Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cliche Much? Haven't We Seen that Before?

Crooked Smile? Check. Love Triangle? Check. Angels/Vampires? Check. Forbidden Love? Check. The list goes on, but only stops short to repeat itself. We've all been critical of it, the cliches, the "Haven't we seen this before?", the "Sigh. Not this again." response. As a book reviewer, I've always rolled my eyes at the fact that, not again, a vampire who tries to be good and send his girl away (Haven=Twilight) or the love triangle, where another boy is left behind as third wheel, pining for his love of another girl. Believe me, not only these cliches come up in books, but in Korean dramas, or any other dramas/TV shows for the matter. There's the rich boy who's a snob, (Chuck in Gossip Girls & Go Jyun Po in Boys Over Flowers), but then changes for the better because of a girl, who's usually poor. But then, oh no, here comes the past lover or the best friend who's left  behind. 

But I want to bring it to the fact, can we really blame the author for not being creative enough to think of new ideas? While working on a project for social change for a social entrepreneurship activity, I realized how a lot of my ideas were just "reinventions of the wheels" and it was extremely difficult to think of an innovative idea that was out of nowhere.

I don't think it can be justified that a book can be 'bad' or it can be justified in blaming the author for just copying the trends of teen novels. It's very rare do I come across a book that I think is original and has a plot or a character that I've never seen before. The nuances and the delivery of the characters are the factors that determine the book's quality or not. Take Demonglass for example. We've seen the forbidden love thing (enemies as lovers), the magic (Harry Potter), the burgeoning love triangle, witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves. But what made me love this book was the humor and the characterization. How the author delivered the growing romance and created the suspense with the plot. 

Sorry for the ranting :(. I just wanted to express my opinions and say that even though I may slip up sometimes in my reviews, by mentioning I'm exhausted by the constant vampire fighting or the sympathy for the poor best friend, I only blame them for its depiction, not for its ideas. What are your responses to the growing number of cliches?  


  1. People always say to think outside the box but the notion is impossible. It's just not possible for think of something that's not within their spectrum of thought. Everything is in some way derivative or something else. All made up monsters contain elements that already exist in the real world. We are not capable of attaching truly original elements to these things because they don't exist to us. We have to know of it to write it. Therefore if we know it, it's not really our own. Just the way we use it is.

    I do blame authors are simply rehashing the same trope over and over and over again. If you're going to write a cliche (love triangles, whatever) then for the love of god do something different with it. Cliches exist for a reason. People love them. The Chosen One Syndrome, love triangles, hot vampires, whatever. It's what's done with those cliches that makes the book good or bad. Should we blame the author that only takes tropes and patches them together without doing anything with them (I Am Number Four, for instance?)? Absolutely. They wrote it and it's obvious when they do that that they were banking on just riding the wave. Quite frankly it's insulting.

    Throw cliches at me to your hearts content. But dress them up differently. Spice them up. Make them pretty. I don't want raindrops. I want snowflakes (and I'm not talking speshul snowflakes, either).

  2. Oh yea, I completely understand what you mean. It's everywhere and generally what will always deduct a star on my rating for the book. x0x

    Haha, Korean dramas go over the top with the cliches. Which is why I have never finished any Kdrama except for one (You're Beautiful). Though I do like Lee Min Ho. ^^ Not in Boys Before Flowers though. Watch the Japanese version, it's amazing how emotional the actors are.


Comments are appreciated!


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