Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cliche is as cliche does

I rolled my eyes when I read this topic for this week's post over at YA Highway. I mean, cliches? Then, I bit my lip and started to mull over the possibilities. Perhaps this post would end up being more than I bargained for. Literally, I wanted, in the worst way, to make this post stand out from the crowd, but then the topic is...cliches? How would I survive?

I'm no stranger to cliche. Honest. And, I love a good, well-written cliche (because, IMO, it is possible. Obviously not by me, but possible nonetheless). Favorite YA hero of all time? Gilbert Blythe. Boy-next-door, AND friend-she-won't-admit-she-loves. But, seriously, swoon. 

As for my favorite cliche? I like the romantic ones. The, oooh-this-is-going-to-be-good ones. If I had to narrow it down, I'd probably go with Chanelle fan of the perennially popular love triangle.

Love triangles have had some bad press lately. And yeah, throwing a rival in just for fun, so your readers can divide into "teams" and make tshirts announcing their respective choices is probably not the best way to approach plotting your novel. However, for my money (you're loving how I'm doing this, aren't you?) part of the greatness of a YA romance, or any romance, is how it allows you to live vicariously through the heroine. It allows you to experience a fantasy that would, in real life, be completely miserable. In real life I couldn't date two people at once, the stress would've killed me. But, in a novel--I love jealousy. I love confusion. I love conflict. Love triangles provide all of those things. And, it allows you to explore more than one kind of hero. Win!

That's it. Now you know. I may go hide my head in shame for having admitted this deep, dark secret. But only because the truth hurts, especially on dark and stormy nights.


Abby Stevens said...

Ha ha, love that you slipped one in right at the end. :)

Jennifer Hoffine said...

That's a good point about the fantasy element...I also think those different heroes help the protag explore different sides of herself and decide what's most important to her...but maybe I'm just trying to justify a cliche I "can't live without."

Melanie said...

I think you make an interesting point about why I enjoy reading them. Being in them in a book is soooooooo different then being in them in real life. In real life it doesn't play out like it does in stories, and because it's from the perspective of a character/characters, you get to see the range of emotions from each person in the triangle, which doesn't happen in real life.

Nice post!

KO said...

Love this-- you make some excellent points.
Gilbert Blythe FTW!!!!

Michelle Schusterman said...

You aren't alone!!! Love triangles (when well done) are fabulous.

Che Gilson said...

The love triangle is stock standard in manga too! Don't worry.

I SUPER DUPER HIGHLY RECOMMEND Peach Girl by Miwa Ueda. It is the uber overlord of all manga love triangles and I think you'd enjoy it :)

If live somewhere with a decent library you may be able to wrest it from the hands of local teenagers.

Chanelle said...

Haha. I love that you've admitted you're dirty secret! And yay for another love triangle fan :)