I have just been settling down to some quiet reading of my latest book (that being Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher) and, as is my wont, was jotting down some immediate thoughts as they occurred to me.
One point that I made about the book - and will explore properly in my review - is the fact that this novel follows a lot of fantasy cliches. The problem is, I realised, that, having said I thought it was cliched meant then having to justify the fact that I still liked the book DESPITE the cliches. Not because of the cliches. And then it hit me:
When did "cliche" become a naughty word?
These days, if I state a book is cliched, this often directly translates into tired and unimaginative. However, a cliche can make a book feel fun and comfortable.
For instance, one of the said cliches in this novel is that of the orphaned boy destined to go onto big things. Big fantasy cliche. For some, enough to make them turn away from Furies of Calderon! But why would they automatically dismiss the novel and why does the word cliche now feel so negative and as though we are talking a book down?
So... feel free to discuss? Have you noticed this new negativity? Do you think that a cliche can only be a bad thing in a book? Or are cliches merely tried and tested story formulas that work?