Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The cliché round robin

with 5 comments

Sharon Olds

Before I give a manuscript to my editor, I run a “cliché round-robin” on it. So I go through whatever it is, galleys, proofs, and I begin to circle words that are happening more than once, twice, three times. I go through the whole manuscript. I love this part of putting a book together. I mean, the book is all together. And each poem is edited enough, as far as I’m concerned. But then I find out about these words, and then, I look at each instance of my most used words and see if it will please change. Most of them will not change. Some of them I change, and then in another printing I have to change them back, because it was obvious that someone was doing something literary here in order not to use too many clichés.

Sharon Olds

Written by nevalalee

October 10, 2015 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day, Writing

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5 Responses

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  1. Since I got the new iPhone system I’ve become much more sensitive to clichés. It has that predictive text function, and when I type I often find it knows what I’m going to say before I say it. I’ve never realized until now how predictable I am. Scary.

    Celia Reaves

    October 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

  2. That’s very interesting. I know that I tend to fall back on the same phrases repeatedly (like “tend to”), so I’m a little afraid about what it might reveal for me.


    October 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm

  3. Very interesting. I have been enjoying your blog. You have won over a new follower.


    October 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

  4. Glad you liked it. Hope you stick around!


    October 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm

  5. I will


    October 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

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