Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Foray into Cliches with Guest Blogger: Linda Armstrong Miller

Meet Christian fiction author 
Linda Armstrong-Miller 
today at the Book Boost!

She's here to chat about clichés and here's what she had to say...

Sam used to call her when he was on a stakeout to tell her how much he loved and missed her. Before hanging up, she would tell him she was settling in for a long winter’s nap. During Sam’s last stakeout, Sally was pregnant; hearing her use that phrase helped to put him at ease.

What codes do you and your loved ones use to make sure all is well when you can’t exactly talk? I bet it’s a cliché.


After his shower, he placed a Band-Aid on his elbow then settled on his bed for “a long winter’s nap.” Sam smiled. Sally loved Christmas. So much so, she would use that line from time to time as a sign that all was well with her.

Does your significant other have a saying that he or she can whisper in your ear or say out loud even that only you know what is being said? Is it a cliché?


It meant her odds of getting out of there had increased, even if only a little. Now that Lisa’s hands were free, she knew she needed to find a way to activate her tracer without bringing everyone in the building down on her. It was an easy enough task. But to turn it on, she had to give up playing possum.

Whether you are a kid or an adult, I know you, at some time, have played possum.


“No.” She tried to frown and shake her head. Acting wasn’t one of her strong suits. Playing dumb was something she had even less experience with, but it seemed she was convincing them. “Somfhin for pain?”

When you are being questioned about something that went wrong at work or if your parents are asking you how the cake got cut before dinner do you play dumb and ask “what are you talking about. Or was I even there or something to that effect? That’s called playing dumb and we have all done it.

All of those examples are clichés and they can all be found in Betrayal and Forgiveness. I use clichés in all my writings but I don’t go around talking in clichés. I find that there is a time when speaking in code is sexy or can be used to make a person have peace of mind or shock them into motion; the list goes on. The paragraphs above are just a few reasons and examples of how I use clichés.

We all can remember a clichés that made the news that faithful day of 9/11. “Let’s roll.” Those are the last words that wife will ever hear her husband say but those words gave her strength. Those powerful words told her that he was not going to go down without a fight. Those words can make her smile or maybe they make her cry; whatever emotion they invoke reminds her of her husband’s minutes on earth. That cliché served its purpose from him to her.

That’s the role of clichés. I don’t think we should avoid clichés for fear people will think we don’t have much to say. I don’t believe that is true. I think proper use of a good clichés can take your story far.

A Note from the Book Boost:  This is an interesting topic, Linda.  Most publishers and editors hate cliches and they are typically not permitted in most fiction.  But, I really like them.  Wish they weren't so looked down upon in writing as a general rule.  I'm from the south and we do talk in cliches around here...guess it is just a matter of personality.  Thanks for joining us.  Please tell us more about your latest.


In the Bible, the Lord asked that we not make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them.

Lisa made a promise and has done everything in her power to keep that promise. a lesson her father needed to learn. Before he was able to practice keeping his promise, he lost the love of his daughter, his best friend, and he was about to lose the love of his son.

Time was running out for all of them, but they didn't know it.

Want More Linda?

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