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Thursday

Plot cliche devices

Tor editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden shows us that it's not enough just to recognise cliches, but to really use them, have fun with them. Put them together, take them to the extreme. There's no such thing as overkill, there's just a need for more exciting stories. Apparently a dose of common sense would help.

I really enjoyed her list of things she'd do if she were a starship captain:

102. I will design my ship's tactical systems so that I do not have to personally direct every single shot fired.
Does that ring a bell? How about:

114. I will install seatbelts in my space vessels, and have pressure suits and pressure locks at regular intervals.

Hayden gives us advice to select some random cliches from her lists and put them together in story, preferably in a way that makes for a good, ripping yarn.

Whether you use it or not, enjoy it here.