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Writing Tropes: 3 Tips to Let the Right Ones In


We’ve been running a series this month to help you avoid clichés, tropes, and stereotypes in your writing. Today, Wrimo Alice de Sampaio Kalkuhl shares her top 3 tips for making your writing glow with originality:

It’s August, and if you participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, then you just finished a month of writing. You’re reading back through what you wrote (even though everybody told you to put it aside for a while), or have given it to beta readers, and maybe you’re finding that your main character sounds a lot like the one from that book you were reading when you were about to start writing your Camp project, or there’s a scene that could have been pulled from the movie you watched a few weeks ago. If some things are feeling too familiar while re-reading your work, you may have fallen into the cliché trap. Getting out of it is easy: You simply rewrite some scenes, putting a twist on each cliché you found. 

1. Know your genre

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Author: Penny Wilder

Penny Wilder is a queer human who writes and reads far too many books. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and four cats. Her favorite thing to do at the end of a very long day is to curl up with her tablet and read. She does bookkeeping for nonprofits by day, and by night moonlights as a blogger, artist, illustrator, actor, director, performer, and also sometimes as a business manager for a fledgling theater company. (Not all at once though, because that would be crazy!) She has spent a good deal of her life working in theater; either onstage as a performer, or backstage doing just about every job imaginable. Her love of writing dates back almost as far as her love of reading.

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