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Novel cliches

(20 Posts)
Bleurghthatisall Sun 31-Mar-19 12:05:53

People at dinner always spearing things into their forks

People always opening their mouths but no words coming out

Aibu to spear book with fork, fling across room and emit silent scream?

Bleurghthatisall Sun 31-Mar-19 12:06:18

Onto their forks

Teatimeted Sun 31-Mar-19 15:53:19

Soft tendrils of hair framing people's faces


PerpendicularVincent Sun 31-Mar-19 16:22:38

People putting the pieces of a puzzle together instead of working something out.

Creeping forward silently instead of walking angry

SummerHouse Sun 31-Mar-19 16:24:11

Padding. PADDING!!!!

BarmyLlama Sun 31-Mar-19 16:29:15

Any books with a detailed description of a female narrator will largely be insulting with the exception of them having lovely eyes. They always have lovely eyes- usually the same as their mother.

" I looked in the mirror and saw my lank, greasy hair and my acne covered skin. I was twelve stone overweight with ears like jug handles and smelt strongly of rotting flesh. But I had lovely eyes - everyone always said they looked like my mother's."

Pinkarsedfly Sun 31-Mar-19 16:29:47

People criticising their looks in the mirror, when they are clearly gorgeous.

“Jess sighed as she looked in the mirror and noticed that the sun had brought out the freckles that were scattered over her upturned nose like daisies on a lawn. And if only her eyes weren’t so wide-set - and how she wished they were blue instead of this deep sea-green. Still, she mused, they set off the copper colour of her hair - she had come to terms with the fact she was never going to be blonde years ago, and now quite liked her fiery locks.”

Fuck off, Jess.

BarmyLlama Sun 31-Mar-19 16:34:37

Although, they're rarely overweight are they? They're always very thin and consistently lament throughout the book that they'd like to have "proper breasts". Well, I'd like to be able to eat cake regularly without gaining weight but THAT'S never in a character description, is it?

AdaColeman Sun 31-Mar-19 16:39:15

There is always a lot of "careening" especially in Canadian/US novels.

HalloumiGus Sun 31-Mar-19 16:39:27

Gazing. Fucking gazing. Everyone fucking gazing all around them, especially at the hot love interest.

No one gazes in rl. It looks creepy.

AdaColeman Sun 31-Mar-19 16:41:08

The moon is always gibbous.

OldAndWornOut Sun 31-Mar-19 16:42:54

They always spend balmy evenings slipping into simple linen trousers with shrugs over their shoulders.

Filibustering Sun 31-Mar-19 16:46:48

But these aren't novel clichés, they're more shite popular fiction/chicklit clichés.

I agree about the padding, and Pinkarsedfly's very apt takedown of the supposedly jolie-laide heroine's dislike of her own looks, which she will inevitably encounter when passing a mirror in the first chapter.

There's clearly a shit chicklit writers' checklist of what's allowed to be 'wrong' with your heroine's appearance -- she can have a mouth that's far too wide, or eyes too far apart, and of an unusual colour, and freckles, and 'unruly curls', and she can be too thin, or have small breasts, or no one takes her seriously because of her 'curves', but she's never five foot tall with no waist or chin and alopecia.

Filibustering Sun 31-Mar-19 16:52:28

Oh, and I'm remembering a novel about a spiky, 'difficult' twentysomething heroine, who's supposedly too tall, skinny and gawky and too pale for her dark hair, and is self-conscious about her smile because of the gap between her two front teeth.

But at the start of the novel she inherits a trunk of fabulous clothes from an independent-minded great-aunt's youth, all of which fit her like a glove, and spends the rest of the novel casually slipping into gorgeous 1950s dresses, making the conventionally pretty girls around her look ordinary with the riot of dark waves she releases from her plait, and having the two best-looking men at her college fall in love with her.

OldAndWornOut Sun 31-Mar-19 17:11:26

They always have an encounter with an outrageously rude but very handsome man, as soon as they arrive in 'shadynook farm" which their old aunt has left them. (Unexpectedly)

BuckingFrolics Sun 31-Mar-19 17:14:16

Any word whatsoever other than "eat".

Particularly munched.

OneFootintheRave Sun 31-Mar-19 18:02:40

@Filibustering gringringrin

Straight from the Mills & Boon script!

Pinkarsedfly Sun 31-Mar-19 18:16:09

Also, a misunderstood hero who is just absolutely fucking rude, actually.

That one goes from Austen to Keys and stops everywhere in between.

Pinkarsedfly Sun 31-Mar-19 18:16:21


littlebillie Sun 31-Mar-19 22:52:29

I love Keyes at least they have flaws

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