Romance Stories: STOP BEING CLICHE!

That’s Too Cliche!

I realized it. James Morgenstern. The school’s popular jock, a womanizer, is my mate. But why? What could he possibly see in me? I’m just that ordinary girl who sits in the back of the room with long bangs covering my sight and wears round glasses. Me? For someone who has an undeniable taste for slim, slender, long legged women? Please.

picture of how I would imagine James Morgenstern

I looked away from the window and saw that he’s walking towards me with his group of other football players, who’re on the same pack as him. Well as expected, James IS the alpha of the Wolfsbane Pack. But what I couldn’t believe afterwards were the words that came out of his mouth; the instant rejection that could set your heart breaking over and over again at the thought of it, even if your heart tried to pick itself up. And those words were “I reject you as my mate.”

expression of how the protagonist would feel after the words of rejection

What can I say? I feel very proud of writing this story! Click. Send. Share. Receives followers and over a million views. Becomes ultimately popular. Published to the real world. The end. Is that how romance/teen fiction writers are nowadays? Come on! An kindergartener has a ton more, unlimited, beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations and he can even put it into drawings to the audience’s amazement.

As a writer myself, I am at guilt too! I write cliche stories when it comes to teen fiction/romance because I gather some of my ideas from how couples interact in real life. Not meaning to be a nosy person or anything but it’s better, in my opinion, to be observant of what’s around a writer in order to incorporate what he or she sees to words for his or her story. In fact, that’s got to be one of the main key points on how one gets ideas.

But aside from that, don’t couples hold hands together, share food, tease one another, go on dates, and so on and so forth? Isn’t that cliche enough? Whatever a writer aims for, whatever suits one’s taste usually is already decided on paper. For example, the author sees a little girl picking a flower. Innocence represents such an image and maybe the author can add how she grows up to be a florist, finds love, goes through heartaches and so on. Or maybe the author can tweak it and make it something else entirely.

The former, the scene I just made there with how the little girl found love, is something I definitely will put into my story plot and that’s how I begin from there.

Romance you see is something that oozes so much cliche! Even how two people talk to one another seems ultimately strange!

Given from my intro with the rejection as a mate, the ideal thoughts of a sixteen-year-old girl are definitely not deep or as self conscious to such extent.  I’m just that ordinary girl who sits in the back of the room with long bangs covering my sight and wears round glasses. Me? For someone who has an undeniable taste for slim, slender, long legged women? Please.

For example that. I understand already that the story will be based upon a girl’s point of view because it’s already expected. In fact, arguably 90% at least of all the romance stories (ideally found on most writing websites, particularly on Wattpad) are based upon a girl’s perspective. Furthermore, what makes up her story is basically chasing after a guy that’s out of her reach. Or it could be just as how the scene in the intro laid it out: a mate who has no taste for plain women.

Another concern about this girl’s thoughts are how she had to describe what kind of women James aims for in the story. “…who has an undeniable taste for slim, slender, long legged women?” Just that alone, in my opinion, already sounds sarcastic because I get the hint that she had to go to that extent of telling the audience to picture the women in their heads but it also seems as if she’s mocking them for having such features.

I realized it. James Morgenstern. The school’s popular jock, a womanizer, is my mate. But why? What could he possibly see in me?

I find these sentences humorful and so stiff that it saddens me a bit that it’s THIS kind of a werewolf story. Okay, as a reader of however many books of a particular genre (let’s say action/adventure for a change) and you read the first book and it’s about finding a solution to something terrible that’s coming and only a person can do that. Simply put, the chosen one. You enjoyed it congratulations, and move on to the next one. Now you find a book that’s about saving someone and this time, it’s the protagonist in a team with other new main characters of the show. Suddenly, a romance blooms and results a conflict. So it’s kind of like inception where there’s the conflict of the story within another conflict and that’s between whoever those two characters are. Particularly, the protagonist and someone. You kind of thought it was complicated but still enjoyed it. Now you choose another book and this time, it’s about saving the main character’s own self from the world, encounter romance, now finds his or herself in a dire situation, attempts to escape it, but ends up getting involved, romance becomes another conflict, still remains on the path of resolving what the main conflict is, later on it turns out the moment of truth is something or someone precious to the protagonist, ends up losing someone, tries to move on, finds out that the whole dilemma is not finished, and moves on to a series.

HELLO?! What is this? The third book sounded even more complex than the first two books combined! It’s bad enough that the second book sounded cliche as it is, but the last one just wasn’t helping the reader’s cause to find something interesting to read for once! That’s what I meant by “THIS is that kind of a werewolf story”. To put it bluntly, it’s old news. James is obviously the alpha because of him characterized as the following: womanizer and popular jock (it’s always the chosen sport for guys. Always!). Lastly, he is the girl’s mate. Well too bad! Readers already know what to expect because truthfully speaking, they’ve most likely read so many of these types of stories that it’s gagging and suffocating to read another. What other small details of conflicts added to these kinds of stories don’t matter because the MAIN conflict is acceptance. And rightfully enough, that is the conflict!

But what I couldn’t believe afterwards were the words that came out of his mouth; the instant rejection that could set your heart breaking over and over again at the thought of it, even if your heart tried to pick itself up. And those words were “I reject you as my mate.”

