Cliches in dialogues you should stop using

Dialogues are everywhere in our life. Especially in the writer’s job. It doesn’t matter what you are writing — a scenario, a book, a play, even if it’s advertising — you can use dialogues everywhere. You should, probably. But be aware of your wickedest enemies – cliches.

What is a cliche? It`s simple – it’s a typical stereotype. Something, that in common was overuse – a phrase, a character, a plot twist. In dialogue, it’s phrases, of course. You’ve probably seen many of them already, just like this one:

“Are you ready?”

“I was born ready.”

It sounds extremely cool, motivated, and etc., but you can recognize too many examples of it. I sincerely mean, too many. The cliche “I was born ready” is in the movies “Ocean`s Thirteen” (2007), “Frozen” (2013), “White Lightning” (1973), and 20 others. So, do not use it, it’s really not so original now. Next one:

“He’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?”

The whole scene is a cliche by itself. The main character says something embarrassing about another person, or some secret they are trying to keep from somebody and the next thing happens – they find out this person was staying behind them for all time. Some audiences can even guess that this scene is following.

Basically, the phrase “standing behind” can be used in many cliches. For example, the dialogue:

“I`m so scared!”

“Just stay behind me!”

Do you have an accurate picture in your head? Like a weak girl and strong boy fighting? Or brother supporting his sister? It is so familiar, I don`t need even need to name films.

And one of my favorite:

“Did I just say that out loud?”

Everybody likely recognizes this scene, when a hero expresses his thoughts out loud, thinking that nobody hears that. Is that just me, that I keep patience and notice – am I thinking or am I talking out loud?

There are many more cliches in storytelling, that you can see everywhere and should avoid. Do you know some examples? You are welcome! I am waiting for your feedback!

September 13, 2020

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