Well. First off, whether I like a cliche or not depends entirely on how it’s used. If an author uses a cliche and doesn’t seem to realize it, as happens in so many young adult fantasy novels these days (and I know ’cause I read a lot of them 😄 ), then I don’t like cliches at all. They annoy me and make me roll my eyes. It’s like “that’s the best he/she could come up with?”. But if the author takes the cliche and uses it to make something new–turning the cliche on its head, looking at it from a different angle, making fun of it, combining it with a seemingly very disparate cliche, etc, etc–then I like them. Then, they show the author’s cleverness. Using cliches in an unexpected way can also enhance a novel’s overall “surprise factor”. For example, I read a book recently where a character had an encounter with a Galadriel-like figure. I had a whole scenario worked out in my mind of what would happen, because it seemed very familiar, a cliche. BUT–I found out shortly after that the Galadriel-person was actually evil, and had cursed the hero. That particular event, the cursing, was totally unexpected due to the scenario I’d created based off the seeming cliche. That is exactly the sort of way to use a cliche. Of course, there were several other cliches in there–notably the classic “super-tough, independent female fighter” that’s so overused–but some of them are perfect examples of how to use cliches. I think I just insulted and complimented that author at once. 😄 I’m talented. Anyway.
Liam led them to the stables–Gryff had been surprised to find out they had horses this deep–and they mounted up. The horses had already been saddled and loaded with supplies, and Gryff got a rather placid brown mare that nevertheless seemed much too big. Looking around, he realized that Liam was the only one on anything other than a nag. The pack horses looked much more spirited. Apparently Liam was the only one who could ride. Gryff swallowed, hoping he’d be able to figure it out without too many bruises. He wished they could use a car, but Liam’s grunted explanation–“No fuel out there”–belied that notion. He supposed a proper epic quest needed horses, but a car would really have been nice.
~written by Jared