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12 Cliches All Writers Should Avoid

Curious about what kind of cliches writers should avoid? The Writer's Digest staff outlines their top 12.

Cliches drive me bonkers, especially when it comes to writing. They are boring and abused and about as fun to read as the instruction manual of a Dustbuster. Writing is supposed to be a creative process, and there's nothing creative in rehashing some trite phrase that is so old it was probably used by Moses as he parted the Red Sea.

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So, I asked the Writer's Digest team of editors to help me compile a list of the 12 cliches in writing that need to be permanently retired. Here they are (in no particular order):

  1. Avoid it like the plague
  2. Dead as a doornail
  3. Take the tiger by the tail
  4. Low hanging fruit
  5. If only walls could talk
  6. The pot calling the kettle black
  7. Think outside the box
  8. Thick as thieves
  9. But at the end of the day
  10. Plenty of fish in the sea
  11. Every dog has its day
  12. Like a kid in a candy store
12 Cliches All Writers Should Avoid

And those are just the tip of the iceberg (oh wait, there's bonus cliche #13!).

Now that you've seen ours, what I want to know is: What cliches annoy you the most? Post it below in the comments section. 

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