That’s so cliché

by juliusmsanz

I’m a firm believer that 99% of the best ideas for books have already been written.

In this day and age you just can’t be completely original, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the rules. Clichés exist for a reason: they are the central pieces of any story, and I know they are boring to see and read, but don’t think you can get by without them. With tropes they become that more apparent, sure, but either now or later you will put in that overused strategy.

Is it a bad thing?

I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers and thrillers in general. They make good books and they can make even better movies if done right. Let’s make a small comparison. Two movies I saw again were The Game and The Machinist. One is a very good movie, the other is acceptable. Why?


First of all The Game, starring Michael Douglas, makes the central character go through such an emotional rollercoaster, doubting everything and everyone that you end up not knowing what is going on yourself. You can say what you want, but the fact is that movie makes sure the character goes through a lot of mental conflict, internal conflict, that affects the surroundings, and it’s a pretty big movie. It’s final moments feature one of the best mind breaks I’ve seen, period. Can you blame him? Certainly not.


The Machinist, starring Christian Bale, is another story that relies on internal conflict. He starts to notice changes and transformations in his personal life, and in the end you understand that his transformation served a purpose and realized why what happened, happened. It’s a good movie, but not a great movie. Keep in mind this is my opinion.

Why is one better than the other? Because The Machinist shows you at the end that one character you saw as strange, but assumed to be real, is in fact something the main character created to help himself, to guide him to show his guilt and confess. It’s not bad, it’s a bit disturbing, but how many times have you seen it? How many times have you seen the main character have an alter ego and actually be the killer, or something along those lines? Yeah.

Clichés are not bad, but only if you can do something different within said clichés. What I’m trying to say here is this: it won’t make a difference if you use clichés so long as in the end it feels like a completely different experience. You end up destroying that notion. So use them and work around them, just don’t copy/paste.

That is all, see you tomorrow!