I think the thing I like about writing non-fiction, such as the bullshit you find here, is that even if it’s cliched and trite, it’s real, so it’s not my fault as a crappy author, but life’s fault for not bringing me something more original.

When I sit down to write fiction, though, I do feel like everyone has already said everything I want to say, but better, and that I am just piecing together alternative versions of stories that have already been told more eloquently.

Really, it’s no wonder that people deliberately choose to retell well-told tales.  You can put that nagging suspicion that someone has already done this to rest.  Yes, they have.  Beowulf is already a poem. We all know how creation stories go.  Four or five other people have already told us Macbeth from the witches’ point of view.  And who doesn’t love Wicked?

But when you’re sitting down trying to write something new, you worry a lot that it’s not, that you’re saying something that’s already been said, repeatedly.  And you worry that what you’re saying is not that surprising, but is instead fairly obvious.

Because, of course, it must be obvious or you would not have come up with it so easily.



Fuck that.

11 thoughts on “Cliches

  1. Woah. I never thought about the possibility of… of… actually being CAST. Woah. That’s…pretty damn exciting.

  2. Plimco, not only have I accepted it, I’ve decided it should include a blue yodel, so I hope your vocal chords are up to it. Eye-dee-oh-lay-dee-ee-oo, eye-del-eye-del-aye-ee-ady-oh-doh. Ay-ay-dee, ay-ay-dee. Deedle-odle-ay-dee-dee.Photopoppy. Wow. I like it.

  3. AAAK! Shhhhhh!!!!!You mean, who else can yodel in some secret and undisclosed city on the east coast. Right? SHHHHHHH!!!

  4. Everytime I start thinking that there’s no way to tell an old story in a new way, I go look at that poem. Although the image of Cinderella as a gold digger/running off with the good silverware isn’t exactly a flattering stereotype, I can’t help but wonder if some of us would have grown up a little saner if we hadn’t been so hung up on finding our Prince before the clock strikes 12.

  5. Am I going to have to start taking notes on the influence of Jimmie Rodgers on contemporary theater? I’m sooooo confused.

  6. I hope so. Though trying to get clearances on a Jimmie Rodgers song would be a pain in the butt, I’m guessing, so I’m going to write my own, I think.

  7. I tell you what. You write a post on how Jimmie Rodgers has influenced your plays. Kindly let us know when, where, and how you first heard his music, how you understand it in a theatrical context, and what it means to you to put blue yodels into your drama. Oh, and how that enriches your work, and what you expect the audience to get from it. Then I won’t have to take notes. But I will tell you how to go about getting music clearances.

  8. Shoot, NM, you don’t ask for small things, do you? But you know what? I wonder if trying to answer your question, at least thinking it through, would help me out of my current corner…Hmm.I may owe you a big one here.

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