Oh poor girl. But it is expected of the intro to the story. This is just one of those ways of how an author would try to lure in a reader to read her story and check out what happens afterwards, but really there could be only a few ways on how a tale, such as this, could go about:

  1. The girl tries her hardest to change and make him fall for her.
  2. Another guy takes an interest in her, she changes along with him bodywise, James falls for her again, she gets what she wants but turns out she falls for the guy who took an interest in her.
  3. She runs away, gets taken in by another pack, becomes the girlfriend of the alpha of that pack, there’s a common enemy lurking around the state with the Wolfsbane Pack, decided to work together with the latter, James sees how much she has changed and tries to make her come back.

There are a ton more on the list, varying from how a reader would see it. But that’s cliche for you! Always know what’s coming, how the middle of the story would go, the end. Now let’s take a look at something that is NOT cliche, probably a bit similar tone to the first intro, yet it’s taking another direction.

I realized it. James Morgenstern. One of the leader’s of our pack, who’s also a player of all women here at our school. In my opinion, he very well shouldn’t even be existing in my life. Unfortunately, him and I live under the same roof. What’s worse is that I found out just now that he was going to be my mate. What does this guy will ever see in me anyways? I love food. I’m addicted to it, so my body isn’t like the girls’ bodies he has held before: all slender and bony. Why do guys like those type of girls rather than see what’s really in the inside and that she actually has a normal body of a sixteen year old? A model? Forget it.

I might as well be off married to my bars of Hershey’s chocolates and have a honeymoon in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory before I can even hear the mention of his name. “I reject you as my mate.” Those were the final words I hear from him after he passed me by with his group of jocks. I turned around and said, “Okay whatever you say then, Mr. Pansy Pants..”

image of how I would picture the female lead as independent
another image of her I would picture as strong

Whoa what’s just happened here? The mood, the tone, everything suddenly took a turn for the better! First of, contrasting how the girl talks from the first intro. She seemed so self conscious, almost as if she’s an introvert herself, and seems to be the type of girl to accept everything. Yet, her in this intro, she’s on fire. Overall, it’s as if she doesn’t care about James at all!

What does this guy will ever see in me anyways? I love food. I’m addicted to it, so my body isn’t like the girls’ bodies he has held before: all slender and bony. Why do guys like those type of girls rather than see what’s really in the inside and that she actually has a normal body of a sixteen year old? A model? Forget it.

She’s actually speaking the truth here for once. In the real world, obviously everyone is peer pressured in every way or badly influenced by whatever they see on media. For girls, it would have to be the model bodies they see online or on those Victoria Secret posters. It gives them a jealous vibe or makes them think worst of their own bodies, hence they come to hate their own features. Why can’t I have a nose like her? Why don’t I have a slender torso like her? I wish my hair was as fluffy or soft as hers. My legs are so fat, my feet are huge, etc. The list can go on forever.

Reality check, I am also one of the many who feel self conscious about themselves. But that day will come when one must love herself in order to be positive! The girl in the intro says that she loves food, addicted to it, and boldly states that’s why she doesn’t have a body like the other females James has had. It’s all about finding something that’s real within the story and be able to relate. That sentence alone is enough to get this story pumped up for me to read on. It’s interesting because she’s not beating herself down but she’s actually stating that this is me so what. Also, if one does desire to have such a body, then it’s better to do something about it by changing habits.

Forget it.

I might as well be off married to my bars of Hershey’s chocolates and have a honeymoon in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory before I can even hear the mention of his name. “I reject you as my mate.” Those were the final words I hear from him after he passed me by with his group of jocks. I turned around and said, “Okay whatever you say then, Mr. Pansy Pants..”

Again, she’s not only positive and real, but also glows of independence. She said that she would rather have Hershey’s chocolate than be with him. That’s right! What makes this part so different from the other intro is because the girl has a different aura, a more strong presence as if she’s the alpha of her own story than having this James guy dominate her life, making him the main conflict of the story. But he’s not. She tends to fight back and say okay whatever.

This is a type of non cliche I want to see most in romance stories. The girl either does something to change it or she remains standing and let the author craft what the real dilemma is of the story because eventually, maybe a guy similar to James will come back and see her differently in the end. Also, the Hershey’s chocolate is unexpected. It’s something random and meant to humor the audience in a way that the girl doesn’t need guys in her life but chocolate.

She did say she loves food so why not put in she would rather get married to chocolate?

I mean, that’s something what I would do!

The main advantage of writing a non cliche is to lure in the reader and then give each page a little twist so that it’s something so weird and unread before that it’ll want the reader to finish the story. That’s what makes the story interesting to read.

Be weird, be confident, and be different! It’s kind of the same to say to a person in real life. Rather than blending in with the crowd, stand out more so that the attention could be focused on you. A cliche book is just going to be one of the many other readers have already read, and it will soon tire out. But a non cliche book can keep a flow of readers lining up outside a store just to get a copy of it or attract views online.

Sure at first it may seem strange. But wouldn’t it be better if you take something that’s already conservative made and put a twist to it, making it 10 times more interesting than before? That’s the power of an aspiring writer! See things differently and be brilliant about it. A love triangle? What if the girl decides to kill both of the guys in the end because she’s actually the main dilemma of the story? That’s something that would give a reader “Wait what?!” look, which is a significant review that alone to the writer because he or she was able to make an impact on the audience.

So really, to all you aspiring writers! Write something that’s non cliche and stand out! Cliches are only there to give you ideas so play with them and write differently from the rest.

-Hannah

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