The room was dimly lit, with threadbare carpets and an overstuffed armchair in one corner.
There are far too many dimly lit rooms and overstuffed chairs. Surely people in fictional universes can figure out how to screw in a sensible wattage light bulb or get LEDs? Those with advanced technology or a bit of disposable cash really have no excuse. Surely furniture manufacturers can work out how much stuffing goes into an average-sized chair. If it’s bulging and looks ready to burst, it’s probably a good idea to stop stuffing.
I wonder if this is a collective subconscious thing, where us writers worry that we’re just a bunch of dim, overstuffed creatures. Which is not the case. We are (generally) awesome.
In the Fiction Cliche Dante’s Hell, a level is reserved especially for people doomed to cram wads of foam into straining cushion covers, their knuckles raw and bloody. All the while, emaciated chairs stalk around with whips, reprimanding any of those lazy chair-stuffers for slacking.
Yeah. It could happen.
Everyone is guilty of hitting the writing cliches button from time to time. Occasionally a writer will use a cliche on purpose, to make a point, to parody, or just because they have balls. These two cliches are big bugbears for me, but that isn’t to say they will stop me from finishing a story I’m otherwise enjoying.
I’d like to hear what your bugbears are when it comes to writing cliches or overused descriptions. Which ones are you happy to let slide?