when they’re surprised? 

Your challenge this week? Suggest alternatives to some of the clichés in Tuesday’s list. Choose one, two or three from the list and write your variations in the comments any time between now and Sunday, January 13, 2019, and we’ll check back with you on Monday!