What is the bad cliches in a books? - Smiley Reader

July 12, 2020

What is some of the bad cliches in books
What is some of the bad cliches in books

  • The chosen one
At first, this was acceptable. The idea of a chosen one has been in writing for a long time, dating back to King Arthur, medieval tales, and Greek mythology.
Recently, we’ve had Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and The Lost Hero.
All of those books contained the main protagonist who somehow survived the impossible and was chosen to save someone or something.
It gets old after a while and honestly, it’s really lazy. Anyone can write some idiot who was chosen to go on a quest and miraculously survives ten thousand attacks. Oh, and did I mention they’re eleven?
(No offense to Rick or Jk Rowling. Love you guys)
Put a twist on it. Do something new that your readers won’t expect.

  • Revealing everything in a dream
First of all, who even remembers their dreams most of the time?
Most of the time I forget after like, two seconds.
If I was a kid in a cliché YA novel, I’d probably die.
Every time a protagonist in a YA novel dream, it always reveals the enemy's secrets and location.
Like, it’d be awesome if my dreams could reveal the winning lottery ticket numbers, but life doesn’t work that way.
I wish it did…

  • Mary or Gary Stu (Hopefully not both at once)
We all know these characters.
The ones that can do no wrong. They gracefully fall into the main hot guy’s arms and manage to save the universe with a snap of their fingers.
I hate these characters. They’re lazy and have no logic put into them whatsoever.



I woke up and frowned in annoyance. Ugh! I hate my alarm clock!

My name is Rose Ebony Lauren Jane and I hate my life.

I got up and brushed my hair. Ugh, I’m so ugly.

I walk downstairs and my mom yells at me! I think I have depression and anxiety. My math test is the next period and I didn’t study!

When I get to school, I see Jason.

Jason is the hot jock at my school. I always catch him staring at me in class, but he could never like me.

I accidentally stumble and fall. His warm arms catch me and pull me back to my feel.

No. Just no.

It hurt to write that. Actually hurt.

Goddammit, don’t do this. Literally, anyone can write better than that.

Most people honestly don’t think they’re ugly. At least, I think I’m okay.

Most people just think they’re average or a little less.

  • Mirror descriptions

I looked into the mirror and smiled at myself. 

I have long, straight brown hair, green eyes with brown flecks in them, 

a skinny, tall body, and a brilliant white smile. 

I’m so ugly!

No no no no-no-no. Don’t do this.
Mirror descriptions are the laziest way to describe someone. Almost as bad as paragraph descriptions (up already).

Trust me, we’re all guilty of this at some point. I’ll admit, even I did it.
Now that you admit your mistake, don’t do it anymore.

  • Love triangles
Now, sometimes they’re interesting.
But do they really enhance the plot at all?
Usually, no.
If a love triangle is necessary to your plot, by all means, add it in!
If it does absolutely nothing for your plot and is just a needless filler, please just save us all the trouble of reading it and just take it out.
Don’t use fillers. Don’t try to spice things up with love triangles and mirror descriptions.
They usually don’t work and just really sound cliché.

  • The dead mom/abusive dad
Yes, this happens in real life, but does every single protagonist have to have dead parents and/or abusive relatives?
It worked in Harry Potter, but unless it really adds to the plot,
 it looks cliché and lazy.

  • The Black/Asian/Native American/Muslim best friend that does nothing the whole time
Most writers add these meaningless, 2D characters in for that diversity, ya know?
Please. Don’t.
First of all, you look lazy and desperate. Just because one of your characters is a person of minority, does not mean that you have achieved diversity.
Second of all, why? Why do you feel the need to force these terrible stereotypes on your readers?
And third of all, it’s insulting to people part of those ethnic groups. You’re stereotyping and using them to get money.
These characters do not advance the plot at all and usually, just randomly help the white protagonist along with his/her mission.

Instead of doing the lazy way out, try and include characters of different backgrounds and actually create personalities for them. Seriously, it’s not that hard.

  • Killing off a character just cause
If it doesn’t advance the plot, don’t put it in.
If you’re just killing off characters here and there for the hell of it, you’re just pissing your readers off.
If it’s not necessary to the plot, don’t add it in.
I know you want to. Believe me, I know the temptation but save the character.
You never know if they’ll be useful in the future.

  • The girl gets the guy, they kiss, and everything ends happily ever after
Now, is there anything wrong with this?
No, not really, but it’s been used so many times, it’s boring.
Does everything really end happily all the time?
No, not really. If there weren’t problems or something wrong in our lives, we wouldn’t be human.
Not every guy gets the girl and not every girl gets the guy.
Try to put your own twist on it. Maybe have the girl not get with a guy by the end and end up following her dream to become a baker.

Or whatever you want. It’s your story. Have fun with it!

So, These are some bad cliches for me in books? Do you agree with me or not?

Let us know in the comment below

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