Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Random Writing Tips – Cliché timing


Imagine this story.  One of the main characters is traveling to some castle and comes across a woman.  We the audience know that she is the other main character, the Queen who was travelling amongst her people and got lost, or something.  They start heading to the castle, and have some adventures on the way, and the Queen falls for the other character.  She finally works up the courage to tell them who she is, just as they crest a hill and see a dragon rampaging over her castle.  Interrupting someone just before they can tell a big secret is dramatic, but it has been done so often it’s now cliché.  You can probably think of a couple examples from movies or TV shows without straining too much. 

Another example of cliché timing is how someone will be explaining their backstory, or some key aspect of world building, and just as they finish – sometimes within seconds – an alien will burst out of the wall for an action scene.  On one hand, having action scenes in between all the exposition dumps is an efficient way to give all the necessary information without it being too much, but on the other hand we’ve also seen that a thousand times before. 

Cliché timing is an efficient way to give the readers needed information and to keep some tension for the sake of drama, but it also makes it easy for the reader to see the scaffolding the story is hung from.  And when the reader can see the structure of the story, it becomes harder for them to get lost in it.  Some cliché timing can help the story, but too much can leave the reader rolling their eyes.


Image from Pixabay.

No comments:

Post a Comment