underwater dancer

My big goal for 2015 is to finish a decent version of Laerka, my Southern Gothic mermaid tale. It’s going to be darker, I hope, than my first draft. Spookier, murkier, slicker and sicker. I guess I’m riding on the vibe of True Detective. That show got so under my skin, it seems I can’t resist putting bits and pieces of those macabre details into my scenes, too. I hope that’s not too pitifully copy-cat. I wonder if other writers of the Sothern Gothic ALL use a washed up drunk among minor characters. Or a crazy old lady in the attic. Mine isn’t actually in the attic, she’s on an abandoned island. Hope it’s not too cliche.

So today’s topic — which cliches are worth revisiting? Anyone got a wish list? Here’s my list of cliches I never get tired of:

Old timer prophets with gold teeth (or no teeth)
Blues harmonica players
Animals/pets that work as a best friend/confidant
Cheating/lying/backstabbing BFs who start out awful but turn out to be helpful in the end
women who look cheap and tacky but have a heart of gold, not to mention the wisdom to see through the villain’s bullshit
cheap and tacky clothes
cheap and tacky ornaments, decorations, makeup
Jesus freaks (LOVE them)

Cliches that make me cringe

cheating boyfriends
Boss Hog types
New agers (unless delivered in camp, cliche way)
marcial artists
automatic weapons
kicking ass
being The One (Jesus figure)
self-analysis

So gimme your list!

The big change in my manuscript, I hope, will be the inclusion of more drama. How? By way of dastardliness. My biggest dastard, is a sort of amphibian man, known as Vodyanoy. I know, funny name. Like a kind of vodka that’s really annoying. But actually, it’s a water spirit, of the man-eating storm-fetching variety. The imagery on line that I found of him was either really silly or else sort of pathetic. Slugman, with a beard, and kind of alcoholic looking. My version needs to be ferocious, of course. So here’s a more virile interpretation, straight from a Chinese Bollywood extravaganza:

water villains

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