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Story Tropes: How Do We Twist a Cliché?

Lonely tree on a rock outcropping in the ocean with text: Adding Surprises to Our Story's Tropes

Sometimes we’ll hear writing advice like “avoid clichés,” but what does that mean when it comes to story tropes? After all, can’t tropes be helpful? And if so, how do we make them less cliché?

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February 7, 2019

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Make Characters Unique with Layering

Poster for Spider-Verse movie with text: Making Our Characters Unique

Somewhere along our learning curve as writers, we’re likely to come across the skill of layering. Layering can help us create unique characters, no matter how stereotypical or tropey they might be on the surface.

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January 10, 2019

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Creating Satisfying Endings without Clichés

Caution tape on a fence with text: Watch Out for Cliché Endings

A recent Twitter thread brought up problematic reader expectations with story endings. Can we find a balance between “fulfilling our story’s promise and our genre’s expectations” and avoiding a cliché ending?

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October 25, 2018

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How to Save a Broken Story

Scattered pieces of a watch with text: How Can We Fix a Broken Story?

A truly broken story is one where the pieces of the story don’t come together in a coherent whole. But if we’re willing to put in the work, virtually any story can be saved. Then question then is: What steps should we take to fix a broken story?

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September 27, 2018

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