Clichés in writing, by K J Rollinson

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I mentioned last week in my blog on ‘Writing Magazine’ the phrase “the best thing since sliced bread” and referred to the fact that I knew I shouldn’t use clichés in writing. That got me thinking, what is the difference between a cliché and a proverb? We use knowingly, or unknowingly, Shakespeare’s sayings every day, e.g. “Dead as a door nail” (Henry VI).

I looked up the words cliché and proverbs. Here’s what it said:
Cliché (noun) platitude, banality, commonplace, hackneyed phrase, a trite stereotyped expression.

Proverb (noun) a short popular commonplace saying, that expresses truth or useful thought.

I suppose if one used the definition ‘commonplace’ to some of Shakespeare’s sayings they would be considered clichés, but I would never, never use the other words in the cliché definitions as applicable to The Bard.

One can see online ‘Shakespeare’s clichés’. They have to be kidding! (Whoops, I think I’ve…

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IS ONE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR PERCEPTION OF CLOWNS?

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Now, I happen to think clowns can be scary looking–not always, but very often. I think one person is responsible for that. The serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. He dressed as a clown to entertain children in hospitals. Now, I don’t know if he realized just how evil he looked in the clown makeup, but he looked pretty scary to me!

Eventually, he was executed for having murdered thirty young men. I never forgot him or the case.

If he isn’t solely responsible for generating fear of clowns (among some of us), he’s partially responsible. They scare us. We don’t know what they’re like under that clown makeup.

Could that be it? One man, is our bogeyman? Or is there something else. I’d love to know what others think. I have written a novel about lunatic, murdering clowns that happen to be cannibals! But as in all of my fiction…

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TO HYPHENATE OR NOT TO HYPHENATE, THAT IS THE QUESTION BY K J ROLLINSON

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Do you know the rules that govern hyphenated words? I didn’t know when I began writing. I relied on my ‘instinct’ or a dictionary and online information to guide me. Gradually, I came aware that there are distinct rules.

I was dithering whether to put foot or feet – when I was describing my protagonist in my latest book ‘Where Lies My Heart’ – whether to put six feet tall or six foot tall. Evidently, it doesn’t matter whether you use foot or feet, BUT the rules change, dependent whether you use feet or foot.

When it functions as an adjective phrase before a noun you use the singular form and hyphenate it – six-foot-tall. If the description comes after a verb you don’t use hyphens and use the plural form – six feet tall.

When we refer to a twelve-year-old boy, the hyphens follow the rule for one-thought adjectives…

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WORDPLAY WRITERS’ FORUM, SPAIN, ANTHOLOGIES BY K J ROLLINSON

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Today I want to tell you about WordPlay Writers’ Forum anthologies. WordPlay Writers’ Forum is an inspirational group of very talented writers. Many of the members are self-published authors. WordPlay Forum was led by co-founders Michael Barton and Ian Govern. Unfortunately, Ian died a few years ago, and Michael continues to lead the group, despite his heavy workload as a freelance writer, publisher and author.

In 2011 WordPlay Publishing published ‘WordPlay Showcase’ (published shortly before I was a member). I quote below, a paragraph contained in the synopsis:

‘The ‘WordPlay Showcase’ is an ideal travel companion, and is perfect for those lazy moments on the beach for dipping into on your daily commutes, or to appreciate in front of a roaring fire on a winter’s afternoon.’

In 2012 Wordplay Publishing published Shorts for Autumn by Various Authors
WINNER OF THE UK’s WRITING MAGAZINE WRITERS CIRCLE ANTHOLOGY OF THE YEAR 2012.

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