Clichés are boring!
Clichés have been around the block. They’ve run their course. Clichés are what you write when you don’t have the inspiration to think of something original.
Yes, it’s alright to use them in your first draft: thinking of a strong metaphor may take time and interrupt your flow. But during the editing process, you must go back and cut them. Your readers don’t want clichés—they want fresh metaphors that get them thinking in different and exciting ways.
Here's a great quote on the subject:
The print element is important. Clichés are acceptable and even useful when speaking because they convey concepts quickly. When writing, however, clichés are too familiar to offer additional meaning.
When you edit your writing, highlight every cliché you find. Brainstorm a fresh phrase to replace each cliché. For example, if you’re trying to replace "she was happy as a lark," think of what other things are happy, or think of situations in which you are happy and magnify them. For instance, maybe you have a penchant for chocolate, which might lead to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which might lead you to "it was as if she’d just found Willy Wonka’s golden ticket."
A good writer may create and reject dozens of images before finding the right one, so don’t worry if it takes you a while.
ProWritingAid highlights any clichés that it finds in your writing so that you can replace them with fresh metaphors. Try our writing improvement software today.
Next improve your writing tip: Improve Your Writing Tip #7: Don't repeat yourself